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.


I took a coffee picture last Thursday and I was having a real moment with my morning cup… just a real super PASSIONATE and complicated THING that apparently was really tearing me up inside … I think I’ve been having an identity crisis.IMG_0135.JPG “I” reviewed a song contest this past weekend, except that *I* didn’t at all. It was Spintunes, and I went as one of my internet Alter Egos Cherry Pi (@CherryPiXXX). I always wanted her to judge/review–as a kind of lark; but I feel weird about it now.  

It was and has been a real experiment, to see if I could actually do and BE and act like a character with a life/”history” and preferences. And it was easier to be someone else in my body than I imagined it to be- avoiding responsibility for my opinions and squashing down transitory gut feelings. I was far less painstaking and instead allowed the reviews to be messy; visceral and random–drunken and with a ditzy tone of voice.. There basically had to be dancing bears and whipped cream in order to please this woman! 

Going on a second beach trip with family where I was a passenger sleeping on a couch did make it easier to be distractable. The first evening, the “Cherry Pi” character did reviews on the fly–loading up with cocktails and rapidly diminishing spelling skills; her companions  waiting impatiently for Actual Me to join them at the pool. While writing, I avoided right clicking spelling or doing re-read throughs and only kept asking REAL-me would Cherry like this song? or Would she have this opinion? It actually felt disingenuous, because there were a few instances when I did disagree with the “alter ago,” or when I was into an entry more than “I” would have normally been because Cherry gave me a freedom from my own “standards.” She isn’t tied down to a songwriting philosophy that things ought to be any particular way or that she needs to look deeper into “just not digging” something. She likes BS bang and whistle, she’s arbitrary about what turns her on, and there are different things she finds offensive and different musical bandwagons she hops on. For me, there were a couple times I might have ranked higher or criticized less/more but couldn’t because she would never. In one case, Cherry changed her opinion of an entry the day after reviews were due–shed ranked it quite low in fact; but it was too late. So the character is still forming. What I’m learning is that we can’t take any of this too seriously. And it’s happened to real me too; and I went back and read the reviews I wrote under my name the time I judged years ago and I don’t stand by all those decisions I made fully. It’s tough because your opinions change and your tastes evolve. Sometimes they devolve. It’s tricky.

So this has been an interesting game, but not one I’d repeat. I wish @suspiciousden had done the reviews instead.

So yes. Beach, twice in a row. This past weekend, I went with my “immediate” family. I guess you call them that because someone with screaming babies in front of their face looked at that family and maybe said ‘Gee. This family seems more immediate than my needing to write that thank you note …’ even though that is not a very Polite thing to say because you should always write thank you notes even when you are covered in Baby Spooo. Anyway, I don’t have a baby–so what do I know and what excuse do I have? 

So last weekend, it was my brothers and their families so they were all there playing with their little cousins. This time I went with some of my cousins and we are all grown up. They were good about the reviews. They were curious about what I was doing. They wondered just what it was exactly that I DO. I sort of did too. So I have a lot to think of, and do this week–mostly stuff that is distracting me, and hanging over my head. Things I committed to and are still wrapped around my brain pulling me off my path.

I’ll try to update again, In case anyone is reading this. I’m tired now.

Day 2.1

1. I said I was going to blog every day. I didn’t. Maybe. I also forgot to eat black eyed peas on the 1st. We ate them on the 2nd in a delicious soup. Maybe I’m just a late person.

2. I still have the coughlings from my flu. It’s also raining. I feel like the character in that Dar Williams song ‘The Blessings,’ I think that’s what it’s called … where it’s raining and she has to move her stuff that night and it’s all dire in the first verse. I ran out of tissues too. Woe is me.

3. My hair itches and my left eye hurts. Clearly I’m a creature of grave pathos. Also the Traveling Minstrels are having their lovely tour through their lunar timeshare. Of course. Why wouldn’t they be? Woo hoo. I do have a gorgeous new toothbrush, but it’s a flu toothbrush so it’ll have to be gotten rid of.

4. I can’t write a poem today for you because I am too boring right now. My brain is a colander and there is just the spinach sitting there. I got nothing.
Here is a picture I took at the doctors long ago in 2014, before Christmas even. Ah…but we were all younger then…..
Here, feast your peepers on the good Old Days!:


meow {heavily edited}

1. Well, I’m back in this year’s Nur Ein again. It’s the ninth one.

2. I sailed in with several panicked emails after a week long cold and a family Easter celebration a minute or so shy of “deadline.” Week Zero is kind of a qualifier. I obsessed about it with a friend but was fine. I had it done, and in less than five hours too! 🙂
3. It’s ridiculous.
4. I put up a more Finished version …

{EDIT: and then … an even MORE finished version than THIS, which I originally put up}
{FURTHER EDIT: for some reason, once again, the ‘philosophywithfries-y’ linky is not ka-working. Ack. Flarg. Snurg. Fligg… Gurff.

…at my Newly minted website (it really just goes to my bandcamp. Also, go ahead and click on … Pretty savvy, folks. Tomorrow I’m gonna buy a theme and then I’m gonna start doing STUFF! {addendum: the website faeries are doing magical things and this is all in some kind of process I do not quite Fathom. But it shall all come to pass at Some Point…..}
5. this song isn’t really that great, is getting kinda better 🙂 🙂 🙂 but AND it amuses me. SO I’ll keep working on it probably CERTAINLY until I’m happier with the vocal because I don’t like it yet shall indeed come to like it. It’s blippy MEYOW-LICIOUS.


tunnel light.

I wrote a large collection of unreleased, themed poems last year. They are meant to fall into six booklets. It has come to my attention more and more that, for many reasons, my work is very personal and largely unreleased.

A lot of it comes in the form of blogs, or letters. Gifts or gestures or jokes. There’s a lot of poetry in my songs. Basically I am writing always, even when sick or sad. I may get really overwhelmed and blue and feel as though I am not accomplishing anything because I’m not tacking accomplishments to a bulletin board or having a huge showcase or mounting some epic smash hit cd release world tour of everything.

I get comparative and overwhelmed and it makes me feel small and useless and crazy. And very invisible.

(yes, SXSW is on and I’m not an Epic Hopelessly Over-Busy Uber-Showstopping Musician. I am just me.)

I told a friend of mine, “I think I shall do an album!” and he said “make a Kickstarter for it!” I thought “whatever for?” But then I realized that I could do this and it would fit. And I could fit my projects into the whole plan as well. Because I’m trying to wrap up one area of my life and go into the next one. Work-wise I mean. Anyway, I’m going to spread all my material I’ve collected in front of me and see what I’ve got. I’ve already got quite a whittled-down plan and I’m not quite as confused anymore. But I think it’s important to really my give some honor to what I’ve written, because it’s okay that I write a lot, that I see things and say things and think things. I’m glad to have more material rather than less.

I’ve decided to stop thinking of myself as excessive and exhausting and annoying and to think of myself again as insightful and prolific. It’s easy to focus on getting sucked into the deep drown-y parts of life. It is very overwhelming.

I know I have an audience and they will come to me. They DO come to me 🙂

I was feeling negative for a bit. Now I’m feeling a bit better about things and with the glimmerings of some realistic hope. 🙂 yay me 🙂


I can’t sleep.

(released 16 Apr. 2011 for

I’m having dreams. I wake up and I feel panic attacky because I drown to death. And for the first time I think that I can’t do This thing I want to do with my life …. my work and goals … and that I’m feeling my mortality and that time is deserting me completely and I can’t catch up. I can be pessimistic, but usually I’m not defeatist.

It’s like I didn’t know I was actually playing THAT kind of game with Time; I thought we were having a friendly exchange after dinner and drinks, not a bloodbath death match. So I’m laying beside the card table holding my intestines in, bleeding all over the rug. This is that kind of metaphor – way worse than just not bouncing back like I used to. 

You swim or you drown.

I’ve had this dream before. My stomach hits the ground and I know I’m in the same place I am always in. I’ll get sucked down if I don’t quit being embarrassed about my instincts and ditch these heavy waterlogged clothes before the sharks figure out I’m bleeding to death as I try to make sure the pretty jellyfish and seahorses don’t see me in my knickers. It’s absurd to be drowning, concerned about the sensibilities of carnivorous fish in a world that doesn’t actually exist.

The dreams have a tragically hopeful, lying little boat and usually there’s intimidating music playing off in the distance … the kind I always think i wish i could improv to that, on a boat, in a snazzy little dress, swapping solos in some high demand ensemble with great chemistry all between them. It’s always some fancy dress party on some yacht full of Relaxing Eveningwear Conversations and The Better Cocktails. This time, the music ended and MY music was playing (the song I put in here … which I haven’t thought about for a long time because I’ve been writing a lot.), but with fuller-real orchestra to it. I rarely dream my own music that I’ve already written. If it’s new music, it’s something I’ve yet to write and often I forget it before I wake up.

And usually in this Drowning-Dream, I’m being sucked down in some dark harbor, some place where I can see twinkling city lights and fishing boats and the outlines of buildings – like those places where detectives meet to whisper about conspiracies or where they probably go under those bridges to hide the bodies. But in last night’s dream, I was in the ocean in my sundress with the little sash and my sweater and these cowboy boots that I have and those were dragging me down to the bottom. The boat was very, very far away.

And I died slowly. My lungs filled with water and I felt them explode. I woke up and I blamed my heartburn for the feeling. I have that now and I take medicine for it. I feel old now. I blame fried chicken and a series of disappointments and mild to moderate betrayals. 🙂 Perhaps I am being dramatic.

In all seriousness, I know that I am on the verge of something. My beliefs have been lost in some kind of karmic spin-cycle. When you are not sure where the center of your soul is meant to sit – or whether or not you were ever the sort of person who the universe allows the luxury of having a gentle, loving soul … it takes an adjustment period. I never wanted to grow up to be hard as nails.

Mom would have been 64 this year. I’m so far beyond needing to talk to her it makes me laugh rather than cry. I laugh at myself instead of crying now a lot of the time and it feels reassuring, like a slap of discipline or just jumping in the pool instead of easing in.

Dreams of dying are not supposed to be bad, apparently. They signify peace, or change. Maybe it’s the universe, teaching us. And I think I am probably afraid of something. I keep looking for land. But I know that there’s nothing for me on that boat full of well dressed people.

The boat people would probably just throw me a martini. And then while I was sinking, rather than wanting a lifeboat like a normal person, I’d request another drink.

“of walking on the mines I laid …”

1. woke up on couch from a weird dream.
2. I was in a HUGE field full of tree stumps. They stretched out for eternity.
3. I was wearing a white dress and my new blue sneakers and my multicolored headband with the flowers. I had on my whole wedding ring but was wearing it on a ribbon around my neck. I kept checking to see if the other two pieces of it were there because I don’t wear them any more – just normally my engagement ring on my pointer finger. I had bug earrings like in the Wes Anderson movie Moonrise Kingdom (spoiler alert for links!).
4. I think I had blue in my hair.
5. I had an axe in my hand and I was chopping down a tree with it. It was the only tree left and it had glowing blue light in it.
6. The light around me was very yellow. Occasionally crows flew by.
7. Playing overhead, or in my head was that Sting song about building the city and the fortress (The video is so dated! What is he doing?! The song aged remarkably well).
8. I woke up really slowly but felt really *weird* and Off. Like there is a great deal of work to be done.
9. Without hesitation, I deleted about 80 documents I’ve had lying around, thinking I was going to use them.
10. I’ve also felt more solitary than usual lately. This is a bit worrying seeing as I’m a fairly lone-ish sort anyhow.

Maybe I spring clean in the fall.

I’m real happy there was a chill over the weekend. It was perfect.

1. be nice. 2. be nice…

1. have seen a few “I hate lists” posts now floating around. Am concerned this will be the new Charming Hit Meme.
2. As we all know, this will affect me not at all, as I will continue doing precisely what I always do. However, it may affect your feelings about me if you are a person who is affected by what the Internet tells you is cool.
3. In that vein, I hope dislike buttons and -1s don’t appear and become the new Taco.
4. We should quit hating things. Its tacky. See what I did there? I left out that apostrophe. Yes. I did that on porpoise. It’s a learning experience. It’s so we can all grow. Let’s move on. Let it sit there. Or if the urge becomes too great, go back through everything you’ve written in the past year and look for your own little bobbles. Then we can revisit the topic of criticizing one another! 🙂
6. At Hall and Oates last night, they played the Making My Dreams Come True song for the 1st Encore (yes my titles are fronk). That’s my favorite one. I could tell they would have liked to play new material. Both of them have current stuff that should be seen. I’ll probably write about that soon.
7. Last night I had a dream and Miss Gradenko was playing in the background of it. So I’m gonna be slurking around the house going “no-body but us in here……”
8. Someone … occasionally sometimes … is wrong on the Internet. Or they will disagree with you.
9. Deal.
10. Have a lovely day, filled with tiny hedgehogs and cupcakes and Frolic, or doom and napalm and swear words. It’s totally your decision.


when a person/peoples believe in you, it can be pretty powerful.

Validation goes a long way. Especially in these days of instant social gratification (“look at me! I have posted a photo of Gandalf saying something droll! And someone from the cast of Full House ‘liked’ it!!” (this never happened to me)).. you can grow rather lonely waiting for a project or idea to percolate without an “atta boy/girl/naked squirrel” applied at the right place/time.

This can cause havoc with your discipline. But you get to a point where it’s just not PROFESSIONAL anymore to need constant love and coddling from the folks who surround you in order to work. It is this that has finally made me realize The Thing. The Answer to The Big Question.

When is one a professional?

I used to think “when one gets paid.” After a while, this didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It didn’t make sense to me because people are constantly getting paid to do sub-par work. I have done some of my most ridiculous, unrecognized and informal sit-ins with names that would look nice on my résumé, and I didn’t stick around to pursue further work and schmooze time on further opportunities in some of those directions. I seriously don’t talk about the time I played once at a little show with such-and-such because they’d be all “who the hell is she?” And usually at the time I was being professional in other capacities that look spotty and ridiculous now; mostly getting poorly paid at gigs which don’t matter. But I learned a lot at every gig that didn’t matter – sometimes picking up really important skills that translated well. Usually learning something like “don’t do ThIs or That, it doesn’t work.”

I haven’t been consistently paid in a long time. When those days do come, I bet the source/s of income will look very different than I ever imagined they might. I’m going to have to get creative to succeed at being me, and make up being profitable at it; simply because I don’t think that way. I haven’t even gotten the foot out the door of “make really bad ass content available.” Moving out of Thinking time into Doing is scary, particularly when you shut the door because it’s time for your Validating Individuals who Love and Care to do Their Own Things and Not Your Drama. Then it is All You and Oh My God I need cake right now.

And so, what do I think, of Work?

I think I am producing content. I think that I’m busy. Perhaps I am working, even. But I don’t know if I’m getting the job done. I may have to write another job description, and fire my ass. Perhaps I will hire another Me.

I certainly feel like I work all the time. At the moment, most of the things that I do I think of as practice, to justify the unpaid nature of it all. But I have withdrawn a bit because I have things on the back burner that are not items for practice. I “haven’t had time” to do them. I’ve been distracted.

I think it might have something to do with validation, with belief. When I started doing these contests, for instance, they were a mixed blessing. They came with communities. And the communities both held you up and back. When you’re in a group of people, you start feeling like you should do things to fit the mold, even if it hasn’t been communicated that you should. That’s just crowd ethic, perhaps. It’s not law though.

Joining communities that do things recreationally that I’m trying to break into professionally, even if the lines are really blurry, is going to continue to confuse me. It’s silly not to keep it up since I think I’ve made some lifelong relationships; but it’s also dumb to let my whole life continue to be swallowed up by it all.

I played some songs I wrote in the early 2000s. Some even earlier. I was already doing well. I was writing with confidence. I had a style I owned. Lately, I write songs as though I listened to song reviews, tried to insert several other people’s concepts of how to write hooks, and then lost how I put stories down into words to sing against verses. And I need to take what I have been given and remember how I used to flow with it.

I love my work and lately, I haven’t as much. But I think it’s slowly starting to change back.

I keep Almost finding an audience, a niche. Then I pull back, last second, and settle into the warm womb of relationships. Collaboration. I don’t trust my own gut. I don’t sit in my own silence. I’ve always trusted what I had to say before. This fear is a new thing, brought on by too many surrounding voices. Too much need for approval and too much stimuli.

It’s been both good and bad. Mostly good.

I think it’s about balance. And the things that stick, you keep. Hopefully, the rest shakes off okay.

Spaghetti Brained Blog Entry. Read at your Peril.

1. I’ve been Social Nyet-working and calling this blogging and ignoring things here because it has been a reminder that I am not properly set up on my own Situation yet. That being my Website-like-a-normal-person-which-I-own. Computer Situations fill me with dread. I’ve given myself a hard deadline and a Shame Schedule. This is a good thing. Seriously. It’s not bad shame, it’s the motivational kind. I don’t know what that means, so here is a limerick.

By the River there lived a Crude frog
He swam out to sit on a log
he pulled down his pants
and did a Lewd Dance
and he ought to be ashamed of himself…

2. See. That’s Poem shame. That’s just healthy good sense.

3. Haha! As we can air-plane-ly see, reality has deserted me for the evening.
4. I have made several charming videos of myself playing a few of the songs I wrote for songfight recently. I’ll post some when I decide which ones make me look cool and like I regularly comb my hair and do laundry.

5. I am totally professional and really worth looking into and not just Yanking Your Chain (I’m using the royal You. Earlier today I used the royal We. I could get accustomed to that.). By now you have figured out that this is a blog that is a waste of your time and is about nothing.

6. I ate chocolate today and listened to some well recorded jazz. The chocolate had orange in it. They have bacon in the chocolate now. Bacon is the new cupcake, which was the new taco, I suppose. I had a taco as well. There’s peach pie here too. I don’t sound real healthy, do I?

7. I need to listen to music more. It’s probably odd to hear a musician say this because I hear musicians talk lots about how they are always listening to music and I am often overwhelmed by stimuli and would like to live in a silent cave (not really, i fear bats. there used to be bats in college at the music building. one flew at me in a practice room. I’m not lying.). But I guess CaveFishy-ness is Bad Behavior when we are considering the worthy quest to be come a well rounded individual (not just a round individual, which will happen if I eat all of the pie tomorrow 🙂 yumyumyum).

7.5- also we’re going to brunch tomorrow. Austinites are addicted to brunch.
7.75-Same with reading as with music though. I probably need to go back into another Research and Development phase. I was in one a few years ago and it felt really good. Then I got really overwhelmed by Information and my Filters broke. This turns you into a babbling idiot and it’s hard to make content when you are hiding from the Internet because you feel like if you go outside you will be killed by a flying library. That would be a good way to go, if one had to. But it’s hard to think..

8. I’ve hermitted and made a lot of content. I’ve been pretty strict about what goes in my ears. A lot has to do with proximity, obligation, and my relationships. I think I’d like to start pursuing interests that just reflect things I like. I’m afraid that I will like things that everyone else hates though. I really sometimes like to hear the beginning of a song over and over. Or just the way someone sings one word. What if I like something really “lame?” I fear sometimes I have no taste. But isn’t this one of those things?

I have a lot of questions and am finding things objectionable today. Many things have been highly annoying.

9. This blog is really scattered. I should probably not hit Publish.

I owe a few people some phone calls and I know this.