lobster olympics

Here is a list I started a while ago, but it’s relevant today, so I changed some stuff and out it goes.

1. Duality is on for two more days over at Geeky Pleasures. I’ve triple-quadruple sexdaduple blogged about it, so there we go. There’s links all up and down this particular blog thang’s main page. I think there’s even one for Geeky Pleasures.
2. If you are a artifictioner, there’s some other lists there.
3. I’m going through a transition phase. I’ve written two sets of song lyrics about it. One was really good. But I think the second one REALLY shines. Too bad my computer is a mess, and I have only put out the song about the insane asylum which fit neatly into a song contest Prompt (more on that later)
3-and-a-half. This is not That Blog about That.
4. I think I just reached a break-through in organization.
5. I’m disappointed though. I wanted to upload an old track that I didn’t realize was finished, even though it’s not finished. Except that it is finished. Or not. Lots of “Ack” on this one.
6. I learned over the past couple of days that just because I am a Xondorian; this does not mean that I am not a person. I’m complicated and require effort. I guess I’m “weird,” which has been discussed before. I’m okay with this. But it’s tough to sustain the attention span for that.
7. I have been thinking much about outlook this week. How I should feel and how I should be. I don’t like the word “should.” I like the word “me.” I know there is a word “is;” that it “is what it is.” Nobody really knows what’s going on. I think too much about these things. But what if I decided to be okay? I think when I expect the best, it shouldn’t really that laughable. I know that I said reality doesn’t respect desire … but reality is a thing to be pushed through and moved off to the side and shoved and said excuse me to – like passengers on a train, or water, or wheat. It’s malleable. It’s not a wall you can’t climb or a box you can’t get out of. If your reality is a bucket and your people are lobsters pulling you down… well I’m not sure what the exit strategy is for that. I did it once and it was messed up! What I DO remember about that though is that you can’t FORCE other lobsters to come with you if you are determined to “level up.” you can extend your hand, or remain linked with your team, or just whatever it is you do. But you can’t FORCE people on board with you. It’s just not possible.

Water CAN actually move uphill, but it takes effort and is expensive. Ultimately, you have to decide if a Thing is Worth the Trouble; or if it’s Trouble at all or a Pleasure. Is the water going to look very pretty moving uphill, like at a beautiful fountain at a restaurant? something really nice?

You have to decide if you love it.

I want to evolve.

8. All my projects are about the same thing right now. I’m at that comfortable place where I’d do these things if I wasn’t getting paid, which is good because I’m not. I am a lucky little thing to have these luxuries. I know that there’s a trade off too, and that I am extremely UNlucky with the lottery ticket I got for so many other things. It could so easily be that I could have no resources and MUCH trouble. And the trouble I would have with no resources would be mighty. Sometimes, I do give myself credit and think that perhaps alone I COULD find my way out of a paper bag, as I did once long ago. Sorta.

It’s also BAD because I’m not getting paid though – because I SHOULD be, because I’m good at what I do. I would rather not do aspects of what I do TO get paid that make me too sick to my stomach to have leftovers for what I love. I have to look at everything with a critical eye. Is the money worth it, are the people worth it, will I level up (this is actually important and a real concern – and it’s not realistic not to look at things this way because access to inner rooms is Useful and Important)? Is it a pain in the ass?

Do I love it?

9. Sometimes if you love something it must take a back seat to these other practical things. Your duty calls. Of course, at some point there is health to consider. Are you killing your own soul? If you have given up practicing the piano because you are too busy managing your social networking because there’s too much crap on your desktop; does this make your soul hurt? Can you do some juggling? (the answer is yes, I learned at an Extremely Useful blogging convention which made me stop thinking of the Internet as an Evil Time-sucking waste… but as a reality we can mold ourselves and put limits and boundaries to; because it is a Real World). I invested about two days of my time into really UTILIZING the lists of twitter, and into creating Facebook filters. Now I’ve cut my time in half and can zero in what I’m spending time on and why.

After all, life is tick-ticking away… and each minute I do something unpleasant is another win for some “The Man” in the sky or in The Pantry of Time or the weirdos sitting on the Lobster Jury back at the Pooliard School of Crustacean Music. #thatwasbad #ihashtaggedablog

10. I am still not good at this yet. The clearing of my mind will make this better. I will get smarter and more organized about where things should go. Already, clutter is falling off. I’m deleting things like mad and it feels really good. There are still uncertainties, but I have a Trustable Gut.

11. I wonder if any of the lobsters ever loved their way out of the bucket. Because any time I do anything with Heart, that’s when I get somewhere. It may not be where I was aiming, but it’s to another level of some kind.

12. There has been synchronicity all around. People have been reminding me that there are patterns and signs and that my feelings are valid and true and real. And that it’s okay. And that I’ll be okay. I am not a problem.

Just because you’re paranoid / don’t mean @Hodgman’s not after you…

1. I have had a Hell of a Week…
2. There have been a few people who have really helped me.
3. Things at home are doing okay.
4. My relationships that are closest to me, you know… like my marraige and stuff, are doing well and we’re communicating and all that good stuff.
5. Me and Randall are doing pretty well and I’m starting to get the house done. The deadline for the studio and the house being sorted out by my birthday is looking feasible.
6. Things in Duality are doing well and Joe and I are running a pretty tight ship. He is helping me and is VERY understanding…
7. I have good friends who care, both offline AND especially right now Online… and a GREAT online community that I’m part of…

All this is good right now, because:
8. Things inside Denise are NOT doing okay. My body is trying to destroy itself from the inside out, and if it has its way it will do its fair well best to ruin all the good things I have built.
9. My medicine has reached epic proportions of stupidity. Right now I have this ridicu-rash that makes me feel like some kind of leprous mutant.
10. I am also hallucinating slightly. I didn’t want to say this because it makes me sound a little insane… but:

11. I am afraid that I am going to get on a blog, or on Twitter, or on some other thing, and say something insane, like that the aliens have invaded, or that my husband is a zombie, or that Joe and I are going to go to the capitol and take over the government because we have just written a song about international sandwich spread that is going to change the nation even though he is not an American citizen, or that my feet have turned purple, or that Randall has invented an edible microphone and while I was sleeping he’s installed it in my stomach so that I am afraid to eat anything… or some paranoid crap like that.

See how insane I sound?!

This is why I decided to get off Twitter until I had gotten it “All Done.”

But I don’t know that isolation is necesscelery the best thing for me. Or minding my Ps and Qs as the Successful Musicians that I have Come to Admire do.

I think that what I will do is just continue to behave poorly as I do and hope that my insanity will continue to entertain.

I had an artifiction list that I didn’t post and was going to put in my NaNoWriMo project. I think I’ll release it. Rather than deleting my artifiction account, as I was thinking of doing earlier because I thought that it was being monitored and people were going to read my lists and bring Trouble to the Site.

This is about how it was when I got so freaky that I had to skip the moleman round of Song Fu Five because John Hodgman was on TV and commericals and other stuff all week and I thought he was stalking me mentally and I got very paranoid. So I did these vuh-blogs about how it was all a conspiracy and a sign and stuff and decided it would be better to avoid the whole thing.

Later I wrote the Beatrice Knifetongue song; but I was convinced that he was on some radio brain frequency trying to influence my decisions, because I had written my customary six or seven songs! It’s hard when you think celebrities are stalking you. I hope that a real celebrity NEVER stalks me because I am actually crazy and they so actually could probably succeed at doing it and no one would ever believe my protestations because my paranoia is well known!

See how silly it all is?


No Coincidences (a tribute and half-a-songstory)/ PT 1

1. My mother died of cancer of the ovaries in August of 2007. This was over 3 years ago. Ever since then I have grown more and more vague and alien and strange.

“no one’s really from anywhere, I s’pose”

My mother was my touchstone, and the only human who understood me, really. She got it. When everyone else put me in a place – defined me – told me how It Should Be, she put my choices out in front of me on a table and showed me what I already knew. She believed in the Worth of Me. I was not a person who was saved by anything. Not by my upbringing, not by my assets, not by my education, not by any relationship or friends or lover or husband or career or house or job or station in life I might choose.

But By Me.

Just me. My own pursuit of happiness.

If I was naked on my own island with a palm tree and a stick with which to fish and fashion a dwelling and a spear and I made it work. If I figured out how to sing and make instruments, whatever. I pursue my own happiness. This is what I learned. This is an extreme situation. This is the Castaway situation. I know that the volleyball with Wilson painted on it is kind of a jokey antenna-ball to people, and that everyone laughs when they watch ‘Big Bang Theory’ and that episode where the main guy talks about the hugging machine comes on. But I think about that and I GET it. Because sometimes I am very isolated. Which is very hard to believe because I Am A Lucky, Lucky, LUCKY, Girl.

I know. That was a long #1.

2. My husband, who is a good companion and a GREAT husband despite how I make my life sound sometimes (#top1%of1%offirstworldproblems); brought up an experience that we shared while we watched the Darjeeling Limited. They were all in the wilderness watching the stars, listening to Clair de Lune. My mother wanted it played at her memorial service. I gave the talk at her service. It was hard. I cannot describe the movie, the song, the other songs that were played, the Whole Thing About the Beatles … I won’t go on to keep talking about the distinct lack of Coincidences in my life or how I have been brutally and tragically wrong about the patterns of intimacy I’ve seen between things and places and people before. I am not a very good human when I try to be one.

3. I feel as though I live in a mean, mean world and that I cannot play hardball very well. I am a very subtle creature and my process is kind of refined and careful. It’s been really hard for me to learn to stick my neck out. Hard for me in these contests to come forward and learn to work quickly. Let alone to play nicely with others. It’s a game of Extreme Trust. And I take things far too seriously. And I learn that for some odd reason I am not really given the same levity to ascribe sacredness to my work as others are to theirs. It’s an odd minefield.

4. This brings me to a state of calmness that I hit recently. I feel like I’ve been sitting in a corner with my arms around my knees. I’ve wanted to write explanations. Lists. Song Bios. Not just of my recent song contest song, which I do not have a song bio for because I did not originate the lyrics – nor do I know anything about Dundee.. in a way that would be pertinent or meaningful to contribute to a song. I have wanted to write bios of my other songs, starting at Song Fu and leading outward. And I realize that I am both a very great self-revealer and a very great liar who is full of fear.

5. So the calmness. I clicked on Paul Potts’ review feeling very tired indeed. I’d written pages and pages of disorganized things. A half-restaurant review. Photographs and their explanations. I’ve filmed several videos, and gotten a few more out of catalogue. It’s all meaningless.

But Paul. His words were just … refreshing. He was frank. He was constructive. He was on. He was a member of a community. He shot from the hip but not with a firearm. He wanted to build up and not destroy. It was as though he wanted to make something. It was as though he came from a rich tradition of musicians who have always been trying to build a collective of cooperation.

I was reminded instantly of other things he has said over time. Things I don’t dare say. Silly pipe dreams that old married women are not supposed to talk about. We are supposed to be home with our husbands. We are not supposed to become excited by the way certain songs go and to the way our community responds to them … so much so that we think we see patterns and vindication for other horrid things in our lives. So much so that we take chances and build structures even though it seems that at times I am trying to combine a couple ridiculous ingredients with Duality. Like I am a very small piano player who is certain to get lost in this crowd of sultry and rich large-strong-chord playing females with my silly wrong-noted-tentative step-lightly-around the thought… not committing, not wanting to Tell It All. And my child-woman voice that does not want to committ to the tune and that’s just How It Is. And I try to combine it with El Scot of the Soaring Theatrics and the Sweeping Fan Club. Langworthy said once it was like trying to combine steak and jello salad in a blender. Niveous actually said that maybe doing ‘End of the World’ the way we did wasn’t playing to our strengths. I don’t know what Joe will say to this. He is very Protective of the way we do things and the way things end up being done. So much that I feel comfortable discussing it less and less. But we are both closed loops, in a way.

He lets himself out in short bursts in Tweets. When I try to do that too much I just get stupider and stupider. and whiny.

Joe though. Not a diarist, but yes a writer.

Well, anyway. It was the combination of JoAnn’s review and our review and Edric’s review that made me think “yes, you have explained it exactly, and with great respect!”

I did not write the words to our song, or the lyrics. I wrote a complicated piano part, which Joe in the end moved a few notes around in to fit his words, even. So he even did some engineering. I didn’t even really get to mess with the piano to my fullest delight. But this song seized him and to coin a phrase backwards, it IS *HIS* Dundee …. I only know enough about it, from what I have heard tell and seen in a few photos, to give it to its rightful owner, where it belongs.



I follow @JustHeather on Twitter. She’s cool.
She’s Spencer‘s wife who is one of the motley crew over doing Our Little Thang At That Place.

She posted something funny about her kids washing dishes and it reminded me of this poem…

How Not To Have To Dry the Dishes
By Shel Silverstein

If you have to dry the dishes
(Such an awful, boring chore)
If you have to dry the dishes
(‘Stead of going to the store)
If you have to dry the dishes
And you drop one on the floor—
Maybe they won’t let you
Dry the dishes anymore.

(I’ll find more links when I quit sweatin’!)

On Being Careful

1. There is a reason for lists. Lists separate things into biteable chunks and make things easier to digest. You can agree with 1, and then 3-7, but not 2, and 8-10 … only feeling 60% negatively about it. You don’t go away with a bad tinge in your mouth. This seemed like basic math to me.
2. Denise math doesn’t work the same as other math.
3. I’ve been a diarist and an over-sharer for a long time. I thought a long time before typing that word.
4. Writing words like “over-sharer” are risky; just like phrases like “This live recording sounds like ass and I don’t want to release it,” or “This shirt is not flattering” or “This song has a sub-par vocal track so I am surprised it is doing so well in the voting.”

Which are statements of fact.

Typing these sentences is also a risk because standing up for yourself is difficult. And I have been painted with a certain brush my whole life. Don’t know what it is about me … I think that I might have something sticking to me – and I think it fixes it so that I shouldn’t criticize myself. No… not even just criticize – critique, even. Because when I do- I feel nailed for it. This is why having a blog has been so risky for me. When I blog, it feels like a diary that I am tempted to write down every thought in.

I can’t help but feels a little embittered though, when I see a sea of other women, and men who are “down on themselves;” and I seem to be one who often gets called out for a lack of self-confidence up to the point of being very seriously mentally troubled (with labels that would and have been career-stoppers, for me). There definitely is no shame in getting help, but sometimes, there are unfortunate consequences for needing it. And I notice that it is actually true that there ARE people who self-flagellate FAR more often and MUCH more violently than I do. There are turns of phrase I don’t say to myself. The only area I REALLY need to work on this is during practice time, when I can actually be really harsh. This is bad habit more than anything, left over from music school – where I feel I was trained to call myself “stupid” for missing notes. Not helpful (now THAT was a risk, to share that, and I imagine pads of papers and pencils being drawn out and my whole blog being ignored now for THAT statement).

I could give examples of people around us who we all admire a lot who say things about themselves that if I said them, I’d probably be in serious psycho-trouble online AND at home. These people don’t get painted though. Maybe it is because they have bigger careers or are higher up on the pole and obviously have hella self-confidence; wouldn’t need the advice or the boost up; wouldn’t need to be told not to be so hard on themselves; wouldn’t need to be reminded that this thing we do really isn’t that hard core.  I won’t point it out to these really talented people that they too probably should shut their yaps and be more positive or maybe they will get called out like me someday, certainly not in public. We’re all going through it so sometimes if it occurs to me I just say something. Sometimes I don’t. But this doesn’t mean I’m better or worse because I do or don’t say something in a particular way. I appreciate any attention. Even if I have to clean up afterward.

But I will say this once, and only once. This thing we do is and can be hard core. If you’re not on the ball about things, the days pass you by – this is just how it is. If you get less sleep – you have more time to do things. If you get more rest, you are a more quality person during the hours you are awake. You have to do body-math. I will say that I am a professional and have been all my life regardless of whether or not I am currently being paid.

But I should be further along on my road than I am, because the particular things that *I* do and that *I* am good at and that only *I* can do … I’m very good at. Given time and focus, with little distractions, there’s no telling what could really happen. I don’t see anyone that makes me feel bad or jealous. I think I’m on a par or more equipped than everyone I meet in some way, and when I meet someone who is better than me I take what I like from them and add to what I know.  I speak in generalities sometimes, so it’s hard to understand me, but there it is.

Saying I should be a lot further along is not a statement about how I should push myself, it’s a risky statement of fact. I’m not flagellating myself, I’m looking back on a series of setbacks, unfortunate occurences, and sometimes … mistakes that have led me to the point where I’ve been “held back more than a few grades.” In my case, it has proved disastrous more than once to get into explanations. So *I don’t go there.* It’s private. I’ve said too much about it already. Much of this blog and this “sharing” is as close as I come to doing something against myself, if you want to know the truth, because I have extended vulnerability in an attempt to say yes … I know I am okay.

Why this, you wonder? Well, I do overshare. I’ve been talking about my feelings with loose tongue. On here. In chat. I have started trusting. And I have forgotten that for some reason, I don’t necessarily have that luxury. I don’t have a lot of time. I have a job. If I ever DO want to make this a living where I DO something with it, I can’t go around diffusing these sorts of bombs.

Because that is not who I am.

Now later I will fix the link to my nur ein contest song. I don’t think it will win the round, certainly – there are problems. It’s much better than round one though and I think that if I get to round two I can probably get even better with more prep time (which was what I lacked this week.)


ps. Comments can be sent to me directly on twitter or wherever else you normally go about finding me directly as an individual.


I am about to clean my house and cut a song. I will be doing both these things at the same time. It is like a cathartic thing. The song needs to be done by tomorrow. I am hoping to have things substantially nice around here by the time we go out of town. We’re going to a major cigar event and I’d like to have my other blog out of obscurity and up and running, as well as the twittering I never really do from my cigar-related place. That’s a part of my life I haven’t been able to relax into, and it feeds a social part of me that I’ve really been ignoring. The going to Ruta Maya/Habana House part and writing a review. I used to multi-task a lot better than this. I used to not be so bogged down in work that I couldn’t really follow through on and finish.

It’s all about lists, I think. And mine has gotten away from me too fast, and too big. I want to do everything, and in order to do that, you need a lot of help. I am not a big enough person to tackle all of that in the right order; to know how to do it. So I need to stick to my original plan, and remember why I do the things I do in the first place. Luckily I am a pack rat, and I remember exactly where I put the last bookmark. It’s like I imagine a sewing or knitting mistake to be. Unravelling something. I don’t really know, but it seems both tedious and rewarding at the same go. It’s conducive to getting me back into being happy alone and oblivious.

Any interest I got from people (small though it was) really shocked the hell out of me. It’s shocked me both online and locally with people who become my friends. I don’t do compliments well, although I crave them as I crave love and attention (even though I fear it and need my solitude). If I could shield myself from all people somehow (AND still get the exposure needed to grow a profitable music career that would sustain me and my family + allow me to practice and create + be desirable as a collaborator); if I could be veryAlone and not get lonely … if I could pick and choose my times and not alienate …

well, that would be selfish, wouldn’t it? Yes. Selfish. But I am a selfish creature. I love the humans but I do not play well with them and I like my cave and I sit in it and I want to be veryvery alone. But it’s LONELY there. So I am always Not Okay. Unless I am at the piano. Then I do not think of anything. Everything dissipates. And my attention is caught again if something is shined at me (usually a discussion of something I love. like a piano. or something related to this thing I love).

I think about this online endeavour and my goals for it. I never do anything without thought for how it fits into what I do musically. I’ve always been goal oriented, I used to be this way about writing, now it’s wrapped up into the both things. But online is awkward for me. I met my husband online, yes, so I’m not incredulous about it.

But it is so much easier to be whoever you want (or not) online. It’s made it easier for me to hide myself away. I can really focus on being the queen-bee of vague. I did it in Song Fu rather well. Song Fu is really a personal story of what I went through physically as a woman, dealing with songwriting challenges and personal feelings about coming out of one mental transition into another. Moving from one group of persons to another. Hopes and dreams and fears and feelings. I put it all on the line. And now it’s time for me to make another “album” of sorts where I start revealing other things. Or maybe mixing the things I reveal with a more streamlined, professional approach into the working process.

We’ll see how that goes. I already know that it sounds very … different in my head and I have already started bringing in characters who are not me to supplement my experiences in the songs. So if you start hearing far-fetched things in my music … now you will know – why.

And at this point, after the rain-stormy horrible-but-wonderful mistakes I made in this me-scented-charade…. why wouldn’t I?

Dear Internet (but not really)

1. I have a gig. Today this isn’t a good thing. Missing it isn’t an option.
2. I’m starving. But eating isn’t really an option either for the same reason that missing the gig isn’t an option. Or rather, eating will cause the missing of the gig. Which is unfortunate. I’ll do what I can.
3. Writing and checking in with writing all day has calmed me down. I know that I’m disconnecting, because I’m not even all that worried about the ning thing. Not even enough to post a link to the letter. Not really even enough to post links to anything.
4. I have no feelings for anything about anyone today. I am feeling really cold and unaffected and clinical.
5. Why did I title the post this? Oh yeah.

I have a lot of work to do right now. I counted up the projects. There are 32 active projects. That’s just stupid. They are not all marked “urgent.” Many of them are just mine … just things I am doing. So many of them are different things for people, one person doesn’t really know about the other, different aspects of my life, blah-blah-blah.

I think there are really just 12 things that HAVE to get done. Maybe 7 that need doing by this weekend’s end. Oh wait … no eight. That’s not too horrible. That’s 8 music things. Not eight life things. I still have to function and be a Productive Wife and Member of a Family and Human Being in a Community of Folks Who Give a Rat’s Ass.

(by the way, Mike does not put these ideas in my head. he is very nice. i am a goober.)

[aside. my iPhone just totally FREAKED OUT on me. it’s sync-ing with my brain!]

But I will have to get stuff done, is what I’m saying. And if I feel like I’ve got the loose ends I have to say something. So I’m writing a letter to “myself” which is up here now so that I can say, “enough already” … if you’re distracted Mz. D, it’s Enigma Variations time. You’re grounded from the internet. There is too much stimuli. Because what if there’s a hostile takeover or something. An asparagus shortage. An alien landing and they don’t care about us but they have only come here to steal our mayonnaise. Gah! That would be a tragedy!

(why would the aliens need mayo? couldn’t they make it themselves?)

This is less a blog right now than a chronicle of my slow-slip into insanity! I really wanted this to be A Professional Thing. I am A Professional.

Hah. Not So Much. But my songs are hardly professional either, are they. And all the while I do this, I’m working in the back of my skull.

I suppose I should take the good with the bad and just let it happen as it does and do what I need to do to care for myself. Whatever is distracting. 🙂


Twitter / drama / TMA / Crash

So I just got on to Twitter, and I noticed that we should get our T-shirts for Fu now … which makes it look like to me that it’s all getting retired. And I realize that it’s true that all my trying, and being positive, and loving SongFu, and being better – even up to the point where


A @@#(U#$ FUCp9@#($#@$ HOUSEWIFE won round three… which I suppose is fairly forgettable if you like,

doesn’t really matter.

Nothing I can say will change anything. Actually I was going to post this nice blog below, when some bs started today that I was unhappy with.

I’ve known Uber-folk. I’ve listened to us debate the definition of uber-folk, misunderstand the application of the meaning of uberfolk, stick to our guns of offense over the concept of uberfolk … whatever. Well, I’ve been scoffed at by uber-folk. I’ve known people who know people who know uber folk. I have stories about uber folk. Charming stories. If I twisted a little bit to the left a couple times or wore a different sweater or dated another guy or chose another reverb or whatever the hell, perhaps I’d be uber enough to be turning everyone down due to an egregious schedule. It would be valid. I had a teenager once. If I still were in that sitch, I wouldn’t have had time for any fu … so I can imagine that it would be difficult to do any kind of quality participation in a contest with no compensation with a busy season.

Fame and a good working showbiz thing … It’s a combo of sweat and luck. But luck and timing are in there. And the thing about luck and timing is that you have to be there. And you have to be smart and you have to get into the right place.

I’m not being smart anymore. It’s throwing off my game. I’ve hung my hat on other pegs and I don’t have the control I used to over things. And it’s dumb. Lately, I can look at several decisions I’ve made squarely in the face and say “well, that’s just plain dumb!”

###below is my post. I declined to post it after being told it was “one-sentence-y.” I don’t know what that means, and now … I don’t care, so I’m posting it anyway.

well. i knew this day would come.

what would my two cents be?

it doesn’t matter. the thoughts don’t really matter. really it just is what it is.

i’m sad. i hate this. how do i make it stop?

I’ve started talking more about my life in a desperate effort to be known. It gets addictive. I feel I have an online family. I don’t know. In a way it’s been nice. Somewhat nicer than being “outside.” Nice for a person like me who has my particular issues and failings and challenges.

But I’ve come to understand that I really rely on everything to function in the associations that I’ve built up around me here. I’ve become all too attached to things. When pointed out that it’s like a game and it doesn’t really matter; I think that yes … it does. these are real people in real life thinking and feeling real things …

I’ve completely lost perspective and am deeply upset over the goings on of people I’ve never met. People I have to hold back the flow of over-sharing myself with because it’s inappropriate. And they don’t really see my retreat from the intensity of emotion they provoke. They don’t see the crash. They don’t see my over-involvement. They don’t SEE me “laughing out loud.”

They don’t see how they can make me weep and cuss and cry and some times need. But yes … weep and cry lotsandlots.

And I need to work. I’ve become accustomed to a certain amount of work over the years. A certain type of work. busydenneedstobebusy. pianodenneedstomakepianos. That’s the geeky part of me. I do piano geeky things.

I’m definitely a square peg. And as I read arguments by other people about other people defended in the words of people on subjects that have less-and-less to do with what I am all about over time (and those who know me, know this!) … I am sad because of the massive amounts of love I have. But I want to slip down into the warm hole I am originally from and go back to my softwetcrazysillyplace where I just write and the more people who come, the better it gets. The simple fact is that. Where if I do well in something score-wise … it’s a nice surprise. Where if I could have done something crazy like my friend says:

HE SAYS: “Oh, wow … SECOND PLACE??? … we’ve gotta get you the votes to beat that Lombardo guy!” (no one even knows ‘that Lombardo guy.’ He’s a young piano gigger from New York and I am a hermit-housewife who plays provocative and weird little impressionistic little songs and occasionally an overly folksy little twangly guitar with clinks in all the wrong places. and some drum).

[Giggle] “That’d be awesome!” I SAY THIS WHILE DRINKING MORE BELGIAN ALE … although I hesitate to say whether or not it’s really Belgian. Or to try to spell it. It starts with “M,” it’s what the menu says, and it’s my second favorite beer (the first being Traquair House Ale 😦 ). [swig]

Of course I don’t win. Of course. because I never win. I never have and I never will. I am okay with this. I’m not someone who leaps to public notice. I have one second place medal from a martial arts tournament I had no business making second place in, just like I had no business making third in this contest. Really, I know that. These are some of my most obscure songs ever. All of them are either partially, totally, or completely inspired by or are about fellow Fu contestants – that are then used for me to work out deeply personal stuff I’ve been letting simmer for years&years. Several Fu-ers and TMAer’s are members of what I joke about as “my 12.”

1. I am wildly inappropriate.
2. I find the ridiculous fascinating.
3. I am overjoyed at cute and wonderful things.
4. I am truly appalled that there is a last place in Fu, because I LOVE Spencer Sokol to death and I went to bandcamp today and downloaded his stuff. Later I may make a link (this does not mean he is on the 12, just because I put him in a list. This does also not mean that he is not on the 12. The first rule of the 12 is that we do not talk about the 12. Anyway, he has a lovely haircut, which reminds me of someone who is on the 12 … and a clever and attractive wife).
5. I sometimes say things that are WILDLY inappropriate. Perhaps I have mentioned this before.
6. I have wanted to leave TMA about 3 times for various reasons, but there are about 3 people on there that have nothing to do with the leaving-reasons who I stay for. I know they would be crushed if I left. I won’t disappoint them.

Maybe that’s why I can’t just … crash. It’s responsibility. Maybe that is what happens when you start to achieve celebrity of any kind. Even a tiny amount of fans. My friend Dave thinks of fans in that way – where the word is from “fanatic.” I think of them as people who like your stuff. Fans can be friends. Maybe that’s where I’m missing the boat.

But maybe it IS when you get just ONE little fan who enjoys your work, your company. Maybe you become a person with “fans” when you have a child, even. Maybe your kid is looking up at you and idol-izing you and loving you and you have to continue walking the earth. Or when you have people around you that are looking up to you and you mentor them in some way. Or your spouse or lover or brother or sister or best friend or whatever thinks you hang the moon … you have to stop being an asshole, or being an asshole to defend whatever-the-bucket from assholes … or stop the chain-of-assholishness, or leave the original perceived asshole behavior, or just let the fact that we live in an asshole culture … just let that all go.

… maybe we have to stop trying to determine which came first, the asshole or the … well … you know. Sorry to be so blunt about it. But you walk away from the stench after a while and go to the garden with your child, your wife, your lover, your collection of lovers (one can only dream!), your online harem, your children, your kittehs, your band, your collaborators, your butchers, your bakers, your candlestick makers, your whoevers …

I don’t know

I don’t make any sense. I just want to be okay. I just want things to stop being so


That was it. The blog entry. I felt better after writing it. But I didn’t post it. I posted little short blogs instead and felt impotent. I even talked to Spencer online about his general awesomeness.

Since then, I have pulled out of TMA, and I’m sorry to people for that. But I don’t think that I am strong enough to hang around when things are constantly changing and people are so inconsistent, mean to one another, and wish-wash about how things will be conducted and with who. And when people change their minds, they are grilled and filleted. That’s not right. This is art. We are artists. We don’t need to be so rough with one another. We need to be more gentle. More polite. It hurts me to see ugliness. So I will try to find yet another place where it’s less ugly. I haven’t found one yet. Maybe the whole world is awful.

Maybe that’s why I live in a cave.

But what’s the point of TMA if there’s no Song Fu? I’m a Song Fu contestant. And I felt something was coming over the horizon. Without Song Fu we’re just all going to wait for our assignments for the new project that’s been discussed. I have some April projects coming up and I should start booking more gigs locally. I haven’t been doing that because, frankly, I was excited about what was happening online with Song Fu.

I’m sorry that I was not only not famous enough for one set, but for ANYONE to take enough notice of. I tried. I really tried. I will take my silliness and go elsewhere. I just wanted some artistry and peace. It was helping me get on track after I had to quit for reasons I won’t get into. Personal reasons, and health reasons, and professional reasons, and finally family reasons that I would think other humans would really connect with.

I guess I am not very inspiring in that regard though.

Oh well. As they say in auditions everywhere in “the biz…”


Girls. Chapter 1.

So, there’s this girl, right?

A lot of people know her. I just started to know her. She writes and tweets and is part of the community thing I’ve become totally addicted to.

She likes to dance and she wrote a nifty post and a poem and it hit me in the diaphragm. So I remembered something I wrote. I don’t know why. I also do not know why I am up at 6 in the morning.

Well, yeah I do. I’m up at six in the morning because I’m worried the very large cup with the very small amount of OJ in it that is my career. I’m serious about the OJ. It’s good for you. But it’s a shitty metaphor and I’m dead-dog tired.

Let’s just shake that one off, shall we?

What’s news? Well, I’ve done a track that I’ve done already twice before. This will be the third time that I have done the same project. I literally can’t do this project again. And yet, I will. I have this feeling that I will be recording this track … again. This track that is the bane of my existence. I shouldn’t have looked at it. Shouldn’t have touched it with a ten-footer. And yet I go back and back again. And maybe it will color everything I do here. I don’t know. Maybe I am just tired. But it seems like I’m starting to rack up a track record of misses and ennui. I don’t know. I’ll have to see. Maybe I’m not giving it enough time.

I think there’s something psychological about all this.

I need to figure it out right quick too, because I have real stuff coming up in April. Real live, local stuff which could lead to stuff that I will start getting paid for. That could lead to other stuff which leads to more stuff which leads to stuff which helps me. I can’t afford to get psyched out because I don’t think I’m good enough and I question the way I do things every track.

Anyway. Butt-o’clock in the morning is no time to be pondering these thoughts. About the poem: I should be all dramatic, and leave you with it. I wrote it when I was leaving a sitch that was really trapping me, a few years ago. I remembered it now.


When I say “release”
I am not talking of orgasm
I am speaking of the chains fallen
Limp! – Impotent!
to the ground

The soaring, flying phrases of an aria
carrying me away from the detritus
of the expectation
that I will stay in my cage and be quiet
for you

I rub my ankles, I had never been sure
that they were there, that I even
possessed ankles!
No one is standing with a gun at the door
No one is keeping me here
And the sky outside
is blue, with only a few
dark clouds.

Keys and Lies

This is a blog about my SongFu shadow entry. It’s going to be very stream of consciousness, as I go …

One of the things about this story is that it’s DIFFERENT from the original Bluebeard song! This is because it is a different wife. The first wife I envisioned for my king I had to make up. This is because Joe made me very, very nervous.

Joe isn’t just older than me agewise, he’s fuller and richer sounding than me. He has a more sophisticated sounding accent to me (to my ears). When he records himself, he often does this “man on the march with a very large army” thing with chorus-type effect and it makes him seem very present. Whereas I sound often very young and thin. I often wrinkle around the pitch and I haven’t quite come into the bottom-out of my range. I can feel it coming, but it hasn’t arrived yet. I think we work in a duet sitch because our vibratos just happen to match up. It’s odd because our voices do not. The only way I resolved this problem was to make a character piece till I learn the puzzle around our vocal chemistry better.

The basic thing is that he’s a remote cold ruler of a country and my first wife is a young and easily impressionable childlike slip of a girl that is completely overcome by this man. He teaches her EVERYTHING about love and she is lost in him. But yeah, curiosity kills the cat. She finds the key and all the women are hanging on the hooks.

It makes me want to finish it, in a trilogy. How did he become a serial killer? Hmmm. I swear I’m not a psychopath! Maybe I want an album of feminist fairy tale songs.

The story didn’t feel over. I wanted this king dead. And the real story is about the wife that is saved. I don’t like that. I want the girl to save herself. So I change the story. I want her to poison him. I think poison is very romantic. Maybe she has a cool ring that she keeps poison in. Maybe it’s the ring that the previous wife (who was her friend, after all!) didn’t have the good sense not to use at the first awkward breakfast after that stupid business trip to the orient where he went to get the textiles or whatever it is he does overseas …)

There’s an argument happening in a development happening between this husband and wife leading up to the line “what will you kill me for / I’ll kill you for – curiosity” The characters are not in sync. The facade of the marriage is starting to fall apart. It’s all based on sex and mourning for a mutual love. The wife was too fascinated with the intense love story of the original Bluebeard marriage (“I watched you love her” – from the first stanza), and Bluebeard was kinda (sorry!) sexing his troubles away with her. This new wife is very sensual … but not “the one.”

This is because Bluebeard has a problem with women. But he screwed up because he fell in love with the one from FuSixRound 2 and now he’s acting out. He really should stop killing his women. Perhaps he needs a ‘shrink.

In the blues part, it’s pretty certain that they do have a bit of a thing for each other. They certainly are addicted to propriety, an ideal of marriage, sex, the mourning of an idealized love that they both witnessed (and he experienced!) in the previous marriage (the ‘Something Very Horrible’ one). They need the One More Night. But this girl has her head on a bit straighter and she’s got follow through. She rises to the challenge and remembers that he can drink himself a bit and that she’s just got to suck it up past her fascination with this man. What’s her lie? Maybe that it’s okay. Who knows.

They both know it’s not okay. The whole situation is easy. It’s like a duel.

I have a little scene in my mind about the “ties that bind.” Like he imprisons her and then lets her out for one more night. This tracks with the Bluebeard story where she begs for ten more minutes. Mine becomes one more night. This is admittedly why I drag out section two a bit. I’m trying to stretch it out like you try not to say goodbye.

But onto the next section. The compositional ideas are, once again for me, not coming across in the recording … yet!

The Recording
1. I haven’t had a guy vocal in my songs since … before …. I’m experimenting with a themed thing. I have access to a lot of tools I’ve never had before as well.
3. This song is not finished. I’m not happy with it yet.
4. I think the engineering is very “tentative.” I think that this is because I am at a very tentative point in my life. I’m both confident and unsure.
5. I am also taking more risks and trying to bring together all the “things that I wanted to be when I grew up” into one cohesive style. It’s hard to amalgamate everything.
6. Joe has this opinion about the first Bluebeard tune. He said other people have shared this opinion, and I have since had that confirmed. It’s that my vocals are buried back in the mix and should be louder. This got into my head on this recording. I think I over-compensated. As a result, my vocals are too loud.
7. Joe’s vocal is not loud enough. His reverb is not right yet. I need it to come up and I need to spend time finding the right reverb for him. This is still in discussion. I fear I will never find the right effect for him; although I have gotten pretty good at editing his position and his wave when need be. I did it REALLY well in Bluebeard. Although … he hardly needed a thing because the man can lay down a track …
8. I want another instrument in here. Or three. I ran out of time, simply that. Also, I really wanted a real drumset. SXSW intervened. Maybe I’ll get my wish sometime.
9. The vocals are also out of sync a bit, in my opinion.
10. It was hard to line up the track to the instrumentals. Usually it is not hard to do this. Cubase has been acting up. The computer fully crashed twice during this and I actually lost a lot of data once!

I think I was having “marital problems” with the song! Just like they were.

Sometimes things don’t come quite as easily. However, I like the concept a lot and I think this has a lot of potential. It feels right. More mature. It’s worth a work-on. So I’m gonna keep at it. Which feels weird to say, because I can’t play it live or anything.

Anyway, the listening party is soon and Joe is casting so I’m off. I have to admit that I’m a bit nervous about this one, so will post this blog now.

Thanks for listening.