Saturday, September 29, 2007

Driving along the water's edge

She slammed down her blood pressure meds with the last of a huge mug of mud thick coffee and headed down the stairs to the new used truck. It sat there in the driveway waiting patiently, looking ready to roll as far and as long as the money and the gasoline supplies lasted.
It was going to be a long trip, up the far east side of Lake Michigan, through the ugly ruins of Gary, Indiana, the reek of refineries and past crumbling ruins up to Grand Rapids, then along the broken roads of eastern Michigan to the south shore of Lake Superior, along the edge of the world's greatest freshwater body, then down through Duluth to the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi, along the river road until they reached the far corner of Wisconsin, then back to home, garden and the tribe.
Who knew what would happen along the way? They'd packed a bag of various Valiums, painkillers and a bottle of cheap tequila, the big army 45. and a hundred rounds of hollow points, one electric guitar and amp, and a laptop computer filled with strange writings and obscure music that only freaks and mental patients would listen to. They decided to leave the AK-47 home this trip. The .45 made a more rewarding noise. And where were the damn earplugs, she thought?
It was going to be an interesting ten days or so......

Monday, September 24, 2007

Go Read Kunstler, Now

Quote of the day:

"What I advocate is a broad recognition that reality is compelling us to change our behavior. Reality is trying to tell us that we can't run an economy based on nothing more than investment schemes without directing investment into activities that produce things of value. Reality is telling us to be very worried about living arrangements that can only function with copious imports of oil from people who are disgusted with us. Reality is telling us that we can't divert our food crops into making motor fuels without people becoming unable to afford either fuel or food. Reality is telling us to redirect our culture more toward things-we-do-with-other-people and less toward things-we-do-with-new-things. Reality is telling us to shift from avoidance behavior and denial to engaging with reality in order to lead lives that are consistent with reality."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Fifty years ago on the 21st of September, my twin sister and I were pushed into this world by our mother. My sister's long gone, making me wonder if I was the evil twin, but that's another story.
Fifty's a big number. One I'm feeling mixed feelings about.
The older I get, the more ambivalence I have about everything. Time slips by faster, and I think about what the hell to do with this strange gift of sentience and awareness. It's a luxury of sorts, having time to think and reflect and fuck off.
I don't have to make much money these days, being partnered up with a sweetie who mostly likes her job and is in no hurry to push me into something as mind numbing as cleaning houses like I used to do.
There's a line if Fight Club that I think about often. "on a long enough time line, the survival rate of everyone drops to zero". Knowing that fifty of my seventy five or so good years are behind me, it makes a lot of sense.
Like most people, I scurried around and obsessed over getting things done for a long time. Now I wonder if the time I spend goofing off at EVP coffee, the time I spend on my favorite online instrument builder's forum and those times I spend watching movies on the idiot box with dollface aren't the most important.
I'm sure as hell not gonna be choking out my last breath thinking I should have cleaned up my shop more often. I hope I don't.
It's been a rough year since my last birthday, and filled with change for me. It's made me sort of cranky and reflective. It had in it a bad ear infection that left me with one ear ringing most of the time, shoulder problems that mostly got fixed by physical therapy, and what I am pretty sure is the start of arthritis in my back and hands.
It was a year where what I thought was a lifetime friendship went horribly bad, starting with a fucked up recording project with the band I thought I was important to, and ending in a terribly depressing breaking up of a five year musical and personal friendship with an ugly series of toxic vibes via email.
I'm still trying to put that one behind me, being thrown under the bus by somebody who I thought was central to my tribe, who I trusted to be honest with me. Sometimes I think it's stupid to take community and friendship as I seem to.
Then I realize it's what makes me feel grounded, connected to something bigger that means something. Maybe I just need better bozo/bullshit filters.
But it's not all pain and stupid human tricks, this strange year. It was another fine year where Kori and I managed to still not get in a fight, (thirteen years or so now without one), where she showed me again how sweet life can be when you're lucky enough to have a partner like her.
It also had Tim and Bess and Robin and Pam and a ton of other folks in it to make it both sweet and solid, musically and spiritually. It brought me a new camera that has woken up my long sleeping desire to take up photography.
It's also been a year where I started to blossom musically, even if it was and is scary as hell to both record and sing my own stuff. I am incredibly lucky that I have my musical mob, both the rock band and the oddly acoustic trio.
It's been a year where my garden has been throbbingly happy, where I learned to make pickles and can salsa and to grow beets and dahlias.
It's a year where I got my first new used truck in 13 years. A gray 1992 Toyota Extra Cab that replaces the one I lost when my life bumped up against the reset button and split for the west coast back in 1993.
That one was new. This one's old. But I am starting to be a lot like that truck, two thirds used up but still sturdy and ready to roll, even if I'm not sure where I'm rolling to.
So I'm going to drive that new truck out to the movie theater on Friday, and catch a matinee of a really good bad post apocalyptic movie, (my favorite bad genre), get a nice Mexican dinner I don't have to cook, and then have a small party with my posse on Saturday.
That Does Not Suck, and I'm grateful to whatever god it is I don't believe in for all those good things I've gotten. And that I'm not working cleaning toilets, even if I was really good at it for a long time.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson