Several Reasonably Long Stories

It has been forever since I’ve written anything here. It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve done anything even close to this with the podcast also having been on a bit of a hiatus. (More on that shortly.) There are a lot of reasons for that. Mostly I’ve just been exhausted lately, and doing something productive (even if it’s fun) after working all day hasn’t been my top priority. Mostly I’ve been getting home, sitting down, maybe playing a video game (presently re-obsessed with Stardew Valley) and just sort of killing time until I go to bed. Those are my work days, lately.

…but there is other stuff going on too, so let’s talk about those things point by point. I promise there are paragraph breaks in many of these points–sometimes they don’t display very well on this blog. Also the spell-checking on this blog seems to have stopped working. Sorry if my word-making isn’t nice.

  1. It’s my 39th birthday, as I write this. I don’t have a lot of thoughts about that. My family and I got together the previous weekend for dinner and gifts and whatnot, and it was nice. Enjoyed a good steak for the first time in a long time. Today is pretty much just a Wednesday with a slightly more active Facebook wall–midweek birthdays are like that. But I have been finding small ways to mark it, just for myself. Next year, I’ll be 40. I don’t expect it to be much different than this year in terms of celebration.
  2. One of the things that was related to my birthday though was that my Dad got me a ticket to go see The Who on the 23rd. We’d have gone regardless, but the ticket was a birthday gift, since it was so close to the 29th. I’d written in the past about what I assumed would be the LAST time I saw The Who. Turned out to be wrong about that. I’m glad I was.
    This time they played an outdoor venue in Hollywood Casino Amphitheater (or “Whatever They Call Riverport Now,” as it’s known locally). I don’t love outdoor shows, but The Who is one of the bands I’ll follow where-ever they play, so it was fine. They had a symphony with them, and while I first thought that could go either way, the band themselves remained bombastic, animated, and dangerous, so the extra orchestration just made it all BIGGER in the best way.
    My favorite thing about The Who is that every time they play, there’s a chance it might all go horribly wrong. When you factor in 30ish extra musicians, those odds skyrocket.  So when it goes right–as it very much DID–it’s a wonderful treat. Sure, Townshend’s voice was blown out and the new kid on bass wasn’t loud enough in the mix on The Real Me…but in general, the symphonic arrangements were incredible and the show was a blast. Dad, Dave (my brother), and I all first saw The Who together in 1989–30 years ago!–and it was great that we all got to do it again.

    who
    We made several attempts at taking a selfie. This is the one where we were all–y’know–visible.
  3. Right…so about the podcast.  I’ve taken several weeks off from it. That’s partly because I had a minor sound problem that required a major disassembly of the area in which I record. It’s been a hassle to get everything back in place and combining that with the aforementioned coming-home-and-crashing I described above, I’ve been getting very little done on the show.
    I’ve not really meant to step away from it, and I do plan on getting back to it shortly. I want to talk about the Who show and new music from the Cranberries and Amanda Palmer and The National and having seen Patton Oswalt last month and so on. I just haven’t. I’ve been feeling very tired and have had some nagging back/shoulder pain as I’ve described countless times that also just makes sitting in a chair talking about nothing sound uncomfortable as well. And the show slipped away from me, with all those issues combined.  Maybe when I start back up (this week?) I’ll call it “season two” or something.
  4. I’ve also been rehearsing to play an acoustic set with Mike Feldman in June. It’ll be a small gig without even so much as an amplifier. It’s doubtful that anyone will even hear the lyrics or distinguish one song from another. And ultimately it could also be cancelled for bad weather if it’s raining, since it’ll be an outdoor gig.  So of course we’re working very hard on getting up to speed for it.  (I’ve also got some mental gymnastics to do… The only thing I find more uncomfortable that attending an outdoor concert is playing one myself–I’m a sweaty guy.)  But ultimately, if the place wants us to sit there and essentially play to one another for money, that’s cool.  I hear it’s a nice place, at least.  Haven’t been there.  Don’t actually even remember the name of the place right now.
    I like playing acoustic sets most of the time–although knowing this one won’t have any amplification gives me some pause. If nothing else, it’ll be fun to dust off whichever acoustic I take with me for it.  (Thinking maybe even the 12-string!)  Mike also has me scheduled for two more dates playing bass with him this summer in the same bar we always seem to play…but the acoustic show should be a nice change of pace, even if subdued.
  5. Otherwise, musically I’ve not got a ton going on. The two albums I put out last year (“It Could Be Worse” and “*”) were pretty much what I wanted to accomplish for a while. I’ve got some other stuff sort of half-written, but nothing even demoed as of now. Sort of taking whatever my next project will be slowly. I don’t have anything solid in mind for it yet. But at the same time, if you’d told me in May of last year that I’d be doing a new album for release in that same November I’d have doubted it. So who knows what I’ll do?  I don’t PLAN to release so much as a single in 2019 though.
  6. I recently marked my 10th year at my day job. I don’t like to talk about work on the blog or social media–it just seems to me that when you put details or things about your job in writing on the Internet, you’re asking for problems. However, I am comfortable saying that even though it’s not always sunshine and roses, it’s been a great and productive 10 years and I’ve made some good friendships. And that’s what counts, even on the days where the only thing that keeps you sitting at a desk is the thought that “the lights need to stay on.” (And I’m also glad to report that I don’t have those days very often.)  🙂 It’s a challenging and fulfilling job, but more importantly I work with good people I enjoy seeing every day. I don’t take that for granted. Most people don’t get to feel that way.

    10 years
    This is sitting on my desk now. It’s on a lighted base and looks neat. 🙂 Sorry the photo’s a little small. The only other option was enormous. The blog’s photo settings are dumb.
  7. One of my cousins has a wedding coming up this weekend. On Sunday at like 4:30. Weird day and time for a wedding, right? But as long as everyone’s happy the time doesn’t matter, does it? So, I’ll be spending Sunday in a suit, looking for who among my Baptist cousins at the Baptist wedding secretly has a flask of whiskey and asking them if they can pour a little in my Coke. (That’s how I’LL be happy.) It’ll be fine.
  8. I found out on Monday that I’ve been on and off flirting with a lesbian for a while. Whoops. I don’t want to say too much and identify her, but the concise version is she’s someone I (obviously) don’t know very well but see occasionally. We have similar taste in music and she’s fun to talk to and on most occasions I’ve gone a bit out of my way to be charming in a way that were she straight probably would’ve read as flirting much more clearly. However, as it was, this week we bumped into one another and she asked me if I’m going to the Amanda Palmer show tomorrow night. I said I wasn’t really planning to, but could be talked into it.  Her reply was, “Oh, well me and MY GIRLFRIEND (emphasis mine) are going and I thought if you were going to be there maybe we could all hang out.”
    Well…shit.  Whatever. It happens–of course I can’t exactly be MAD about it. And it’s still very nice that she was thinking it’d be fun to hang out. And I’m sure sometime soon we WILL because I still think she’s a cool person and I’m an ally to the LGBTQ community, of course. (…and maybe if we hang out more often I can make friends with other lesbians until I have a loyal army of lesbians at my disposal!) Mostly I just felt dumb about it. Thankfully she (I assume) has no idea, and I think even if she did, she’d think it was funny/flattering.  Still not planning on going to the Amanda Palmer show though. I like Amanda Palmer, but she’s a lunatic and is promoting a very sad album that I don’t think will make for a fun club show–even though it’s one of the better albums I’ve heard this year.
    Also, this whole situation resulted in one of my favorite Twitter interactions I’ve had lately.  I briefly tweeted something about it and somebody sent me a direct message that said, “Happy Birthday!” then 10 minutes later, “And sorry about the lesbian.” What a great series of messages to get! I wish they made greeting cards that on the front said “Happy Birthday!” and on the inside said “And sorry about the lesbian.”  🙂

    And I think that’ll do it…there are several reasonably long stories there. I was going to write more and it was going to get political and stuff…but this seems fine.

    Happy birthday to me and also to you.

    Current Listening:
    The Who, still…obviously
    The National – “I Am Easy to Find”
    The Get Up Kids – “Problems”

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