Hail, Hail…it’s Hailing…

A few minutes ago, a massive hail-storm moved through this area. There are surely cars and houses that’re going to need to be fixed up a bit… Bigger than quarter-sized, they say…

I was watching it through a window, with my face nearly pressed against the glass, and my boss at the library was outside taking pictures. We’ve both lived in St. Louis too long, I think. πŸ™‚


Valentine’s Day

Well, it’s that time of year again. Seems like VD is on everyone’s mind. VD is all around us. I hope everyone has a nice VD with the person they love. Did you get your loved one something they’ll like for VD? You don’t want to forget VD…you’d regret it. Your better-half would never forgive you if you forgot that you had VD to deal with.

This post was only funny to about 20% of you.

Let It Snow

Right now, it’s snowing in St. Louis.

I love snow. I don’t necessarily like the part where you’re out in it, trying to avoid being smashed into by other cars who’ve overestimated their “anti-lock” breaks…but I like the way snow looks and feels. It’s sort of like God’s decided to clean things up for a while…then humanity, in our ignorance and arrogance, decides to wreck it with our tires and plows, turning the pure whiteness into grey, gritty slush.

This is going to sound ridiculous. But…

It seems like every time it snows–REALLY snows, to the point that it doesn’t melt in an afternoon–that something good happens to me. Sometimes it’s something major. Sometimes it’s something small and insignificant to anyone other than me. Any way it goes, it seems like something good always happens to me when there’s a good snowfall. When I last looked out the window, there were nice, big, strong flakes. You’ll pardon me if I pray for it to continue.

I wait with baited breath.

Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away

The thread title is a Willie Nelson song, incase you’re wondering…

Last night, I hung out with my brother until about 2 a.m., then he went home to bed, and I went downstairs into my makeshift studio. I sat with my guitars and a microphone for a while and recorded some demos of stuff I’ve been meaning to get to. Next thing I knew, the sun was almost up. I love when that happens. Tonight, I’ve got some congas sitting downstairs, waiting to be recorded. For some reason, I feel like doing a semi-full production on these tunes.

If you’re one of my regular listeners, you might just get a copy of these demos in the mail soon. If you aren’t…uhh…you won’t. πŸ™‚

I’ve gotten a couple of e-mails accusing me of being too negative on this blog–which is fair. In response, I briefly considered titling this post “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Farts.” Decided against it… But I WILL promise to be a bit more positive in the next few days, unless something terrible happens. Fortunately, I’ve got a bunch of music to work on, so I’ve got plenty to do. I’m not going to lie to you, things are a bit frustrating at the moment, but playing music helps me deal with that. So it’s fine, really. I’ll try not to take out the grumpy stuff on unwitting internet surfers again. I’ll abuse my guitars instead. πŸ™‚

Well, SNL’s on shortly, and I’m going to at least watch the first sketch or two before I get to work downstairs.

See you next time.

Plus Side/Minus Side

Well…on the minus side… I’ve got a bunch of people depending on me for some things that aren’t really my responsibility. There are a couple of things going on that totally blindsided me, and because of the personal nature of some of those things, I’m not going to write about them here. There are a couple of things forthcoming that are completely out of my control and completely sucky. Plus the stuff I’ve mentioned in the previous couple of posts (the short version: boredom and people bugging me about my social life).

On the plus side, I wrote four songs last night/this morning (whatever!). I’m in a really good headspace for writing–which always happens when I’m personally frustrated. So, there’s the question, really. Do you have to be screwed up to be “artistic,” or does being artistic screw you up? Sub-question: Does being screwed up REALLY produce better art? I don’t know the answer to either of those…you’d have to ask someone less screwed up than I am. πŸ™‚ Either way, though, it’s totally worth it.

…on another topic…if this is Tim Heeley reading this, e-mail or call me…I need to schedule time to record your drums.

In a Funk

I’ve not been myself the past few days. Dunno why. I’m just really bored of my station in life–not unhappy, mind you…just bored. I get this way in winter. I thought I was going to get through this one without it, but here we are…I think it’s because it’s only now started to be consistently cold in St. Louis.

Every time I get this way, I start thinking about the people I’m really close to in my life. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn’t. This time, it doesn’t. In the past year, most of my really close friends have either moved away or have in some other way fallen out of my typical sphere of contact. (“Sphere of contact?” God, I’m pretentious…) I’ve GOT friends and family I can rely on…just not anyone to call in the middle of the week and say, “hey, let’s go to a movie.” Used to. Don’t now. Most of my friends and I stay in touch via e-mail…and some not even that well. A lot of the folks who’ve moved off to other places now sort of see me as the guy they knew when they lived in St. Louis. I’m part of their old life…they’ve got new ones now with new people and new experiences, and I’m not really a part of any of that–as it SHOULD be, really. It shouldn’t bother me too much, I know that aesthetically. But aesthetics have nothing to do with the real world, do they? Sucks when you’re actually going THROUGH it.

In a way, though, I’m used to this. Everyone I’ve ever been really close to (and I don’t count most of my high school friends in this, as we were friends more because of geography than by choice) has come from somewhere else. In fact, even the few people I actually did stay in touch with from high school came from elsewhere in the country first. Then, just as people came in suddenly, they left just as suddenly. Largely, I blame that on college. That’s what college is, isn’t it? Intense relationships, split apart by jobs, families, and–often, in my case–the mission field. God forbid that anyone would choose to go to school in the place that they want to LIVE. That’s what I did. I was born in this town, and I’ll probably die in this town–unless I die on vacation. St. Louis born and raised…unlike my friends, who were just passing through. Most of my life, I’ve lived by the same credo: “First one here; last one here.” It’s only lately that it’s really started to suck.

I know, I know…there’s a diatribe here…

“Focus on the good things, Derek! Your church is doing
well. You’ve got your health. You’ve got regular musical work–which you love. You’ve got limitless potential for good things to happen.”

Yeah, but what good is all the wealth of the world if you have no one to share it with?

“Oh…well…maybe you could get a girlfriend.”

Ah…see the post to the right titled, “Love, Reign O’er Me.”

“Hmm…you’re just a miserable, negative, pessimistic bastard, aren’t you?”

What’s it to you? πŸ™‚

“If I give you a dollar, will you go away?”

Yeah, alright.

So…don’t bother with that…been there.

I’m not entirely depressed or anything; don’t misread this. I’m just going through my typical, “Maybe I should make a change” stuff. I sort of want to move away–as always–to a place where no one knows me and I can repaint my life to be whatever I want it to be…but that takes money, time, and a desire to effect real change in one’s life…none of which are my strong-suits.

I’ll get over this…it’s just venting…and that’s why I have a blog.

Current Listening: Still Pink Floyd.

Current Reading: Still Nick Hornby

Current Viewing–gonna go home and watch “American Splendor” as soon as my work-day’s over.

Hello? Is There Anybody In There?

Know who’s great?

Pink Floyd.

Wish You Were Here
(Lyrics: WatersMusic: Waters, Gilmour)
(Copyright: Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd.)

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field
from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you trade
your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
a walk on part in the war
for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,
year after year,
running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears,
wish you were here.

…and then there’s some excellent guitar work by David Gilmour, who’s quite probably the best guitarist this world’s ever produced.

Current Listening: ^ That.