So, it hits me the other day as I sat down to type out my overdue Weekend Update…the # on the screen said “199” blogs…I did a double take…199?? I’ve written 199 excerpts on this story??? I can hardly believe it. The realization brought back a flash of memories for me. I’ve never been very good with measuring time but, that was like a 2×4 to the head. I think when I started I imagined it would last about a year, I’d have my 2nd CD recorded, had my day on stage at someplace like the Belly Up and would be back to being persona non-grata in the world by now… I’ve been struggling with what to write on this momentous blog of blogs until this morning…when I decided to go back to the beginning…to the first one. Here’s a piece from it:
I’m kind of (most def) flying by the seat of my pants on this whole thing, following one gut instinct after another. Friday, I made Michele listen to the added verse of a friend like me and she just waived her hand and said (think Staten Island accent) “how bout you just stop bein so mean and put the song back the way it was. Charles was right too (he was), it was fine the way it was”. The thing about writing music and knowing people are going to listen to it is that sometimes you’ll second guess it. I remember talking to a guy my freshman year of college about writing music and he laid out the formula for me. I barely remember it. I barely remember yesterday but, I know there’s supposed to be a “bridge” and that two verses hardly makes a song. But, then I woke up this morning and remembered that this isn’t supposed to be music for the masses or (and I haaaaate) this term, “commercially viable”. Seriously…doesn’t that term just kill the spirit of it all? These songs are supposed to be what they’re meant to be; self expression. And anyone who knows me knows I don’t have a formula for expressing my thoughts. They just come out. Good or bad and rarely eloquently.
Nail. Head. That’s me alright. And so surreal to me that the blog and song were written in August of 2009 and the first time I played that song publicly was September of this year and if you recall that blog, I sung it for Charles…on my birthday at one of my favorite open mics. I guess some things need to simmer until they’re ready to be served. Charles has an edge to him. A devil may care kind of attitude about somethings and almost Eddy Haskall well manerism (only I’m sure Chuck is sincere) especially in regards to women. He’s a total gent. He’s also (like me) a freak of nature when it comes to flipping death the bird. Just before I left for Seattle I was informed he was in the hospital in serious condition for a burst appendix…one that had burst 5 days before…he just wasn’t feeling badly enough to concede to paying his deductible. Yup.
There are 12 days left until Christmas as I write this and I don’t know about you but, this is the time of year where the dichotomy that is me goes into full bloom. I’m filled with the child like enthusiasm and spirit of the season and yet I’m melancholy and sullen and crying at some of the cheesiest family Christmas stories ever made. A regular Bridget Jones with the Jammies, big blanket and spread of booze n comfort foods before me as I root for the perkier than gidget chick on the screen that she gets it right the 12th time and lands the life of her dreams.
Ok, it’s now December 19th and I’m no closer to finishing this so called milestone blog than I was when it was 12 days before Christmas…hrmmm…it’s not like I don’t like to blog. I love it and I’m definitely feeling the pressure from afar to keep to my timelines on this thing but I don’t want to write drivel just to fill the space. So, what’s keeping me in this holding pattern…? Part of me thinks it’s a bit underwhelming that I haven’t gotten farther along by the 200th. I think that’s a big part of it. The other part is because my idea of time and measures of it pretty much went out the window this past year. I have fleeting moments of recognition but, just that…fleeting…I think I like the “looking forward to” more than the moment itself…
So, let’s address the first one…Have I done enough to warrant excitement over reaching a 200th blog? Since I started the blog in August of 2009…I went back to a blog from that month/year and looked up some of the goals I’d posted:
- find someone to help promote the music and keep me organized – still searching…
- get songs on 2 local radio stations – sent CD’s last year…got one to follow me on Twitter but, no airtime that I know of…
- find new guitar teacher (mine moved back to Oregon) – Done – Moppet 🙂
- 100 fans on Jango and 50 positive reviews – Done – 1o times over 🙂
- 50 positive reviews on iTunes – sound of bomb dropping from above and Wylie Coyote looking up…
- Launch Facebook fan page and get 100 fans – Done 🙂
- Figure out twitter and use it – Done 🙂
- Fine tune the website and blog – Done 🙂
- Perform 2 songs on stage without panicking (outwardly at least) – Done – with a little help from our friends Sake and Guinness
Not bad. And I created two Spinoffs from the Weeekend Updates….The Beer Theory (in which I imagine sitting in a pub with greats from our past enjoying a pint and getting some much needed advice from them on how to move forward) and the House on the Hill (the place I go to when I need to escape…my dream house…my dream life…), both of which my friends find highly entertaining and…isn’t that what this is mostly about? Entertaining and Inspiring people.
It’s now the day before Christmas and I’m still stumped at how to finish this so called monumental blog. Instead I’ve been consumed by things like getting the gift sent to my Pop’s in time. You see, we draw names at Thanksgiving. Being such a big family and no millionaires in the bunch we decided ages ago that we’d put everyone’s name in the hat and draw one name each and put a $50 limit on it. I got my brother Dennis again. Third time in the past few years. I should’ve put it back (u can do that) but, I was determined to make up for the last one where I was standing in a long line at the post office 3 days before Christmas and paying more than the gift was worth to get it there on time (which it didn’t) and the gift was to be used on Christmas day. We have a great tradition that started a decade or so ago where after all gifts are open and we’ve brunched and chilled, we head over to Den’s place in the far far outskirts about an hour north. I came up with the bright idea of a cool boom box with a custom selection of music mixes on CD for him to play while we all (they all, I was staying in San Diego that year) gathered around the bonfire roasting marshmallows n hotdogs n s’mores. I consulted nearly all my friends before I found the perfect gift for the man who needs/wants nothing. This cool solar powered radio/charger so when he’s out on his extended hunting/fishing trips he can charge up his cell phone to call in help when somebody accidentally shoots somebody or there’s a leak in the boat or to have pizza delivered to the boat. Well, that’s what I would use it for…
Anyway…gift ordered, shipped and received and wrapped and under the tree. Miche is making her annual drop off of a bag of licorice and hugs to my Pop for me and the local florist is delivering a Scottish themed centerpiece for the traditional family Christmas Eve feast so they know I’m here in spirit…sealed with a promise of being there in the flesh next year. It took a while for me to adjust to the idea of Christmas without my mom and her manic scurrying about and our arguments over what kind of tree to get (big, fat fluffy is the only kind in my books where she preferred a classier version in the form a noble fir – emphasis on “noble”). Tonite is friends night (the orphans band together) with Chinese food and watching Christmas movies by a big, fat, fluffy tree…tomorrow is Christmas dinner at the Santos’. Tuesday is cycle 5 of 6. Keeping eyes on the prize…nice, long break then 3 month scan then…?
On the music front I did hit the FJ open mic on Thursday night. I really missed it all but, with the Thanksgiving travel came the down side of catching something that looked liked the mumps. It was bad enough they postponed chemo for a week (yay) and throat so tight I could barely speak let alone sing (booo). But, a week of keeping my trap shut and loads of hot sake seemed to be the cure so I went up and I sang my little heart out. I thought about the Indiegogo campaign while I was up there and the 28 bucks I’d spent on the seemingly unwin-able lottery and shrugged my shoulders as I caught the eye of fellow artists smiling back up at me as I sang and thought…you can’t put a price tag on that. The reach may be smaller but, the effect is the same and that’s all I really wanted for Christmas. I hadn’t played Dear Santa in a year. I practiced it several times before and the words hit home but, when it came to play it, Ana and M shouted up that since it was the Santos’ anniversary I should sing the Baby song as my 3rd and final one. They were quite the hecklers. I did mention the hot sake and it was cold in the courtyard that night (even by SoCal standards) so there you have it. It was a perfect night. My only regret was I didn’t bring my camera and I couldn’t find the flipcam to record any of it. Oh, and all the reconnecting with childhood friends and the recent visit back home seems to be spurring on a new song…only a verse or two in my head so far the but the title is there…”Where I’m from”…hopefully will be finished by the time I’m back to the open mics end of next month…
So, I’ll leave you with a quote that keeps popping up in my head these days…The man who has all he wants, wants all he has…I’d say it’s just as true for women. At least it is for this one.
Happy Christmas, Chanukah or whatever you choose to celebrate this season. I hope you get everything you want and that you want everything you get~