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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Too Much, the Magic Bus...

My Who quote begins as my Walkman opens fire with "Magic Bus!"  Nice...considering my plans today and this week.


I am at the Office, and since about 10 this morning, I have viewed all manner of humanity, and it makes me wonder.  It's not all bad, but it's enough.


Zen Master is here with the Bald One, two of the Wardroom regulars who have found their way back to the Office, now that it opens at 9 instead of 10.  Coffeehouse Preacher is here, and held forth on C.S. Lewis and other things to ZM.


A child-worshipping Mom was here with her nerdy homeschooled daughter.  They look exactly alike....


"Total Eclipse of the Moon," by Graham Parker...great fucking song, from the Don't Tell Columbus CD.


...George Carlin did a wonderful routine and discussion of the child worshipping parents.  My guess is that since school is in session, and because that poor kid looks just like her Mom, that she is homeschooled.  I have to tell you:  I am really strongly opposed to homeschooling as the only means of education.  Now, I do have a very good friend who is homeschooled, but I know enough about her situation to know why she is being educated that way.


Unfortunately, most homeschooled kids never learn how to interact with people who are different.  They have little understanding of the world about then, only what is drummed into their heads by overprotective parents who are breeding drones that are just like them.


I realize that is not always the case, but most homeschooled adults I've met by and large are:  ignorant, religiously/socially/politically intolerant, and some of them are downright racist.


Sorry to say it, but I can cite cases if you wanna know.


Okay, that rant is over and done with.


"So Many Roads," by Joe Bonamassa is next...ahhh...live album form Royal Albert Hall...a great performance, but overblown by certain showy tracks and a horn section that really wasn't needed.  But still great.


I sometimes like to look at the people around me in the Office, because I find them interesting.  ZM, Bald One, CP...they are the regulars in the Wardroom.  There's a bunch of folks of what I call the Laptop Generation, and I am one of them; we're all hooked up, wired in and in cyberspace, doing business, surfing, or...writing blogs.  Haha.


The comic relief today was provided by the two extras from "Jersey Shore" that walked in.  Father and Son...buzz cuts, beach tans, wifebeaters, knickers, and loud voices.  Like Father, Like Son...actually, they seemed like pretty nice guys from overhearing their brief exchange with the CP.


A member of OutKast is sitting nearby, working on his laptop.  Man, he really does look like one of those guys, the dreads, the glasses, everything.  Musical stuff, cool; I only saw from here that he was going over sheet music...wonder what he plays, I should ask.


I am gratified that my relationship with Alice has gone along well; we understand one another in a way that no one else has, in terms of me, at least.  It is scary, and this has been noted, that we are an awful lot alike, and do fit really well.  I cannot complain.


She also has a great sense of humor, and we understand much more than most people are willing to allow themselves too.  All very nice.


That said, I'm gonna miss her for the next two days.  I'm off to Annapolis for a "Writer's Retreat."


Several months ago, I read an article in "The Writer" magazine about what one author does every now and then:  just takes off and goes on a solo retreat to write, to get inspired, or to just make a change in routine.


"Grown Up to be a Man," by Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith.  RIP, Pinetop, 97 or 98, still smoking right up to the end.  What a great one; glad these guys got the Grammy, they deserved it.


Now...the idea that the author (whose name I can't remember) had was to just find a spot, go there, and be there.  It can be anywhere that is isolated, comfortable, whatever; I chose Annapolis, because I have only been there once, and that was nearly ten years ago.  It's not far away, I have a cheap place to stay, and it's within civilization, if I need it.


My aim is to finish "Silk Road Days," at the very least.  After that, an editing and addition process is going to be needed.  This book has blown up into something I can barely comprehend and handle.  I've wondered if it should just be a manga, because it might work that way, but I decided to go all out and just write the story.


The story is now more than 500 pages...I've never written anything this long before.  My feeling is that I have a trilogy, or a three-part story, but I need to finish it.  It just keeps going and going and going, like the Energizer Bunny...


...I've been trying to put too much into one story again.


"Love Ain't for Keeping," Pete Townshend demo from Lifehouse Chronicles.  Not much different from the band version, really.  Townshend recently wrote that the one thing he'd have done different was not join a band, and work like Brian Eno has all these years.  Honestly, Townshend's demos are amazingly sharp and complete.  This demos is also only 90 seconds long.


"Aja," by Steely Dan.  Nice segue.


Okay...I think also I need to leave town.  I just worked two straight weeks (almost), and while I can't really afford this, my rent is paid and my bills are about to be in a few days.  I think I can deal.  


I do find myself in need of a change; this is a cost-effective way of doing it.  I'm not sure what I'll do besides write, but I'm guessing I'll act like a fucking tourist.  Haha...me, a tourist?  Right...


My traveling is limited this year, partly due to an odd work schedule.  WITF will have only occasional work as the backup host for "Morning Edition," though I may get some other stuff to do, with the recent shakeup there.


Radio PA is keeping me busy on the weekends, and Clear Channel has a few ball games for me to do.  Not a lot of work, but I can't complain.  It lets me do what I have to, bookwise.


Oh yeah...back to "SRD."  I have been plumbing the depths of my college experiences, but I don't suppose I've really touched bottom yet.  "Silk Road Days" is another of my Japanese anime/manga tales, but sorry folks, no time travel or mystic weirdness.  A human story, once again, or at least my best effort at such.


There are recurring themes of course, but I am examining things from different angles, and I'm hopeful that they remind people of what it was like, and how we may change over the years.  


I hope to have a good, compelling story that makes you turn the pages, but it's gonna be a lot of work.  Wouldn't have it any other way; besides this is not work, this is fun.


Still waiting on a certain publisher over SDS-1; we remain hopeful, but I will not hold my breath.


Springtime is here...hot as hell yesterday, and the weather has brought us less encumbering of the clothing...something I always enjoy.


Alice and I have discussed this, and we both look.  Yes, we do!  And it's okay, because we know what is okay and what is not.  We joke about it all the time.  


Some people can't handle that; too bad for you.


This is what you get, folks...every day a new venture in the world of the blogosphere...heehee.


Nawang Khechong's flute on "Wisdom and Compassion" ends this blog...very centering, lovely stuff...reports from the road, later...

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Radio Wasteland & Other Observations

Gotta tell you, one of those weekends if coming up...it's already been one of those weeks.

Got back about 30 minutes ago from Harrisburg; did the Radio Pennsylvania Network sports from 2-6 am.  The reports are two-minute deals that run across the network at :05 and sometimes :35 past the hour, depending on the affiliate's needs in the AM drive.

Also put together and send out two "Sportslines," which essentially are network feeds of all the stuff we can give them on PA sports.  All good.

Well, I learned sad news this morning, but it is not at all surprising to me.  Despite the ideas that the economy is getting better, the radio business tends not to follow the trend.

I have found that two good friends of mine are among a series of layoffs at one of my jobs.  Very sad; I hate to see anyone lose work.  Based on what I was told it was a business decision, regarding money, funding, this, that and the other.  Okay.

That being said:  I have another job tonight at Clear Channel, prodding a Senators game.  All good; but over the past few days I've been again made aware of the wasteland that is Sports Talk Radio.

Actually, that's an oxymoron.  You could call it Sports Whine Radio, CrotchTalk Radio, or anything you like.  Mostly a bunch of losers squeezing their tiny little nads (if they can find them) about sports, and showing off their (lack of) knowledge on the subject.

Morning Drive Sports Radio has descended back to the land of infantile, juvenile crotch grabbing, nuthugging and babble that is unfit for the mentalities of nine year old boys.  It has never been good; sports networks, desperate for 24/7 coverage and content will put anyone on by the look of it.

ESPN Radio has long touted that Mike and Mike in the Morning is the best show in America, and has been for years.  Actually, these two idiots should have hung it up several years ago.  Mike Greenberg's constant riffs on his metrasexuality (with continual body shaving and man purse jokes); Mike Golic's ongoing weight problem, their shameless pimping of P90X, some kind of fitness program that all the talk show hosts have been paid to shill for (something is wrong there; I don't think it works), and the rest.

Then you get to the lower tier of a bad lot:  Sporting News Radio has always been the retarded little sister to ESPN, no matter what they try.  They did get Dan Patrick and Todd Wright away from ESPN...no loss.

Patrick is whiny and bored on his radio program; he does not want to be there, he never has.  The only time he's enthused is when he anchors "Sportscenter," on TV.

Wright has for years been the weekday overnight guy; I don't doubt his passion for sports or his knowledge...but he is deadpan boring.

Also:  why do so many sports talk show hosts sound like 12-year-old girls when they talk?  They sound like they have no testosterone in their bodies at all.

Wright is just fucking boring...take the whiny voice, and this sloooooow, pedantic rap....I'm........Todd Wright......here on.........Sporting News Radio..........we'll talk with........(insert name of unknown sports figure)........and we'll have.......my grandma on to talk football......and we'll have........the "Women of All Night's".....(insert name of skanky calendar model that you can only find on Wright's website, or possibly Redtube.com)....

You get me.

Steve Czaban is now in morning drive there; I don't know why people think he's so great.  He is arrogant, loud, self-important and is a tool.  He is a tool of Sporting News Radio, and of himself...boring.

Fox Sports Radio is the worst.  All the hosts are whiners, or a bunch of grumbling dingbats.  They have exiled Tony Bruno to late nights, where he can grumble about false "outrages," run constant overdubbed clips of "The Godfather" with his name in them, and go on about his porn collection.

Most of the hosts are whiny, D-list losers who know nothing about sports, and quite a few of them seem to be two-bit gamblers, because they're always talking about betting, lines, odds, and they have nicknames like "Money."

It's easy for a station owner to just throw the switch, put up 24/7 sports radio coverage, maybe do a few local games, pay the "talent" per game, and then whore out a few hours of Sunday morning programming time to a church or a company hawking a colon-cleansing infomercial for a little extra cash.

Urgh.  True, you need money to run a business, pay the people and the bills, indeed you do.  Gotta be a better way than this, though.

You know, I am not a big sports fan anymore; I am paying more attention to it again, because my job(s) dictate that I do so.  I could care less what the Patriots do or who they took in the draft; I care about the same about the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins.  I'm a native New Englander, and my heart will always be with the Boston and New England clubs, sure...but my life is just too complicated without worrying over it.

I'm amazed, I really am, at how we've made sports our religion.  It's the be-all and end-all.  Ei freaking fucking yi!

I have no problem with you wearing a jersey (I have a few), checking on the team's transaction, calling up a show and giving your opinion, that's all well and good.  But sometimes we gotta take a step back and see what is up.

Back to my first point:  I am sorry for my friends, and I wish them well.  I have been a casualty of this business so many times, and I know how much it sucks.  All I can say is what I've said to myself:  move forward, keep going and don't fucking quit.

Anyway...I must actually attempt to sleep, whatever that is.  If I don't write again before next week, enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend, and if you can, find James McMurtry's song by that title, "Memorial Day."  Funny as hell.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Post-Rapture Meanderings...and Additional Weird Thoughts

Well, well, well...guess I missed "The Rapture," eh?

Suppose I better check with my friend Riz and see if there's an open chair by the fire in her little spot in Hell, hahahahahaha....so I wonder how many of those stupid people who actually believed that dried up old fart's rantings that the world was coming to an end?

$80 million worth, apparently.  "Family Radio" (which family, though?  His?  The Manson Family?) pulled that much in, in "contributions" I think last year, or is that the old man's career of fleecing the sheep?

Anyway, like William Miller before him in 1844 or thereabouts, and like every other charlatan before, during and after, oops, miscalculation, it happens in October. 

Yeah, right.

So anyway...there's been some interesting discussion of late as to whether the FCC might actually get off its ass, find its stones (unlikely) and go after the Jesus Freaks who have violated their public trust by broadcasting filth, lies, propaganda and their own peculiar brand of bullshit.

Look...if you want to believe in Christianity, go right ahead; you have every right to believe in what you want (or not, if ye choose).  My beliefs are rooted in centuries past, long before a fellow named Jesus made the scene in the Middle East.  He may well have even met one of the forerunners of my path, and added that to his experience, though you'd never hear anyone say anything about that, oh no no no no no...

I actually do think that Jesus existed, but I also think that most of the stuff written about him is untrue.  Check George Carlin's discussion about that on Youtube..."Religion is Bullshit."

Back to my original thought:  will the FCC finally examine the murky licenses that seem to perpetuate themselves about broadcasting?  Will people (and by the way, YOU can do this if you are an American citizen!) begin to demand to examine religious radio station's public files?  Will they, when the time comes up for license renewal, file a protest with the FCC, and make a case that said licensee does NOT serve the public, but only a tiny portion of it, and only for themselves?

My guess is probably not.  We all have so much to do in our lives, don't we?  "Oh, never mind..." as Mike Malloy likes to say...and I like to add, "Is Oprah on yet?"

Well, the reruns are, I'm sure.  That bag of gas is finally done with her show, thankfully...now if that narcississtic cow would just take her ill-gotten billions and go the fuck away, I'd be happy.  Go built another school in Africa, get the gloss for doing so, and then ignore it until another scandal erupts.  Nice job, bitch.

I've not had the chance to blow off any steam in a while, can you tell?  Hahahahaha...I'm rather enjoying this.

So yeah...here is the deal.  My feeling is the FCC will not go after religous broadcasters, because that is like a sacred cow, in more ways than one.  The Jesus lizards (sorry to the band) will wrap themselves in the Bible, the flag, and the First Amendment and proclaim all the good they're doing.  The FCC will say, "Fine," then go see about helping a fellow commissioner get a nice cushy job at Comcrap URRRRR!!!! Comcast, after allowing them to merge with NBC.  Gotta look after their own, y'know.

Ah, feels good to get all that out.  Well, guess what, friends?  We're still on this Earth, and we have to make the best of it, don't we?  I aim to; my spiritual health is just fine, and my mental health is quite good.  Physically, doing my best to work on it.

I make NO APOLOGIES for living my life the way I have, mistakes and all, THANKYOUVERYFUCKINGMUCH.

Now, that being said:  I am still sort of in recovery from a very long and busy week.  Five straight days of getting up at 2:30 am, downing a can of Amp to get straight and working "Morning Edition," on WITF.  Then...the KYW stuff on the weekends, then two morning of Radio PA Network Sports...urgh.

Yesterday, I suddenly realized I had some time off.  Concept.  Now, weird is weird, and here it is.  I was awake at 1:30 am on Tuesday, to go do the second of two days of the Radio PA thing...that involves getting to WITF early, getting and cutting down sound from our stringer who covered the Phillies game, getting together various other voice reports, other sound, writing some new pieces, composing and voicing four sportscasts, and getting two gigantic Sportslines ready for sending out.

Busy.  Yes.

So...I get outta there at about 6 am., busy morning.  I'm home...I can't sleep, are you fucking kidding me?  So what do I do?  I put on Hank III (Damn Right and Rebel Proud) and I clean!

I'm not good at cleaning, as my former wife will tell you.  It's not that often I get at it, but I did this particular morning.  Hank III is fucking nuts...anyone know that yet? Outlaw country/punk weirdness.  I'll bet his dad is pissed at the boy's success.  Actually, I think Hank #3 is like 40 now, isn't he?  I don't even know.

Anyway, good motivational music to get the mudroom, kitchen and bathroom cleaned.  Laundry, I'm still doing it!  And anyway, that all done and then off to the Office.

"Silk Road Days" has turned into a very strange novel.  It is now more than 400 pages, and I don't know why.  It is a rough draft, to be sure; and I realize that this is gonna take a lot of rewriting, crafting, sculpting and fuck knows what else.  I really bit off more than I could chew with this idea, but I am at least patient and I'll find a way to make this thing work.

Been waiting to find out if a publisher likes the Sweet Dreams Series enough to get going on Book 1, "Searching for Roy Buchanan."  I do realize that needs a rewrite as well; and I'm prepared for however that goes.  I must, I now realize get back to my voice taking over and speaking, telling the story, etc.  I veer away from that at times.

We will see how it goes, but either way I'll get this thing done.

I also need to get back to the radio thing, and thank the gang at WITF for all their help and encouragement.  It's a real team that works there, and I want to work with them one day; I really haven't done much.  I'm the backup QB, and that's fine with me.  Got enough else to do, right?

Alice is coming to visit...<grin>...I am quite pleased at the development of our relationship.  For once I feel a bit more grounded than I ever have...very nice thing, indeed.  You can read her poetic thoughts at Edgar Alice Croe -- interesting stuff.

Ei...gotta get outside...nice day today, and I need to figure out whatever else I must do.  Couple days off is kinda nice; need a few more of these.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Week of Public Radio...

...and I have managed to not only wake up at 2:30 in the a.m. every morning, but have managed to not fall asleep in the middle of it all!


Whoa...WITF has been quite the experience for me the past few weeks, culminating in my sitting in for Tim Lambert on "Morning Edition" for five straight days.  On the whole I think I did pretty damn well, under the circumstances.  That said, I have also learned how the "team" really works well together.


Someone told me that it sounded like I'd written all the news copy, by how I voiced it.  I didn't!  Nearly all of that was written by the team, apart from some stories that did not have sound, things that came over the wires during the night.  The real legwork was done by WITF's News Dept., and I can't thank them enough for all the help they gave me.


Really, I just hosted the show and played frontman.  I am the #2, now that the new man will take over later this month.  I also got the shot, because Tim is away.  


I feel pretty good about it, and I proved I could handle it.  Had to prove it to myself, though; that's the hard part.  


Now it's back to weekend work for the Radio PA Network side of the cubicle city, and sports.  I'm still doing some verrrrry early mornings next week, as my RPA boss, Rick Becker is going to take needed time off.  Away we go again, and I'll be getting up even earlier than before on those days!


Things have worked pretty well; got to see Alice a couple of times this week, even with her crazy schedule, and that's going wonderfully well.  I feel quite chuffed to have the situation I do, can't complain.


Back to the Office now, and a little while before I have to think about what is next.


Sofia is much better...her stomach seems to have calmed down, and I need to do a bit of maintenance for her, change of diet and some other stuff.  All good.  Least I can do for her.


Need to figure out what comes next...so much I gotta get organized.  Isn't that always it?


Now..."Silk Road Days," this latest long exposition of fiction writing I'm into is longer than I thought, and it keeps on growing.  Got to figure out how to hammer it into a form that works.  It's really not bad, but there's going to need to be a lot more detail, incidents, etc.  It's going to take time.


But I have it...so it's all good.


The sun is out!  It's finally out!  Wow!  After all that rain, I'm happy to know it didn't forget us.  Must get moving...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Back on the Blog

I am back; it has been a busy several days, and so my writing will probably be a short one.


I've been hosting "Morning Edition" on WITF 89.5 & WYPM 93.3 all this week.  Two more days of it to go...it's gone really well, and I'm even able to say I've come out of it sounding like I know what I'm doing.


The guy who beat me for the job I've worked a little bit with the last two days.  Can't say his name yet (contract stuff), but he's good kid, and I think he'll do damned well.  So it's back to me being #2, but that's okay, I don't mind that position all that much.  


My work will continue, as we have the weekend stuff for Radio PA and KYW, and then I sit in a few days next week for the boss on RPA's sports broadcasts.  Nice to be busy.


I could not have done this without the team working as well as it does, and I'm glad we're all together on it.  


So that's good...my writing on "Silk Road Days" is slower now, because of my industriousness, but I'm working toward an end, plus more additions.  I'm not sure how to format this one--I don't think I have a series, but I'm not sure.  We'll have to wait til it's done then figure the rest of it out.


Saw Alice yesterday; saw a lot of her actually.  Great to have that bit of happiness in my life, believe me.


Sofia is doing better.  So no complaints...off to do whatever.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pittsburgh, Old Friends, and Jim Jeffries...and Other Strange Thoughts...

Alright...it's time blog again...a double shot of extended Kronos Quartet "Floodplain" material going through my Walkman right now...eerie weirdness that just goes with every other thing that has occurred in the past I don't know how many hours.  24?  36?


Friday...a day off, bizarre.  Of course not without enterprise; my beginning had a rude start when I went to the Money God !URRRR! ATM to get some cash...


...hmmm...barely sufficient funds.  Not insufficient, mind, but barely sufficient.  This is not good.  I don't have time to think about this shit.


Not to brag, but this is why I keep my credit card paid off (plus my rent, above all else)...if there's an emergency like this, it's required.


Okay, on the road and headed into Western Pennsylvania.  My first time in my life traveling west of Harrisburg.  The Pike was a good smooth ride, no big deal...nothing much to report.


Finding my way into a city I've never been to is always weird for me.  Actually didn't have to go there first.  Stopped off in Monroeville to see my old friend Lynn.  This a woman I met in New York in 1987, and while we met that one time, it was one of those strange defining moments in a person's life.


Well, Lynn is a PITT grad., and has lived in and around the city all her life.  She looks great, is married, has kids and is loving a nice quiet life.  You can tell; it was great to see her, and we had a very good meeting.


I was to meet up with Riz somewhere in the area of the Improv, in Homestead, for the Jim Jeffries show.  Well, turns out Riz is visiting her close friend KJ's mom in Monroeville...so I go across the street to the Morebucks (read:  Monroeville Office, since nearly every Borders out there was closed).  Get to see a lot of interesting people...lot of sales girls from the adjacent shopping center coming in for coffee, a lot of college kids, a contingent of Indian ladies and gentlemen, the women all attired in colorful traditional (sari) dresses...they were loud, though...real loud.


Oh well.  One young woman was extremely loud in talking about her fucked up young life and her allegedly planned arranged marriage.  Fuck, this girl can't be more than 25, WTF.


High school girl to my left talking LOUDLY to her boyfriend about her trip to France...woop de do, but then again I suppose it's big at that age.  Don't remember...the one opportunity I had to go to Paris as a kid was taken from me before I had it...oh well.


About 25 minutes of Kronos Quartet has segued into..."Little Red Rooster," by Luther Allison.  Okay...


Riz roars in...the Buick Bomber is loaded to the gunwales with her gear.  She is ready for the road in more ways than one...she has more tech gear than the average Geek Squadder, but it's entertaining.


We hang for a long while, and then it's follow Riz (Boston driver, remember that) through Pittsburgh and over the bridge into Homestead for the Improv.


Now, the Improv is located in some kind of Riverside mini-city.  If you live around here, think of Hunt Valley, where the Wegmans, and all those stores are.  Then multiply this by about 10.  That big. Clubs, restaurants, shops, really pretty cool setup.


We are inside and in second row, just off stage right...we have dinner, and then the show gets going.


The compere is a local woman whose name I can't remember...lot of dick and lesbian jokes, not impressive.  Opening act is someone named John Evans (I think); a few good lines, but I'm sorry, not that funny.  Needs to string things together a bit better.


Then right into Jim!  Now Jim Jeffries is Riz's CELEBRICRUSH!  She traveled all the way from Boston to see him!  


Dueling Shamisens....Yoshida Brothers doing "Kodo (Hishou Version)."  Mental picture for you I'm sure is really strange right?


Okay, Jim is on fire, and I mean he is just breathing it!  Nearly all new material, excellent pacing; not quite as good as the "Alcoholocaust" show, which comes out on Showtime in September.


Warning:  the Showtime performance will be edited.  Get the DVD via Amazon.uk if you want the real deal...or look on Youtube for it. A great performance, which Showtime will fuck up.


One of the "old" bits Jim did was one that was cut off because it would offend people.  Okay, I can see Auschwitz being a potentially offensive subject in a comedy act.  But it's very dark humor that you have to understand.


Anyway...show went fast...


"Then Came Lo Mein," by Robert Earl Keen and Johnette Napolitano...strange song by Keen.


So out we went, Jim signed DVDs of his other show, "I Swear to God," very good one, too...got to shake his hand, nice guy.


My biggest worry was getting the fuck out of Pittsburgh and back to the Pike, because it was gonna be a four hour drive.  But it was almost a straight line out of the complex, across the Grays Bridge, through a 'burb, and then to the highway.


Oy...one hell of a long ass day trip, but it was fun, and I can't regret it.  Considering the work is going to get completely fucked in the head, starting next Thursday.  Need to get my head together, need to get some more work done on "Silk Road Days," which I've been doing, and then see what the fuck else I have to do.


I have not had time to really do any writings or columns on things that piss me off, but perhaps I'm getting more mature and not worrying about that shit.


Ah...and my exchanges with Alice...hee...hee...hee...I cannot but smile.


Actually, Riz and I both have reason to smile.  Riz's new guy, Al sounds like a real-deal good man.  His daughter is an anime geek, and a sweet kid from what I have heard.  All good...the ex-wife sounds like a real high maintenance problem, but that should be someone else's you'd hope.


Anyway, good for all of 'em.  And yeah...good for Alice, and me, HELL MOTHER-FUCKING YES!


OK, off to it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just When You Think You Know it All...

...you suddenly are reminded you don't know jack shit.


Another busy and odd period for me.  As usual, I'm a person that has to be working on something or accomplishing something...or I'm not doing anything.


I finally got back to work on "Silk Road Days;" I've needed to go back through the book, and rewrite, as well as firm up a number of areas that just didn't work in the first draft.  Atop that, new scenes, new ideas, etc.  


Starting to work...I'm up to 240 pages, and I don't know where the end will be.  Lot more to get in, and figure out how and where it all goes.


Back to WITF this morning for "Morning Edition."  Yeah, feeling quite good that I was mastering things, then in the first hour realized that I could still lose the plot.  Lack of sleep, perhaps, but down to just not reading the log right.  But not bad, not bad at all.  Feeling a good boost in my confidence level.  


This weekend, I have KYW stuff, and then next week is a LONG PERIOD FROM HELL.  I will be busy several days in a row, as I sit in for Tim Lambert on Morning Edition, while he gets in a very well deserved vacation.


Daggers.


The new guy starts I think on May 27th, and hopefully we'll have him up to speed by then.  That should be easy, in comparison to me.


Anyway, going well, very happy.


I'm at the Harrisburg Office right now, listening to Will Ackerman's "Last Day at the Beach" on my Walkman, and retanking up.  Alice should be along soon, and I'm very happy at how we've progressed and so quickly.  


I cannot but say I am in love with Alice, and what can I do, but let it move on as it will. 


"My Generation..." Do I have to tell you?


Heehee...anyway, yeah, it's going nicely.  I'm relieved, and also happy beyond belief.


Dan and I got back together this week to play, and we've a new instrumental, 5311.  Provisional title, no words yet...good stuff, Dan comes up with some very interesting and superb guitar lines.


Also selling him my Les Paul.  Well, it's the Epiphone Les Paul; love it, but don't use it.  He works it well, and it fits.  Good for him.  I'll get another one day, but right now, my feeling is that for electrics, I'm headed back in the direction of Fenders.  Tele's and Strats are the guitar of choice for me, or built on those frames.  They just work for me.


Tomorrow, I'm off to Pittsburgh.  Never been; first a lunch meeting with an old friend from radio, that I met once...in 1987, in New York.  Long story...for another day, but Lynn is just a great person, and I can't wait to see her.


Will see Riz, she of the "Letters from the Disgruntled Fringe" blog.  She is on the way...we'll meet up, and see Jim Jeffries in all his glory at the Improv.  A day away from here, and to see my old friends will be fucking awesome.


"When I'm Right (I'm Wrong)," by Dr. John and the Lower 911...good stuff.


Alice has called...I shall see her at the Guitar Center.  Yes, I'm gear crawling again...I know I should not, but I'm gonna see what they got.  And then I'll see where we go from there...


Ah, life is good...heeeheee...


I have been able to cast aside my concerns and my bitches about things that I just don't need to think about right now.  Some things over the past couple weeks make we want to just let rip, but it's going by...Zen thing, coolness....


I'll have a review of my road trip to Pittsburgh, the city, Riz, Jeffries and the like thereafter.



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Process

I'm still alive, but it was one more long, strange weekend.


Walkman starter, "Highways and Heartaches," by Joe Ely.  That should help wake me up, along with a large iced coffee, plus whatever medicines are working in me.


Friday went well at WITF; a good, smooth day, and I'm finally figuring a lot more out.  Turned out to be one hell of a day, and evening.


Got to see Alice again, and we are definitely something.  Well, she's something anyway!  Where the hell have we each been all our lives...I'm just happier than I've been in a long time.  Interesting what a relationship will do, isn't it?


The weekend veered off into weirdness.  I did the afternoon/evening shift for KYW, and while that was all well and good, I had no idea what was waiting for me after.


In the middle of all this, I am back home for Beltane.  The coven and friends gathered at my house, at the last minute for the weather.  Short, but very good ritual; went well, had a good time.  Of course, mindful I have to get up in the am.


I had to do the fast turnaround, which meant leave midnight Saturday and then be back there at like 10 am Sunday...easy, right.


WRONG.


The first part of the shift went pretty fast; the Phillies were playing in the evening, the Sixers are out of the playoffs, and the Flyers dropped their first game to the Bruins the night before.  The Union won, but KYW doesn't give a fuck about soccer, even though they send reporters to the home games.


"Cready Stomp," studio outtake by Pearl Jam...nice.  Perfect for what comes next:


About 2 pm, Rick, my boss calls.  Our far-flung weekender who works for ESPN is stuck in New York State with a broken down ride.  He will not make it.  I proceed to make the decision to stay, until midnight.


Double shift time...running on little sleep as it is, I figure, no big deal, right...yeah, right.  I keep going, the night drags on, and of course, the Phils and Mets go into extra innings!


14 innings.  1-1 game; at least it was interesting to some extent.  I felt so brain dead, normally I can find other things to do, multi-task, etc.  Not really.  


I didn't get out of there until 1 am, Monday.  15 hour shift.  Hey it's money, right?  As I was prepping to leave, I see my WITF boss, Tim Lambert for the second time.  He was here when I arrived, and he was back before I left.


Reason?  Heard during the game that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a firefight in Pakistan.  So he's in to do the news thing, and planned to go over to the all-night diner across the highway to get sound.


The fun of this world of radio of ours.


"Infinite Love," Nawang Khechog...very different segue, no?


I stagger over to the Sunoco station to get coffee for the ride home...gonna need it.  See some punk band rolling up for gas...can't even remember their name now, a lot of S's in the name.


Crash and burn.


Eight hours later, I'm awake.  Why, I don't know.  Monday, back to the Office, where I finally start to get to work again on "Silk Road Days."  This book is taking a long time to write; I've been rewriting, and adding scenes through the first part of it, because there's a lot missing, and I have a lot more development to do.


Oh, and the TrafficTalk gang called.  I was asked to help cut a phone promo on a new idea they have to deal with the service.  Still talking with people, still working on ideas, funding, etc.  


So now...I was up until 1:30 am, writing, and doing stuff.  The band is hopefully going to gather, at least two or three of us, but would you not know?


Darren, our fill-in drummer was to host Dan and myself; just now he calls...power's out.


Weird shit.  So waiting now to see if Dan's awake and what he'll do.


"Your Hands," John & Yoko...mostly Yoko...oh dear.  Her poetry is good, her voice is NOT.  Skip.


"I Can't Explain," studio version, the Who...now we're talking!


Back to Alice...can't stop thinking of her and talking of her.  I have been loathe to write much about her, or mention who she is online, because I don't want to jinx what we have here.  She's a professional stagehand, and knows all that behind the scenes stuff. She has an attitude, she's Pagan (slightly different than me, but who cares?), and rather uninhibited.


Think I finally found my match.  Damn.  It is a very strange situation, but I'm quite pleased, and very happy.  To have someone tell you they love you is really amazing...especially when you know they  mean it.


"Fortune Teller," Who Live at Leeds...ahhh...yes, there's a lot of Who on my Walkman.


So, I now look at things a little differently.  I have a reasonable amount of work right now, and while the new guy at ITF starts later this month, I at least have some extra hours.  All good, but I do wonder about further down the road.  Just gotta keep dealing with things as best I can.  Yet I sometimes wonder about my decisions at times.


See what we can do, I suppose...we all do.


Pittsburgh in a couple of days...hope to make it there in time to have lunch with an old friend and radio colleague, then putz about until I meet Riz for the Jim Jeffries show...and of course, work all weekend right after.  This is life; this is what we insane people do.


"Trees," Paul Weller...weird fucking song on his latest album...about sex changes, I think...or something...need to skip.  I love the Jam and Weller on his own, but oh God not now...


"The Secret Agent Ending," Philip Glass, "Glass Reflections" CD...gotta get going, now.