1-31-05: Boy, I'm really depressed about
canceling Showtime last Fall; I checked the current line-up, and they're
offering-up some really great family entertainment. Let's start
with "Reefer Madness". To start airing in April, it's billed as: "...Showtime's
first movie musical... is a tongue-in-cheek raucous musical comedy about
clean-cut kids who fall into a twisted, hilarious downward spiral of reefer, sex
and mayhem...." Sounds inspiring! After that debut, mid '05 will bring
us "Weeds", ..."a single-camera comedy from Lions Gate
Television about a single mother who makes ends meet by selling marijuana in
suburban L.A..." Don't forget about the other wholesome shows, such as
"The L. Word", "Queer as Folk" or "Family
Business" (a reality-based show about a family operated porn company), and
Kirstie Alley staring in "Fat Actress". Brilliant television!
(brilliant for those of you who've fried half your brain cells getting stoned--for
medicinal purposes, of course.)
I know, I know, "...if ya don't like it, turn off the
TV!!" Well, I did, but millions of others haven't...And we wonder why
9/11 happened. Hmmm, let's see: For starters, we're fat, high as a kite,
porn-and-Prozac-addicted, spoiled and lazy. Not to mention the continuing rise
in divorce, adult and teen abortions, death of the traditional family,
and bad music (sorry--the Grammy's are coming, so I threw that in for good
measure). In all honesty, I don't blame the terrorists who attacked us; I don't
blame Clinton, Bush or Saddam. I blame myself--and the millions of others like
myself who sit silently, going along with the almighty programs of tolerance and
Understand history, and you'll see that the
similarities are scary: The ghosts of Rome's past are calling...
1-30-05: How could I have left her out?!
A few posts down, I was rambling about who's the next 'big thing', and I
completely forgot about
Yamagata. Jen and I saw her open for
Gray (our generation's greatest songwriter) in Chicago in '03;
thought she was pretty good--even covered a Black Crow's song...now her CD is
out, and she looks to be on the cusp of stardom. This girl is amazing, and so
easy to relate to, unlike the singers she's compared to, i.e. Fiona Apple or
Norah Jones. Anyway, she's going to perform on "The O C" this
Thursday, Feb.3 on Fox. Never seen the show, but I'll tune in for this episode.
1-25-05: Ahhh, yes,
yes, YES...", as the great Inspector Clouseau might say after being
embarrassed, and trying to cover it up. I'm not trying to cover
anything up, but it feels like a Clouseau moment after reading 2 out of 4 recent
submissions were forwarded. Yep, that makes #'s 13 and 14. The good thing about
this one is who it's being sent to; a "Grammy-winning producer...needing
composers to help fill the daily onslaught of TV and film music..." Sounds
right up my alley. The two songs were "Dead Can
Dance" and "Exotic Air" (3rd time
for that tune).
Good way to (almost) start the week. Now I'm working on a
sound clip for the Young Film Composers contest for TMC. I don't have a chance
in hell of winning, so I figured, 'what the hell!'
makes forward # 12; kinda weird...I submitted 4 pieces to this listing, and this
was the worst of the bunch...and I wish the one that made it was
on CD with my bio on the inside of the jewel case ('Tension' was finished at the
last moment, and was uploaded via Broadjam, meaning the publisher will get an
mp3 of the tune). Oh well, time to finish up the next piece (for the same movie
trailer listing, with a February deadline).
1-17-05: Ended up watching a few quarters
of football yesterday; I guess I was hoping to see Randy Moss get carted off the
field in an ambulance; that didn't happen, but at least the Vikings lost. Now
I hope that someone from the Falcons defense will smash Terrell Owens and his
big mouth, and that the Patriots destroy the Steelers (Ravens fans are to the
Steelers, as the Chiefs fans are to the Raiders). I shouldn't hope that people get injured, but these jokers are 1st class
jerks; kids look up to them, and NFL players are setting horrible examples of
how professionals behave (and I'm not a hypocrite--I hate what Ray Lewis does,
too.) Trying to stay happy, but ya just have to vent from time to time.
1-15-05: Had to do a quick entry;
returned home from Kansas City tonight and found out that Exotic
Air got forwarded again; I really, REALLY hope it
actually gets used this time (it was for a 'dispatch' listing needing music for
a film or something...so I'll know sooner than normal if it will be used or
not). Please, everyone: say a prayer and keep your fingers crossed...that
feeling I had last Sunday may have been in reference to this gig.
1-14-05: Major score
at the Food Fair this week; they had a grocery cart full of discount Christmas
candy, including M&M's...yeah, I stocked-up. I mentioned this week as being
'big', and by Tuesday, I already felt 10 miles high; I spoke to my friend from
years past, Ben...it made my day, to say the least. It turns out, he lives
behind where Elliott Smith used to (and where his girlfriend currently lives).
How amazing is that?! Finished another demo; Going to write one more before
deadline on Monday; since the Ravens are out of the play-offs, there should be
no Sunday afternoon distractions (except for Patty, who's still insanely hyper). It's been a pretty good week, and there are still 2 days
1-9-05: The new HomePage photo is Heaven
(in my mind, anyway); esp. now that we're in the heart of Winter, those fields
look so inviting. I see a very similar layout as I make the
Sunday drive to Montrose, MO, or when I cruise the same 2-lane highway heading
to KC. I realize that some of you aren't exactly God-fearing, but when you see
these places in person, it's hard to imagine that those beautiful blades of
grass, trees, animals, etc., came out of an accidental explosion...add a
gorgeous sunset (or sunrise) to it and,..I have to say that it's just too
perfect to exist any other way. And now, with the fields lightly covered in
snow, I'm in my element (but will be sure to welcome Spring's arrival --and
warmer temps-- with open arms).
As I end another week out here in God's Country, I prepare for
a more successful one to come. My New Year's resolution this year was simple,
yet one I've never contemplated: I resolve to make today better than
yesterday, and tomorrow better than today. With this in mind, I won't have
to wait until 'tomorrow', 'next week', 'next month', or 'next year' to make a
This week, something big is going to happen. Do you ever get
that feeling? Something's in the air...better go record some more music...
1-5-05: My new cat is insane. I thought
he was the 'mellow' one, but is now acting like he's on kitty speed or
something, bouncing off the walls, meowing, killing all Skippy's
toys. Man, I have a new respect for parents of newborns--I'm not sure I could do
it! Speaking of someone on speed, here's a pretty funny piece my friend Daniel
e-mailed to me:
2-27-05: Proof that God
exists (there are far too many examples, but here are a few of
Rachmaninoff--2nd Piano Concerto; Barber--Piano
Concerto; Michelangelo/Cistine Chapel; Leonardo da Vinci;
Chill; Plato; Isaac Newton; Mother Theresa; Shakespeare; Abe Lincoln; the
writings of Pope John Paul II; Einstein; Stephen Hawking; David Gray--"Shine";
Jimmy Webb--"The Moon is a
Harsh Mistress"; Jimi Hendrix; Joe DiMaggio's grace in the outfield;
George Brett's 'Moon Shot'; Buggs Bunny, Peter Sellers, Greta Garbo, Alfred
Hitchcock, Chaplin; XM-Radio; A
Guild 12-String jumbo,..
Klausner playing a Stradivarius; a U.S. soldier's bravery; Mike D.'s laugh,
Kate's voice, Jen's wit (and hair)--sorry: had
to throw that in!, Felix's smile, Angela's face, Ben's
compassion, Jason's forgiveness, Scott's dedication, Paul's loyalty,
Steve's honesty, Linda's generosity, Robert's kindness, Miko's intelligence; my
Mom, Dad and 3 sisters.
...and all the evil in the world, so that we
might appreciate all that is beautiful.
2-24-05: 2 more forwards on
Tuesday; "Silhouette" and
"Dead Can Dance" are up for license
consideration. 31 forwards and counting...I think my yellow cab has a
2-17-05: Just received
another postcard with 3 forwards on it: "Contemplative", "Power from Above", and
these were for an overseas documentary about civil rights struggles. Whatever.
So now we're up to 29. How many before one of these publishers calls? 30, 50,...
100? One would think my odds should improve. (By the way, the publisher who
offered a deal is a company I sent through FilmMusic.Net--not Taxi).
2-17-05: Yep, it's good to
have friends that make the day go by a little easier.
you leave me a voice mail, I may make your day
2-15-05: Well everybody, it
finally happened: I've just been offered my first publishing contract!!! This
was based on my demos of "Outfoxed", "Dark
and "Speed Kills". The names
will be changed at the publisher's office, but who cares about that. All I hope
for now is that we get to hear these pieces in some commercials--and sooner than
later. Yessir,...I'm happy.
2-14-04: Oh boy,... the
Grammy's. I love the joke the sound engineer played on the singers, esp. J.Lo.
(man, she was horrible, and of course I was laughing 'til my side hurt). With
the miracle box AutoTune being disabled, nobody stood a chance of sounding good,
unless they really were. The best/worst moment was the Janis Joplin tribute.
Melissa Etheridge rocked like a true veteran, but Joss Stone?! This girl was
strutting around, doing her best Mariah Carry impression (cliched, one
hand-in-the-air-Diva pose), singing every note in the scale in between the notes
she was suppose to sing, and wearing a dress fit for an Oscar red carpet
appearance...so convincing as Janis Joplin. And she wouldn't let Melissa get one
whole line in without interrupting. What a puke. Good things: Los Lonely
Boys won, as did Velvet Revolver, Wilco and Loretta Lynn/Jack White. And Prince
won, but didn't show up! and I don't blame him; the whole thing is getting
ridiculous (but I still want one someday).
2-11-05: Patty is a girl; Last time I had
a female cat was when I was a kid. "Trashy" was my first cat.
Thinking about adding a Bonnie Consolo page. I've had some
good suggestions: She can't hitchhike; couldn't be a traffic cop; can't play the
2-9-05: Trying to finish one last
movie-trailer-type demo for a listing due on the 15th, so I thought I'd steal
some ideas from an actual movie. So after I had a Taco pizza at
the Espresso Cafe (got 50% off cuz it was 'Baldy Tuesday'), I went to their
little video dept. and rented "The Grudge". Oh man...I gots 3 words
about that flick: Ree Tar Dead. What a let down; at least it had Sarah Michelle
Geller in it--and the music score was good. Going to take Patty
O'Paddy in for his first check up tomorrow. I really hope they can give him a
shot or pill--anything--to get rid of his gas problem. And tonight when I was
watching the movie, he snuck up on the kitchen counter and got into a bag of
Chex Mix I didn't close all the way. It was all over the place, and crumbs were
on his whiskers. I guess I asked for it!
2-6-05: Sunday. 3:30am. Wrapping-up the
latest 'audio resume' for a Taxi client. I think it's MTV
(based on their description). Regardless of who it is for, everything I'm doing
hangs onto high hopes. The sky is the limit...
Merle. THE band you'll be hearing about over
the next few months. Man, with bands this good out there.., I have no chance!
2-2-05: Wow. I just got 4 postcards from
Taxi today--3 songs on each card-- and all of them were forwarded to the
Grammy-winning dude. Some of those pieces are up on the
Music page; some were Opus 1 pieces (It'll be my luck that the guy will want
to use one of the Opus 1 tunes in a major movie, and I'll get the buy-out fee of
$35, instead of making $350,000 in royalties! I'll worry about that when the
time comes. Anyway, this makes 14 out of 16 for that listing, bringing the grand
total of forwards to: 26
3-30-05: This evening
I received a "Congratulation, blah blah, blah..."
and a "..unfortunately, blah, blah, blah.."
e-mail. 43 forwards total.
piece removed until after 1st round of competition
3-16-05: 9 more forwards; I
had to call to find out, though....the dumb asses didn't even
send the e-mail notification this time. 8 more to reach Sick50... my paint
brushes are calling out to me.
3-14-05: Is it wrong to have
the Bonnie page? Maybe. Is it wrong to lust after the girl in the
leather jacket who spent a really long time in the confessional at last night's
Reconciliation service? Probably. Was it really stupid for me to ask the
spokesperson for Catholic Charities if volunteering at the women's shelter would
be a good way to
meet girls? Definitely.
Okay, now for some fun. Below are links to an
insane girl at a club. Start with the first, original pic, then move on down the
line. This guy is amazing at PhotoShop. warning: I was in tears
the first time I saw these. Enjoy!
3-11-05: Forward # 33 today.
3-10-05: Went to Wal-Mart
today; changed the oil on the truck..... YYYep.
will soon be in the hands of the music supervisor for an indie film. I
wanted this forward as badly as the very first one, since I made the piece
specifically for this listing. (this makes #32
for those of you playing along)
3-8-05: It's becoming a
twisted, 'wicked' game; I'm trying to see if I can land my 50th forward in the
next couple weeks. Taxi claims that the forwards from the latest
Dispatch listings will be screened directly by the owners of the music library. Oh
REEEally....Gee, I thought all the forwards went to the guy who placed the
ad. I'm so naive... So, do I get screened by the 'industry pros' at Taxi, then
by the 'pros' working under the publishing company? (a Taxi screener who, like
any other normal human being, has good and bad days which inevitably cloud judgment...I
don't care how good you are at your job, if the machine just ran out of Diet
Coke, you got a ticket on the way in to work, or if your ex girlfriend just
called to tell you she wants your f**kin stuff out of her apt. 2 minutes before
you listen to my CD, it won't sound as good had your ex-girlfriend just called
to say she wants you back...know what I mean? Why else do some pieces get
rejected, while others make it through--on similar listings? Then there are the
publishers screeners, who are no doubt fresh out of film school,
working as some sort of intern, subjecting their interpretation of what's good
and bad to the CEO of the company....and thru the little interns eyes,
everything's kinda lame compared to their own stuff...hey, that's what I thought
when I was 22).
Sounds like pretty good odds to me!! Really, it
would be a whole lot easier if I hadn't got one single forward or license deal;
have someone like Simon call me to say unapologetically, "give it up,
dude". At least, it'd be obvious that I should get a 'real' job, and join
the human race. Well, I'm a certified nut-job, so I guess it makes sense that I
don't have sense to get out of this whole rat race. Sometimes, ya just
gotta laugh at how ridiculous everything is, and I've been
laughing a lot lately. I don't know what I'd do without my friends
calling me to make me laugh, the
Bonnie page, or
movies like 'Kingpin', 'The Jerk' or '10' to help me forget about the
struggle. Meanwhile, the silent film contest awaits my attention, so after this
latest batch of 15 Taxi dispatches goes out tomorrow, I'll force myself to
forget about the ride Taxi is taking me on.
3-4-05: Finished the latest
version of "Xtasy"; blah
4-26-05: my newest favorite
candy bar is the new Butterfinger Crisp, but the most perfect candy bar is still
the classic Hershey Bar. What does this have to do with the contest I just lost?
Absolutely nothing. Speaking of the contest,
the losing clip:
tick-tock...tick-tock....still no word on the winners.
4-19-05: Got #'s 44 and 45
4-18-05: 49hrs, 5min.
most annoying sound on the face of the planet: 3-way Tie: a yappy dog, wigga/ghetto car
stereos and Randi Rhodes' voice.
4-6-05: 14 days and
counting....this could mark the beginning or the end.
forwarded. 'My Little Buddy': yep. 'Hope
Springs Eternal (piano solo version)' uh-huh. 'October':
no. No on October?! I even used my new Steinway grand sample...and I
think it's better by far than (or at least equal to) 'Hope Springs...' I'm
sorry, but this is bulls**t.
Up to 56 now.
Sorry: I forgot I
wasn't counting anymore
5-22-05: I forgot to tell
y'all about the 51st forward I received last Monday; and this weekend I got (to
my surprise) a postcard with 2 forwards on it. I suppose the fact
that I had forgotten about a listing I submitted to 3 weeks ago is the kind of
attitude I need to have. A professor in college once told me about contests: "Send
'em and forget 'em..." I realize now what he meant by that: don't
obsess over something that's out of your control. Good advice to be applied
towards a number of things we deal with in life. So I'm reaching the end of my
first year in Appleton City, and after the recent batch of submissions gets
processed, could have as many as 57 forwards in 1 year....But who's counting?
Not me: I don't think about these things anymore!
P.S. The music/Taxi/FilmMsic.Net samples will be
returning soon. As some of you know, I'm starting a new 'Tommy' CD, and will
want to include audio updates of the project. But this current site seems a bit
dated, and I'd like to give it a complete overhaul...I promised Felix some new
music to take with him to Ecuador in July, so expect to see some changes sooner
Hey Mike D.: Did ya take care of
dat ding for me? Y'know, da T-Bird title? (and don't even think about calling
tomorrow between 7 - 9pm--it's the season finale of '24') Jason:
When will you have some free time to catch-up? (Don't kill me--I'm painting a
barn this week--sorry, but it's a job that ='s $$$) Ben:
Thanks for sending the link to the David Crosby interview...my hope, optimism
and enthusiasm for the future of music has been fully restored. Everyone
should read this: (it's kinda long, but worth it..and Jen:
I know you will especially enjoy reading this)
5-15-05: Man, what a
weekend; I decided to move the
piano into the house. I
love that piano, but hate moving it--it weighs a ton (well actually like 450
lbs), and I only had a 28" doorway (the piano was 27" wide...not much
room for error) So I lifted, pushed, and pulled the beast up into the rec room
area to begin writing songs again. After a good dusting, I took off the front
cover and gave it a quick tuning. Kinda sad to discover the soundboard is now
cracked enough to cause a horrible buzzzzzing in the mid to lower register--I
guess a whole Winter in the garage will do that (duh). It's still a great
feeling to play a real piano over a keyboard. This thing is seriously beat-up,
though, and sounds awful; the action is all jacked up, and some of the notes
just don't work anymore. I'd forgotten just how bad it was, and it's gotten
worse. But, I figure that if a song can sound good on this thing, it will sound
great on a keyboard in tune. That's the whole strategy. I mean, Elton John tunes
sound good on a bad piano. On top of everything, it's obviously a challenge to
play. It really shows when your timing is off, since most of the hammers strike
twice when you hit it just once (technicians hate that, but I see it as a good
way to correct your errors--the playing has to be EXACT, or it really starts to
sound bad). Anyway, I wrote a ton of songs on it. "Tell Me" was
the first one I wrote on it back in '95. Then I wrote "See You Around"
and "Hymn For Her" in '96, and a year later penned
"Beautiful" and "One Like You". I'll never forget
playing/singing the first verse and chorus of "One like you" to Kate,
when I had it set up in the kitchen of the Ruskin house. "...okay, it
goes something like this...", I told her, then I tried to rhythmically
simulate the guitar pattern and just sang away. Great times I'll treasure
(By the way, the other tracks from the first CD
were written as follows: "Trial" was written on my 6-string acoustic,
"Seraph" on my keyboard, "October" on my old O/1w back in
December/January of '92/'93, and the music for "In the Night"
(originally called "Somewhere in the Night") was written on the family
piano when I was 15 and home sick from school ...Ahhh, 1985.
Wow. 10 years ago--first song on the red piano.
20 years ago, first song. 30 years ago, first time I struck a note on a piano.
This is going to be a great year.
5-8-05: Finally got a
digital camera; how I've lived this long without one is killing me--this thing
is sooo cool! I'm going to take some pics of the town, my house
and of course Patty; actually, she was my first subject--pictures on the 'Photos'
Watched about as much as I could of SNL last
night; the band, 'System of a Down' was appropriate--the show sucked, and the
band was even worse. It's sad--the show used to be pretty good, esp. in the
early 90's. The last several episodes I've seen (over the last year or so) have
all been painful to watch...really, really bad skits. Too many negative things
to say about it all. What a shame. Now I'm worried about the upcoming Pink
Panther movie staring Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau. You know those are two
of my favorite characters, but the previews I've seen made me squirm a bit. I'll
probably see it anyway.
Went 5 for 6 on the latest Taxi batch (Thanks to
the 'lucky cheeseburger' at Margie's Dari-Burg....That makes 50!!
5-2-05: The Atlanta
convention just got cancelled. I spent almost a whole week
printing 150 CD's for nothing. My deposit is gone. I lost
the contest last week. I have 2 pieces of frozen fish and a can of beans left.
Could God be telling me something? Hey, that sounds like a country song!
Posted a bunch of pictures from the big parade yesterday on the
6-17-05: Working on the new updates....So far
everything seems to be working, and the header turned out just as I
had envisioned it. Still trying to figure out how to get things
formatted properly, mainly the background .gif; (I hope I won't have
to bug Mike much more!) The home page picture is looking East from
my front yard after a storm came through. It wasn't that
red outside. but it was eerie, and very inspiring. My first night
down here, it was like this; I'll never forget sitting under the
front porch roof, with the rain softly coming down, and looking down
the street, seeing what is now the home page picture. Come to think
of it, the picture was taken a few weeks ago--about 1 year to the
day after I spent my first night in the big A.C., as my sister Suzy
likes to call it. Anyway, sometimes the things I see around leave me
speechless. That picture is what sold me on moving here.
to build web sites for some extra cash. Today I got the Appleton
City Manor (elderly care giving facility) to sign up with me, and
last week I completed the Espresso Cafe's web site (www.acEspressoCafe.com)
Hope to land the rest of the businesses in town.
David Poe; watch out for
this guy... incredible song called 'So Beautiful'...gonna be huge. Another David
Gray on the horizon.
Starting a tile-laying job tomorrow (hey, whatever it takes to pays
the bills) (oh, and the girl at the carpet and tile store was pretty
cute, so I may be making several trips ("....I think I only need one
more tile..." next day
"...forgot about the closet..." Yep. I'll probably say something
retarded and be forever banned from that store.
Felix is back (Hey
buddy! Looks like you had a good trip with your family; thanks
for sending the link to your photos...your son's getting
big--what is he, 2 or 3 now? You'll have to look into Ravens
training camp in a few years).
It's been pretty
hot; I saw the bank temp. read-out on Friday...108. Saturday was
109. My poor sister and her family came to visit me on the
hottest day of the year so far--sorry! Yesterday and today I
think it was only 100 or 102. I guess it doesn't really matter
whether it's 90 or 109, when the A/C is broken on the truck--
it's stinko hot. Trying to finish my first piece in almost 3
months, and the second piece since March. Man, it's been a
while. Patty is getting big (must be all the tuna). And I have a
new pet...kinda. It's Fred the wasp, and it hangs around
the birdbath every morning waiting for me to rinse it out and
refill it. I'm not kidding, the first time I saw this thing, it
was facing down in the B-bath drinking (not the first time I've
seen a wasp doing that--guess they get hot and thirsty, too).
What was funny was after I walked past it on the way to water
the flowers in front and came back, it was floating--no,
swimming-- back and forth in the bath. At first I
thought is fell in and was drowning, but when I got closer, it
flew up-and-around, then came back. Next day, same thing...wasp
swimming in the bath; I rinsed it out, and started to refill it,
the wasp sat on the rim, waiting for me to move the hose. Pretty
cool. I'll get a picture of Fred... and George the squirrel
eating the birdseed. Go on: tell me I'm nuts--you wouldn't be
Finally an update! I've been so depressed lately for not getting any
new music done that I've neglected anything to do with the
site...there's been very little Music of Tommy to speak of, but as
always, I still get hopeful and think that "...if I can just get
through this week, then, ahhh yes...THEN I can start recording
again..." 'Someday soon' has to come, or I'll go nuts--again.
It's tough--staying committed to your goals, and if it weren't for a
few people out there --literally a number I can count on one
hand-- I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.
New band for y'all
to check out:
Rhine. They're not new, actually; have been around since
1993, but have a loyal following that started in their hometown
of Cincinnati, OH. What a beautiful sounding group, very similar
to HEM. The lead singer has one of the most beautiful voices
I've heard. Check out the CD, 'Ohio'.
Uhh ohh...I just might make this whole dream work after all. As I
was explaining to Mike D. the other night, the stage I'm at right
now is probably the hardest; most artists cave at this point (and
I've considered giving-up on an almost daily basis); but after
getting another license deal today, I'm starting to get a strong
feeling that if I can make it though the next 6 - 12 months, I'll
start to see some rewarding test results. I was offered a deal for 8
of my songs this afternoon, and one of those was Exotic Air, which
has been licensed to another publisher already. I never thought I'd
have 2 publishers interested in the same tune, but I suppose this is
the way it happens. You work hard, struggle, and pray --a
lot-- for something to happen, and just when you think you
can't go on anymore, the clouds part, the sun comes out, and all
looks positive, hopeful and promising again. I remember how it
started when I bought my first house. I was soooo worried I wouldn't
get enough painting jobs to pay the mortgage, let alone buy any new
studio gear. Within a year, I had more work than I could handle, and
soon started to record my first CD.
I don't want to get
ahead of myself with today's good news, but I really have a
strong feeling that things will work out just as they have
before. I may not get rich or famous (or maybe I will!), but I
think I can survive in one of the toughest businesses out there.
In the words of the great Winston Churchill, "Never, never,
never quit". (I know he said this cuz it's printed on the mug my
mom got for me to put on my desk and contemplate everyday...
It only took 4 weeks to finish (actually, it took 3 1/2 weeks to
get to it again, then spent this weekend and today finishing
it). Now it's time to get
back to work, and go spray some more furniture in the garage.
What the world needs now, is more dogs. I hope you're catching the
sarcasm. My white trash neighbors are turning out to be either dog
breeders, or dog thieves. There's a new one chained-up outside every
couple weeks, and they loooove to bark. I'm sure the neighbors
didn't count on the quite guy next door to have a 300 watt keyboard
amp and a 20k Hz test-tone running on a loop. Man, dogs hate sine
waves that high. I'm sure it hurts them a little, but I can't hear
it, and the dogs don't bark. Besides, it's not like the dogs have a
happy existence being hooked-up to a 10' chain all day and night.
Call me cruel, but there should be a law, and as long as there
isn't, I know I shouldn't have to suffer.
Now, how to get the
kids here to stop playing gansta rap. I don't understand it.
Some of the jokers around here are walkin', talkin'
contradictions, wearing oversized Confederate Flag shirts, their
pants are more ghetto than my old Ruskin neighbors, they hate
black people, but will cruise around playing 'kill whitey'
music. I don't get it.
Just about fully recovered from the tile job I did for the school
down the road. Have a look: My hands
and feet are pretty beaten-up...I'll survive. I'm more worried about
the spider bite I just got on my left leg; things could be worse I
Thanks Jason for the
microphone! I guess that's a pretty major hint; I'm very
appreciative, and hope to make some good tracks with it.
Actually, I hope to make some tracks--good or bad.
Last week I went to
Paul Blum's retirement party at Yia Yia's (pronounced Ya-Ya's);
I overheard him say it cost $2,500 for all of to have dinner
there. Man, that amount could feed a LOT of families in China,
but only 50 of us fat-ass Americans at a posh restaurant;
was a nice dinner party for a well-deserved man. I've often
thought of Paul as a father-figure at times, esp. when I didn't
feel too good about life and had no one else to talk to about
Hey, anyone catch
the Free-View concert series on Direct TV in July? Dave Mathews
Band (yawn), Stripes 25th Anniversary special (bigger yawn), and
Garbage! (no yawn there). Shirley Manson is still the ultimate
rock-n-roll babe, and looks even better now than she did 5 years
ago. Shirley, Shirley, Shirley (Homer Simpson drool effect). And
yes--she has THE hair. What's 'the hair', you ask? Another story
for another time.
9-29-05: I can't believe how realistic sampled orchestras
are getting, and how affordable they are. I put together a nice
track the other night using EastWest's Silver Orchestra
(now under $160.00!)
wish I had more time to tweak it; every time I hear it, an
improvement comes to mind, but when you've painted for 10 hours,
the brain is already tired. Thank God for Paul sending the bag
of M&M's! Get this: I knew I would be up half the night getting
a demo put together, and was considering just letting this Taxi
listing slip by like so many others have lately, but when I got
home from work, there was a package on my door step containing
the new biggie-sized M&M's--just what I needed! And he sent them
for no other reason than just being a nice friend...how cool is
that?! I suppose pumping Diet Coke and SoBe energy drink into my
system all day made it possible to work until 4am, but going to
bed at 5 then getting up at 6:30 made Wed. really
I just got my 3rd Taxi forward since the start of my 3rd year
with them in July. Yippee! Ravens back in action this weekend
hosting the "J-E-T-S Jets"; Mike D. to arrive next weekend;
Taxes due the following weekend; Tons of Taxi and Film Music.Net
listings to get to; Lots of work via paint jobs lined up; my
music is currently being aired all over Asia and South America;
Outlook is good...it's so nice to be alive again.
9-22-05: Man how time flies...it's almost the end of
September, I'm late on my 'weekly' update, and today was the first
day of Autumn, but it still got into the 90's. You must be living
under a rock if you haven't heard about Rita, but I bet you haven't
heard about the projected gas prices. Everyone knows gas will
potentially soar after Rita hits, and it may high for a while
depending on what's damaged in Houston and along the TX LA coast,
BUT I heard today that by this time next year, crude oil will be
around $46 a barrel. Searioulsy. I obviously can't predict NFL
scores very well, but trust me on this one: gas WILL be around
$1.50/gal after Labor Day 2006.
Tommy Records is almost finished (well, not really, but at least
there are songs to preview); remixed another version of Hepnotic,
calling is Hepnotica (quite a stretch, I know); mowed the yard
today, got the final bunch of breakfast and lunch grub for my
upcoming 8 - 10 day stretch of painting hell. Still feelin' good
about things, esp. the TommyRecords project...lots of good ideas
that may actually pay off.
still miss Becky. I miss you, Kate! Jen, you're always missed,
and can't wait to see you for Mike's wedding. One more miss: I
missed seeing Mike and Jason last weekend..sorry--didn't hear
from you guys, but I had to play a wedding that Sat. anyway, so
it probably wouldn't have worked out time-wise. And I absolutely
do NOT miss that materialistic bi-atch Carloyn (whatcha
think about that, Fella?!)
9-14-05: Yeah, yeah...I know: the Ravens got their butts
kicked. But since I'm a true fan, not the bandwagon-type, I'll stick
with them; they'll get better as the season progresses. As long as
they beat Cleveland and Pittsburg, I'll be happy.
has the hair...
9-11-05: It's Ravens time! The NFL season for Baltimore
starts tonight, and it couldn't come soon enough. It may not come as
a surprise, but I'm predicting the Ravens to go all the way this
year; the team is solid from top to bottom; their running backs are
unstoppable (they have this killer rookie that's 5' 11", 250lbs, and
3% body fat--unbelievable!), Todd Heap is healthy, and the defense
will be as potent as the 2000 championship team. Yes, this is the
year, starting tonight against the Colts.
will the Chiefs do? Who cares! Okay, some experts are predicting
them in the Super Bowl against the Packers....could be because
it will be a rematch of Super Bowl 1, and this year is super
Bowl 40, and analysts get nostalgic about these things. Anyway,
the Chiefs season depends on whether or not Trent stays healthy;
if he goes down, it's over.
Looks like an exciting year for all the teams, though, as parity
has come to fruition. Anything could happen, but I'm bias about
my Ravens, so I'll be expecting to see them with another ring in
Went to the City yesterday and picked up a few supplies, including
the new David Gray CD, "Life in Slow Motion" and David Poe's debut
release. Haven't listened to the Poe CD yet, but man oh man, I'm
listening to David Gray's CD now and am just as stunned with this as
when I first heard "White Ladder". This guy really is one of the
most talented musicians living among us. The Nick Drake of our time.
So Kerri, you
haven't responded yet... What's going on in your life these
Have you been hearing all the stories about flood damaged cars
potentially showing up in used car lots? I know I'm not the sharpest
light bulb in the bunch, but I'm guessing that if you find gumbo
shrimp in the ashtray, it's probably a good idea to keep looking.
Pretty interesting situation, though. I mean, the car dealer buys
the car at an auction; the previous owner has to reveal any previous
damage. So if the original owner cleans it up and lies about the
history, is the dealer responsible? Or the auctioneer? Obviously,
the original owner is guilty, but will you ever be able to find
One more day left on
the big paint job; got my 4th Taxi forward this evening (the
late night, almost-all-nighter-with Paul's M&M's paid-off!).
Here's a shocker for ya'll: A thought came to mind while at Mass
this weekend: Is the whole Bonnie page necessary? I'll
always share the actual story of how the paper came about, but
the new, updated list from today? As I was in church, I sat
behind this family that always comes on Saturdays. Super nice
bunch: 2 girls, a boy and mom and dad (and the mom is the singer
when I play). Anyway, one of the girls is probably 9 or 10, and
has Downs Syndrome; watching how she's always smiling, and how
she clings to her mom is just one of the sweetest things you'd
ever see, and even though I usually see them every Saturday
evening, this week in particular it just hit me: what the hell
am I doing laughing at other people? I can handle people making
fun of me; the nuns in grade school, the teachers in high
school, and the profs in college all telling me how stupid I
was; it never really, fully set in (although I kinda believe it
now--when you're told something often enough, you start to
believe it). So, honestly, I don't think I'm terribly bright,
and think I'm pretty freaky looking too, but that doesn't give
me the right to pass judgment on someone else, does it? Don't
look for any major shifts towards political correctness, but
hopefully a bit more compassion and tolerance is in my future.
And less discussion/ranting of politics.
Happy Birthday to me (well, tomorrow, actually) ~Hey, Mike D's
wedding was Saturday; here are a couple photos from right before the
Of course, the highlight for me was the waiting room in the back of
the church before the ceremony.
Anyone out there ever drop acid? Just curious--I won't pass judgment
on ya; I was told if I ever did it my brain would partially explode
since it's so chaotic in it's natural state. ~New band
prediction: Coldplay's X&Y
may have represented the zenith of this genre mainly due to it's
over-hyped pre-release--it's a great record, and for any band to put
out a CD of that caliber would receive the highest of praises, but
Coldplay's expectations were set soooo high, we were all left kinda
scratching out heads. Anyway, we see it happen every 2-4 years, give
or take...genres are replaced not because they were 'bad' (maybe
overplayed), but we're ready for something new and fresh. How do you
think the Beatles and U2 stayed on top? (and you can't add the
Stones, for they haven't done anything innovative since Some
Girls (and even that's questionable)--they've amassed a
cult-following not unlike Deadheads; their devoted fan-base,
currently researching nursing homes, are what has kept that bands
popularity afloat all these years) ANYWAY, compare the first Beatles
record with their last (same with U2) and you'll discover how
adaptable these bands were/are to change. ~The modern
Singer-Songwriter era is slowly drawing to a close (at least to the
mainstream), no thanks in part to David Gray's recent release only
getting a 2-out-of-5 star rating from Uncut Magazine. I'm kinda torn
on this prediction, since I'm a big Howie Day fan, and look forward
to his next release, but just as Nirvana's 'Unplugged' performance
ushered in a new generation of lo-fi, non-conforming
conformists-type indie bands that made sloppy playing acceptable
because it was more 'real' (most of the bands from 1994 - 1999 just
sucked as musicians, though were pretty okay writers), David Gray
has spawned countless imitators, but very few equals (Howie Day,
Over the Rhine, HEM and Rachel Yamagata? an emphatic yes--very
talented; Damien Rice, David Mead, Rufus Wainwright--maybe; Mission
to the Sea, Ben Folds, David Poe...I like these bands a lot, but
can't place them in the same league as the above mentioned).
Actually, (and you had to see this coming!) we can trace the modern
Singer-Songwriter movement back to Nick Drake. Though his music got
lost in the haze of poor management and early forms of payola (not
to mention 70's disco, 80's synth pop and 90's grunge), it
eventually found it's way into the hearts of all those who wanted to
know what a real song is, and esp. how a song is to be performed.
~I'm aware that I've left out countless other artists that would
further back-up my point, but
felt the urge to opine a bit on the current state of the industry.
Here endeth my attempt at music journalism.
Again, the question
is put forth: What's next?
~Yo MD: your wedding
is next week; here are a few versions of Musetta's Waltz I
found...let me know what you want:
Piano and Violin
Welcome to November! What a beautiful day it was today; 77 and
virtually no wind. I've had the windows back open again for a few
days, enjoyed some time back out on the deck-- under the spell of
a breathtaking Western skyline at dusk--, and started thinking I
might survive the high heating bills this Winter if global warming
stays on our side. ~Mike D's wedding is in 2 weeks; Miko and
Natti are driving to Arkansas afterwards and will stop and stay here
on their way down, so they'll be my excuse to have a shake at
Margie's Dari-burg. ~I always suspected Donald Trump to be
kind of an a**hole, but after last night's 'Apprentice', I no longer
think that--I know that. ~Painting has stopped for a
few days, so I'm finally getting a chance to discover how incredible
(and complex) the Stylus RMX plug-in is (virtual drum machine
type-deal) ~Am now using the squiggle line to indicate a new
thought, instead of the dotdotdot... ~I'm working on creating
the ultimate candy bar; after years of research, and almost being
completely satisfied with the release of the Fastbreak a few years
ago, I'm still not 100% satisfied, so I'm developing a peanut
butter-like snickers cup, using some of the ingredients in my famous
peanut clusters in addition to the techniques I asked Reese's to
use--but fell on deaf ears. The goal is to make it so addictive that
you'll have to eat several a day. I think I'll call my new treat 'Xtasy',
(after the techno song I recorded, plus it sounds and flow better
than 'Heroine Bar') ~"Life Beautiful" is the title for the new
Tommy CD ("...includes the hit song, 'Strange Days'...").
"Revelation" is the new Opus 1 CD due out in February.
This is it, I swear.
These 2 CD's are it. So please, family, friends--
everyone: stay with me a little longer, and pray a little
harder. I need that more than anything right now.
In the meantime,
it's back to work tomorrow, Sunday, Monday...
Addicts. Frickin' addicts. There are times when I boil with hatred
over addicts. Drug addicts, alcoholics (liquid drug
addicts)...control freaks. I've recently had discussions about this
with a few people close to me, and the conclusion I've come to is
this: Addicts need to control others, because they have no control
over their own actions, which might also explain their desperation,
and at times, utter brilliance in convincing you that you're the
reason for their problem. Alcoholics, for instance, love to make
others feel worthless in an attempt to justify their own emptiness.
I think we're all a little guilty of putting others down to boost
our egos, but addicts take it to the extreme, practicing this
behavior on a daily basis. The desire to reach out and help someone
with this problem is prevalent, but here's the catch: you'll put
yourself at greater risk if the addict senses you as a 'giver'; they
act like a dog, sniffing-out your emotions; they'll play you, then
exploit your vulnerabilities to the fullest. if you let them, that
Man I hate addicts.
One thing I really miss about friends coming to visit is the excuse
for turning up the heat to a normal setting; you know it's cold when
you can see your breath inside. But I'm saving money. ~ Hey, those
Ravens looked pretty good (I know the Packers are terrible, but hey:
the Ravens won, and in a big way.).
Life can be everyday, if you want it to
Welcome to December! Went to my first big Appleton City school
event: the 'Holiday Festival'. Now all you libs who say us hicks
ain't all-inclusive, choke on this: there were several songs
celebrating Hanukah and Kwanzaa; 2 songs contained a rap, and while
100% of the audience were white Christians, we all applauded
politely. The ACLU would be so proud. ~Ben came to visit last week,
and I can't tell you how nice it was to see him; I haven't seen him
since 1989, so it was a real treat to say the least. (BTW: Ben, I
asked a gal at the festival last night about the Manger scene and
all the Bible passages posted in the public park, and she told me it
was actually privately owned, and went on to explain how anything
that was placed on display in the park was off-limits to
ACLU-types). Anyway, I've had quite a rush of smiles and laughs over
the last few weeks, and feel pretty lucky.
Now it's back to