When my day turned into a country song.

All these things happened last Thursday.  The first part happened to me, the rest happened to my coworkers..

 

Stranded by the side of the road

No luck with repairs

Shut the hood, a long walk awaits

No phone service here

Pull up along side

Told him not to give up hope

It’s an easy tow into town

As I pull out a rope

Life ain’t all palm trees and sunshine

There are bumps along the way

But give a stranger a chance

Be rewarded in faith

We’re on this rock for a while

Or so the story goes

Best to take things as they come

Learn to keep what to take

And what to let go

Ground’s washed out at the river’s bank

A victim of summer’s rain

Not to worry, a little bit of work

And he’ll bring it back again

Drive the tractor up to the edge

Watch a heron fly

Hit the gas instead of the brake

Think that he’s gonna die

Life ain’t all palm trees and sunshine

There are bumps along the way

Hit reverse in a panic

Keep backing up till you feel safe

We’re on this rock for a while

Or so the story goes

Best to take things as they come

Learn to keep what to take

And what to let go

Cleaning up around the bend

Picking up debris

The boy sees large weathered log

Must’ve been a strange looking tree

Imagine his surprise

Reaching out for the branch

Came a whip from a tail

Followed by a violent splash

Life ain’t all palm trees and sunshine

There are bumps along the way

Keep focus on what you’re doing

Don’t become gator bait

We’re on this rock for a while

Or so the story goes

Best to take things as they come

Learn to keep what to take

And what to let go

Summer Night

The night air was thick and perfumed with the scent of coco-butter.  Music and laughter spilled out of open doorways while lover’s held hands as they strolled down the curved concrete.

There was a feeling of familiarity that only the summer season could bring.

No crowds, no heavy traffic, no tourists.

The bars, shops, beaches, and parlors once again belonged to the natives that lived there.

A moment to breath, a moment to dance.  The sweetness of summer, shining in the night.

 

Offered to you for SethSnap’s “Your Story” challenge.

For the love of music

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They roam from town to town across the nation or set in the local taverns as much a fixture as the bourbon bottles behind the bar.  They are the romantics of our time and are called musicians.

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These dedicated bards decided long ago to eschew the familiarity and financial safety of our average blue and white collar jobs, risking it all for the cheer of the crowd and the adrenaline of the stage.

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Deep inside the hope of making it big springs eternal, but the odds play against them.  Instead they produce some CDs, upload a rough cut video on You Tube, and post on Facebook about their next gig.

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Some might think them lazy but they would be wrong.  These modern bards sweat through their performance, smile with every thank you, pose for every picture, listen to every comment, pack their own equipment, drive to their next destination, and sleep in their car when there is no room to be found or afforded.

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CD sales, donations, and personal performances comprise the bulk of their earnings, but ebb and flow at the whim of the economy.

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Romances start with a dreamy look of a fan, but can soon fade under the harsh light of the spot and the long grind of the road.  True love is something tested and tested again.  Family and children are hard thought before acted upon.

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Age; age and retirement are ghosts of futures yet to come.  Sometimes cold and chilly, other times as calm and serene as a sunset over the ocean.

No matter.  The music and the memories are eternal.

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(Thanks to Albannach for inspiring this.)

Gifts, Colds, and Murder

The fog in my head seems to ebb and flow of its own accord as I slog through my yearly cold.  Void of all the major symptoms of fever, chill, and heavy coughing this cold has left me tired and groggy.

As a kind and dutiful husband, I have passed it on to my loving wife.  She is so thrilled by my generosity.

Luckily for my lack of creativity package came in the mail and has given me something to blog about.

If you recall, I recently wrote about my soon to fail goals for 2013.  (I refuse to call them resolutions for the simple fact that I resolved many years ago never to make another resolution again. So far it’s been the one resolution that I have been able to easily keep.)

The post was Epic Failure and in it I talked about learning to play guitar and bike riding with my wife more often.  So far the failure of bike riding is coming true but I am definitely giving the guitar lessons an honest try. The gift in the mail is a book on playing guitar and earlier I received a capo.  (I called the thing a guitar neck/fret clamp before learning the correct name.  That is what it does after all.)

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The book is by Hal Leonard and is better than I expected.  Not only does it have the finger placements for the chords, but it also has both the musical notes and the TABS for you to follow and properly translate for that time in the future when you want to buy sheet music for that one song and all they have available is one with the notes and not the TABS.

This book also has musical bits for you to play while you practice.  Yes, the book has the usual scale to practice, but if you choose, you can skip it and play the riff of the song provided.

Speaking of those riffs and songs provided.  While some are older classics, some of them are fairly contemporary.   This mix will definitely help keep me interested.  I’d try tonight, but the cold’s got me dead tired.

I guess it’s fitting given that I recently committed murder.  I should rephrase that.  It’s not really murder.  I had neither desire nor planning for this death, but death did happen.  I have the lifeless body lying in a basket next to my desk.  I admit to everything.  I killed my MP-3 player.

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The death occurred at work.  I was busy cleaning the filters at the pool when an item I use to hold one of the valves in the right position worked itself loose and fell into the tank.  Needing that part to stop the flow of water I bent over almost in double to reach in and get it when my little companion leapt out of my shirt pocket and –Bloop!- did a nice swan dive right into the water.  The dangling wire of my headphone told me immediately what happened, but with the debris in the tank clouding my view as much as my cold was clouding my head, it wasn’t until the while light scream of death came on that I could find and retrieve my little friend.

The water between the screens told me the worst, but like a dedicated doctor, I wouldn’t let go just yet.  After letting it drain into three paper towels, I bought a bag of moisture absorbing desiccate and threw the thing in.  I waited patiently for 24 hours, but to no avail.  Just a flash of white one the screen before the long darkness.

I’d like to say this is the first time, but it’s not.  It seems to happen with regularity.  I killed both a cell phone and an I-pod in the chlorinated waters of the pool.  This is why my cell phone is a cheap $15 model and my new MP-3 player was only $25.  It’s just a safe investment.

I just blame it on the fog of cold.

Thoughts of: Writer’s block and the perfect song

SOmetimes you sit at the keyboards and sit, and sit, and sit.  Nothing seems to flow.  The well is dry.  You start to panic and try to force somehting out.  It’s mental constipation due to overthinking.

You need some sympathy and a little distraction.

Take some time out to listen to the song and know you’re not alone.

Thoughts of: Psychedelic pasts and the space time continuum

A blog that makes you think is always a good blog.  Eric Shelton did that today with his post, “The Selvedge Yard”.  Now, being someone that loves to argue with my friends and spending ages 0 through 11 in the last 60’s and 70’s, I immediately had flashbacks to all the good shows I grew up watching as a kid.  (Which is funny since in his blog he talks about how he discovered all this good stuff from that era.)

More come to mind as I write these, but let’s go on.

There were some awesome movies as well.

  • Star Wars
  • Jaws
  • The Love Bug
  • Herbie Rides Again
  • Star Trek the Motion Picture
  • Alien
  • Halloween

(I was too young to see the last two and saw them when I got older,  I think I saw Jaws for the first time when it came out on TV.)

I think the biggest surprise though is the music from the era.  Yes the whole decade was overshadowed by Disco (Stop trying to bring it back, Britney!) But there were some really good songs back then.

I could throw in Lennon, McCartney, and other “usual’s” as well, but I wanted to list the ones that weren’t as obvious.

There’s one more band I have to bring up, because few seem to know about it.  Journey was formed and had multiple albums in the 70’s.  Five to be exact.

  • Journey
  • Next
  • Look Into The Future
  • Infinity
  • Evolution

I found Journey in the 80’s with a 45 from their Escape album.  (A 45 is a record roughly double the size of a CD.  It has one song per side on it and cost a dollar back when I bought it.)

This is where the space time continuation comes in.

While tripping through the You Tube verse fantastic, I found three “Top Ten, Top Twenty” singers of all time.  In each one I saw that Steve Perry was somewhere on the list.  Sometimes at number 8, sometimes number 1.  What left me dumbfounded is that the people who made this list sometimes had him rated higher than Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, and John Lennon.  I never would’ve expected that.  It took me some time to absorb this.  As a fan, I have told close friends that I consider Journey to be the Beatles of my era, but to have others feel closely to this was shocking.  (Also challenge yourself to think of any other band that has survived six lead singer changes.  Yes six.  Gregg Rollie, Arie Fleishman, Steve Perry, Steve Augeri, Jeff Scott Soto, and Arnel Pineda)

It’s then that I realized how fluid the list of legendary singers and bands truly is.  We define ourselves through the culture of our era and want to pass down some of that culture as a memorial to our own great moments in time. It’s a mix of building a memorial and making an imprinted scrapbook to those younger ones close to us.

What we are exposed to affects us more that I think we realize.  Whether a song from years past or blog read ten minutes ago.  Thanks Eric for the memories.  What cultural icons have influenced you?