now playing: marty higgins, "big city lights"
you'd think, being the nostalgic wuss that i am, that i'd be all about
a long, bittersweet "goodbye 2004" diatribe...and i've been giving it some thought, but i'm at a bit of a loss to come up with much of anything, for some reason.
the things that come immediately to mind:
2004 will be forever known to new england sports fans as the year that both the football patriots
and their beloved boston red sox
shared championship titles in their respective sports. i'll admit, personally, that the drama and excitement of the baseball postseason totally ruined the first two-thirds of the football season for me. i just couldn't get excited about it after having gotten so caught up in the red sox/yankees story. what an amazing year to be a red sox fan.
the repercussions of the 2004 election have yet to be felt by this country...although i'm sure that we'll all have ample opportunity to look back with 20/20 vision at some point at the grave mistake we collectively made this year.
those of you who've been long time readers don't have to be told how much i had invested in this election on an emotional level...in the time since, i've done a pretty serious about-face. i've pretty much detached myself from the whole situation at this point. in the days and weeks after the election, all anyone seemed to want to talk about was how much the democratic party had alienated itself from the core beliefs of the big, wide, sprawling redstate area we've come to know as "jesusland". while the house of representatives is busying itself passing legislation making it ok for tom delay to be a criminal and still hold his office, the left is so busy wringing its hands and trying to figure out how to curry favor with the inhabitants of jesusland that they can't be bothered to put up anything resembling a serious protest.
all this year, i harbored the belief that this election was too important to flirt with the idea of voting for guaranteed third-party losers...and i still feel that way, honestly. i don't think dubya is any less of a dangerous buffoon than i did on november 2nd, but i care a lot less about what happens as a result of his buffoonery than i did then.
you assholes bought and paid for him...so get ready to reap the benefits. when you've watched as social security is pillaged, when you've lost beloved family members in unnecessary wars, when you can't see a doctor because you have no means by which to pay for it...think back to where you were on november 2nd and ask yourself how comfortable you are with what you did that day.
i'll be suffering right alongside you, but i'll know i did the right thing.
in retrospect, i actually stand by my remarks made not long after the election on these pages - when i said that i was actually somewhat relieved that kerry did not win, and that bush will get to sleep in the bed he shit in. these next four years will be "interesting times", indeed.
on a personal level, i've gotten to work on some amazing music - my friend nik everett
put out his first new record in many, many years...and invited me to join his band. blake allen
, who invited me aboard the sinking ship that was aunt pat
just before their demise, finished his first solo album this year, to be titled ghosting
- i got to do damn near everything that i'm capable of doing on it...guitars, lap steel, dobro, mandolin...in addition to singing all over it. it's been one of my favorite projects that i've ever participated in, and i can't wait to see it come out this year. my buddy charlie degenhart
signed a record deal with an indie label in nashville and released an EP called april's fool
just a few months ago, and it's a great little record. although i will say that charlie and i are gonna have to have a heart-to-heart about his new arrangement of fourth of july
next time i see him face to face...we did get to play together once this year, back in october, and it was a blast as usual.
then, as most of you know, my white-trash-trailer-park-classic-rock-cover band broke up this year, as well...stone road lasted as long as my marriage to the mother of my children, and it seemed to be just long enough. while darryl and i have vowed to put another project together this spring, i'm actually enjoying not having to be anyplace in particular on weekends right now. there are a number of other projects floating around in the atmosphere around my head as well, but i don't put a great deal of stock into anything until i see it actually materializing...so it's just as well not to even get into any of that.
one of my favorite things right now is saturday mornings with the Mentally Guitarded Breakfast Club at keith amos'
shop. i've made some great friends down there, and it's just about the only thing that i'm willing to get out of bed for at that ungodly hour on saturday mornings.
i found, and lost, a great vw mechanic...and might have found another, although i'm not ready to come right out and say that just yet, either...i got my van back this past week from having the transmisssion fluid flushed and filtered, and there's...well, there's this...this smell
in there that i can't put my finger on. it smells a little like bad milk, a little like baby vomit..maybe a mix of the two. and it's one of those things that you can't wait to root out and take care of, until you park the van in front of the house and go in and start dealing with any number of other things and it's forgotten about....until you turn the key in the door the next morning and open it up to that wonderful aroma that is, of course, right where you left it...
(..and i know what you're thinking, but i already took all the garbage out, and that didn't fix it.)
let's see...we moved again - into my friend justin knotts' house as he was packing to move to the west coast.
that was an interesting time...i think that the month and a half surrounding that period was actually pretty pivotal, for me. i had been considering moving to nashville myself in the month or so leading up to that point. i had all but decided that i was going to move forward with that particular plan, and dylan had said that he wanted to come with me when we talked about it. but as i thought about it, i knew that it'd be too much...too much for dylan to cope with, in light of how much i'd realistically be available to him, if i followed through with my reasons for moving there in the first place. how happy would dylan be, really? how would he feel about totally upheaving his life to move a thousand miles away with me, only to watch me packing to go on the road with someone on a regular basis? would he be so willing to make this committment to end up a housemate to wendy - someone he'd already had some issues with at about the same time?
but - justin's house became available at about that time and i committed to the house. i knew that justin had a studio in the basement, and when we got a chance to look at the house, i knew we were supposed to live there. but, in retrospect, it's hard not to look at the larger implications of taking on the house - based on how completely ready i was to move in the opposite direction not long before we signed on for it. i think that, quite simply, justin was supposed to move and i wasn't. not yet, anyway. not now. and...maybe not ever.
much as i'd like to think that i'm capable of "getting on the bus", i might have to come to terms with the fact that i might not be as capable...or as willing (as scary a thought as that is when i chew on it) as i've always thought i was.
in the time since moving in, though, i've become convinced that wendy and i could move into the now-vacant ames distribution center across from where i work, and we'd manage to clutter the hundreds of thousands of empty square feet to the point that i'd still feel that sense of overwhelming helplessness when i walk in the front door every night. where did all this shit come from?
has become my mantra of sorts....kind of my own personal substitute for lucy, i'm home
but it's still so much more livable than our previous accomodations, in terms of space and layout...it really is. i wish the kids' rooms were bigger - and that the attic were more easily made habitable (since that's where jayda wanted her room to be), but there isn't much that i want to change about the house as it sits right this minute. (well, except for insulating the garage and redoing the electricity in the garage and setting up a shop area in the laundry room area and soundproofing the middle room in the studio section of the basement and...and...ok. i'm obviously much more ambitious than i would care to let on.)
and the clutter issue isn't unconquerable...in fact, i think some strides were made in that direction over the weekend. it's just a matter of whether those strides were temporary or permanent. they've certainly failed to stick in the past....but it doesn't always have to be that way.
i've watched my children grow another year older.
wendy lost both her grandmothers this year...and i don't think a day goes by that she doesn't feel that particular loss.
i had a minor health scare (which i threatened to elaborate on here, but never did) that has since become a non-issue.
and this year, i'll cross a milestone as i turn another year older...and try to be grateful for the opportunity to do so.
i think that, after all these years of postponing the grand decision regarding what i want to be when i grow up, i have to start thinking in terms of already having done so. i've evaded and avoided it for a couple of decades, somehow - and i'm not sure what it means, really...to think in terms of being a "grown-up", save for changing a few behaviors that i'm not really comfortable with in the first place. somehow, though, i've managed for all my life thus far to equate being a grownup with resignation and acceptance of my lot in life as having this depressing degree of finality...which is to say that once i start "actin' my age", then i have to accept that i already am
what i'm gonna be when i grow up, and that there's nothing further down the road to look forward to...that i'm just gonna ride it out from this point forward and play the hand i'm dealt and leave it at that.
i've carried that mindset a staggering distance, believe me.