The good news is I’m slowly (very slowly) coming out of this writers funk that I’ve been dealing with (not very well) for a while now.
The bad news is that is that my confidence in my abilities to string coherent thoughts together is at an all time low (so is your ego. No, I will not shut up).
edit note: the voices in my head are staging a revolt of sorts. Inspired by the actions taken by the people in the middle east. I’m sure the UN will pass a resolution anytime now to declare a no thinking zone over the space inside my head. I’m hold up in my bunker waiting for the cruise missiles to start falling.
I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve and grow this year. It’s nearly the end of March and I haven’t gotten as much done as had planned (you planned? hahahahahahahaha). Despite my detractor, from without and within, I’m dertermined to be further on up the road from where I am now. I have many miles to go before I sleep but when I do, it will be the sleep of an man who accomplished his goals (you snore too loud. it keeps us awake! and you drool.and you talk in your sleep. viva revolution!)
I came to the conclusion that 2011 requires a change for me. Up to this point I’ve been waiting. Waiting for things to happen to me and taking advantage of the circumstances to the best advantage for me. And while this has ben somewhat successful (I have a job, I play music and get paid for it, I have a great family), I’ve always felt guilty about it. I haven’t has to work as hard as others. And others who’ve worked harder than I have gotten farther along than I have. Well it’s time to change that. 2011 is the “Year of Getting Things Done”. I’m not making a “New Years resolution”. Those last about as long as uncorked champagne. I’m making a commitment to myself and stating it out loud for all to hear. It’s time to kick myself in the ass. It starts now.
Budding guitarists take note.
1. Listen to the birds
That’s where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren’t going…
Especially without asking. Who does that? But it happens more than you would think. It drives me nuts but I try to be polite about and not be a dick.
The rule I’ve learned is that people that really want to sit in probably shouldn’t, people that pick up a guitar without asking…
A few weeks ago, my good buddy Yogi (Token Fat Guys) asked if I would be interested in playing at the Making Strides Against Cancer Walk. It would be an early day (call time 7AM!!!!) and a long set (play until the last participant passes you). I would be playing the night before at Casey’s (one of my favorite drinking… er, I mean playing spots) and playing 4 consecutive nights before that. I’d be playing on short turn around and going to work straight after. I was a little concerned, but eager to do it.
It didn’t start off great. I woke up later than I wanted. The beer from the night before was still working it’s way out of my system at a maddeningly slow pace. I got dressesd quickly and jumped out of my house into cool morning. When I arrived, as is often the case with these things, there was confuson and nothing was ready. With the great help of some students from Full Sail University, we got things sorted and ready to go on time. All the while, people were coming in from every direction. Most were wearing pink. I say lots of people hugging and laughing. There was an incrediably positive vibe. Everyione wandered down to the start finish line. I was set up on the corner of Robinson and Eola in front of Panera (so toltally unfair. The smell was soooooo good). The sun was shining, ther ewas a slight breeze. I was ready to play. I wasn’t ready for what I saw next. Nearly 30,000 walkers/ runners of every age, race, size, gender, creed and even some dogs. that in itself was impressive. But what blew my mind were the reasons people were walking. I saw survivors, who had fought the good fight and come out the other side alivie. I saw current warriors taking on breast cancer and fighting it with everything they had. I saw freinds and families who had been touched by this ”big C” and lived the soul sapping lows and uplighting highs that go with it. There were people there who had no direct or inderect contect with breast cancer, but walked anyway for people they didn’t even know. All of a sudden, I wasn’t tired anymore. The sun shined brighter. The trees were greener. The wind was more refreshing. I was inspired to play and play the best show I’d ever done. I didn’t feel the pain in my knees. I didn’t motice when I cut my thumb open on my guitar string. I didn’t care that I was sweating like a sinner in church. The students from Full Sail were standing there cheering on the walkers. The local people who weren’t participating were singing along and cheering loudly. All I saw was a great out pouring of love. A great showing of strength. I saw heros and heroines. And here’s the thing…. they were thanking me for being there and for all I was doing. I was humbled beyond belief. I felt like I should be thanking them for setting the example for the rest of us. Of how to live. How to fight. How to love.
With all the negative vibes eminating from all corners, to be a part of such a positive event, to see such an out pouring of love…. was uplifting. I’m not able to fully express everything I felt/ am feeling even a few days after the event, so this may not be the last I right about this. But for now, I’ll saw this: Whatever your skill set, abilities, talents my be, you should, no you must put them to work for the betterment of the world. You get more than you give.
I knew this day was coming. I’ve known for about 5 years. I’ve mentally prepared for it. I’ve purchased all the necessary items, consulted all the right people, done my research and even meditated. Yet, on my son’s first day of school, I was obviously more nervy than he. After a sluggish start (both of us actually), we managed to him, his sister ready for the first day. Breakfast then brushing teeth. Getting dressed. It all seemed so surreal. He was calm and energetic. I was nervous and jittery. My daughter has been in school for 4 years. I’ve done this before. Yet it’s different with him. I know he’s smart and socially adjusted. I’ve tried to teach him how to behave, how to listen how to speak, how to be respectful. He’s ready, right? He had his backpack, his lunch bag and his school uniform. He then turned to me and asked if he could take an apple for his teacher. The look in his eyes let me know, he’s gonna be ok.
Actually, that’s not true. It’s almost impossible to change your nature, unless your enviroment dictates it. For example, many violent prisoners suddenly become quite spiritual and find (insert your favorite deity here) just before or immediatly after been sentance to death for their crime. I’m not judging, just making an observation. I am a nice guy. It’s the way I was raised and it’s very difficult for me to be any other way. In my current job, the employees I supervise know this and take advantage of it. I can’t really fault them. If I were in their shoes, I might do the same thing. But it is very frustrating. When those times come around when I’m not nice, it’s a total shock to everyone and causes a huge ripple effect. then I spend the rest of the day or more, trying to smooth everything over. It creates more trouble that I had to start with.
Nice guys get stepped on all the time. But we allow it. We take and take and take it. If it’s true that we teach people how to treat us, then nice guys teach everyone that we are doormats.And frankly, I’m sick of it. I’m not here to be you personal servant. I’m not a trained monkey here for your entertainment. If you need something done, get up and do it yourself. NO I will not loan you more money. NO I will not come pick you up at 3:33 in the morning cause you were to irresponible to stop drinking once you had to much and you don’t have enough cash to catch a cab. NO I won’t bail you out of jail.NO I won’t loan you my lawn mower or my car or my BBQ grill so you can return it without any gas in it. I’m done. You’re on your own!
Who am I kidding?
Here are a few random things about that will help you to get a better idea of where my brain is…
1 I prefer Ron over Ronald or Ronnie or RB or Big Ron or fatso or just about anything else.
2 I have the greatest kids in the world.(although, I might be biased)
3 I have the most wonderful wife in the world. (again, biased)
4 I am really bad at returning emails, posts, pokes, voice mails, etc. (some of you already know that)
5 I hate to look at myself in the mirror.(I’m sure other people feel the same way)
6 I hate to hear myself sing (ditto)
7 I’ve been performing on stage for most of my life. I still get nervous everytime I step up to the mic.
8 I’ve always wanted to be thought of as being sexy in some way.
9 I cried during Pesident Obama’s speech on 1/20/09 and I still don’t know why
10 I truly believe that music is the true international language.
11 I fear I’ll never live up the example my dad set.
12 I secretly watch anime cartoons.
13 I’m worried that someday I’ll be discovered to have been faking it all this time.
14 I’ve hurt a lot of people in my life. Only a couple on purpose. I feel really guilty about those times.
15 90% of the time, I’m trying to blend into the background. It doesn’t work very often.
16 I really don’t like cats.
17 My house has been broken into twice in less than a year. I really want to find the people who did it and hurt them, which is completly against my nature. It causes me a great deal of inner turmoil.
18 I’m not liking what’s happening to my body as I get older.
19 I have creative slumps that make me nervous. I wonder if I’ll ever write again.
20 The death penalty is wrong. Period.
Comments welcome (unless you think it sucks, then keep it to yourself. My ego is fragile enough as it is.)
Thousands more troops. Billions more dollars. Untold lives in the balance. How many more tears?
How many more mothers, fathers, daughters, sons? How many cousins, aunts, uncles, friends? How many more tears?
How more children grow up with out a parent? How many more parents bury their child? How many more tears?
How many bullets and bombs and grenades? How many limbs and lives lost? How many more tears?
How many bodies returned in sadness? How many minds that never return? How many tears?
How many lives shattered and destroyed? How many more lives beyond those? How many more tears?
How many more excuses and rationalizations and lies? How many more funerals and wakes? How many more tears?
How many more times will we hear that sad, lonely song of the fallen? How many more tears?
Has this world not seen enough blood shed, enough lives lost, enough hearts broken? How long before man decides that enough is finally enough? How many more tears?
Does that mean you don’t need me to answer?
I know summers not over yet, but I’ve managed to learn a few things. It’s sort of like summer school with out the pre-made chicken ham and government cheese sandwiches and a box of grape kool-aid.
- Hot is hot is hot. Dry heat, wet heat, outside heat inside heat. It doesn’t bloody matter.
- Movies and tv shows that your kids never get tired of watching over and over and over again, really get on your nerves after a little while.
- Walt Disney had the right idea with his theme parks. Especially focusing on the kids. As a parent, it’s great to see a cast member talk to you kids like their kids. Not try to ruin their good time or dispel the magic. But just let them enjoy the fantasy as long as possible. There will be enough disappointing revelations in life. It’s good to let them live in the world of Santa and the Easter Bunny as long as they are willing to believe.
- There are a lot of pervy guys out there who spend a lot of time staring at girls (and boys) way too young for way to long. And there’s not a lot you can do about it. I guess just teach your children well.
- Sunflowers and Daisies bring a smile to almost everyone’s face.
- Despicable Me is a great move for kids.
- A Disney World parking lot looks very manageable when you first get there. But after a day of running around the park chasing after your kids, in the sweltering heat and way too little sleep the night before, it begins to resemble the trail of tears.
- My daughter is very smart. It’s not just me saying so, we have test scores and grades to prove it. My son starts at the same school with the same teachers she had. I feel very sorry for him. The bar has been set very high. The pressure on him will be great. I’ll do my best not to, but I’m sure that some of the pressure will come from me.
- As bad as you think you’ve got it, somebody has it much worse. Don’t forget that.
- My kids are Zen Masters and they aren’t even aware of it. If anyone embodies the mantra of live in the moment, it’s two kids hyped up on sugar running around a theme park.
- No matter how well you think you know your neighbors or how well you think you get along with them, if it comes down to it, they will look out for themselves before the lift a finger for you. Don’t believe me? Ask my neighbor who watch 3 kids rob our house and take off down the street with out new TV and Blu Ray player and DIDN’T CALL THE COPS! Worse still is that he refused to speak to the detective who came around to get a statement. And even worse than that, he still talks to me like nothing happened. Just when I thought I was regaining faith in the animal human…
- I have a bad case of writers block aggravated by a severe case of writers itch. You’d think the two would cancel each other out. Instead, they take turns torturing me. Yippee!
- You can’t comfort someone who doesn’t want to be comforted. You have to wait until they are ready. the problem is, they don’t always know themselves… very tricky stuff.
- I’m too old to be getting a breakout of spots. And yet, here they are. ::: sigh :::
I’m sure I have a lot more to learn over the rest of the summer. I can’t wait.
IF you are in the Orlando area and IF you like beer and IF you don’t have any other plans and IF you like live accoustic music and IF… well you get the idea, I’ll be playing original and cover music at the House of Beer in Hunters Creek (13526 Village Park Dr Orlando, FL 32837-7685 (407) 859-2337) starting at 9pm. Great beer selection and live music. Oh yeah, NO COVER!! I hope to see you there!