Saturday, April 30, 2005

Time for Funny Stuff (sorta)

I'm a watch geek (I collect lots of them, some nice ones, and some nice looking but cheap.) A friend of mine who is a big Rolex collector, showed me this site, and I found this little story there as well. I just got a kick out of it! I also love the use of Playmobil action figures (had many as a kid!) If you've ever changed a watch band, you'll know why I think it's funny! Personally, I don't care for the style they had chosen to switch it with (I like black or brown leather,) but it's still a humorous take on the task.

Better still, here's yet another method (albeit not the way most people would do it, but...)

Friday, April 29, 2005

Infinite Insanity

Picture if you will....a song on a continous loop, yet the vocals are ever-changing - pounding this ever-assuring message of doom into your mind. Eventually, a little voice crawls from out of your mind basically saying that it's going crazy. Only Phish could do that. It's a nice little ditty, and it is my song for today.

Frankie Says
by Phish

time is me and I should know
I knew this several months ago
I knew more than I do now
for I've been turned around somehow

relax the world will spin beside itself and suck you in
with threats and hopes beyond compare

I change the landscape as I pass
meandering from sand to glass
I suction there for one whole day
until the feeling goes away

I don't need these orbits in my life
revolve and cycle through
don't keep coming back for more

I don't need this circular design
wheel and spin away from me
you've been by here before

(faintly repeating)
I've lost my mind
I've lost my way
I'm bound to lose
You wonder where I am
Stuck In The Rut
Well, I did it again. I slept 11 hours or so. I did set my alarm to wake me at around 7:30 am. I kept hitting the snooze bar (because I felt so lethargic,) and eventually shut off the alarm altogether. I remember waking up around 9:30 am and then thinking to myself "I'll get up around 10...." Then it was 12...1...and finally 2pm that I decided to wake from the dead. This is one thing that I must work on if I wish to function normally once again.

I wake up in a sleep-induced haze. I feel lethargic and really just want to lay there all day and night. There is no energy within me, that is until I find some food to eat, and my blood sugar begins to come back up. Slowly I emerge from this powerlessness into a slightly functioning human being. Now this is just my physical composure, not my mental one. That's an entirely different story.

The Other Side of The Coin
The mental part of me is an entirely different story altogether. I wake up sometimes in a panic, worried that I have missed doing something; or I wake up angry because I slept the day away; or I wake up and feel guilty (most of the time) and that I "should" be doing something else besides sleeping at that time. Once I get out of the bed and put my feet on the floor, I start to have a bearing as to where I'm at emotionally.

The Dream
Last night, I had a dream about an ex-girlfriend (from about 10 years ago and whom I worked with) that pretty much prophesized that she was coming back into my life. There's no way I'm going to let that happen! It's a long story that I'll tell much later. Anyway, you can pretty much tell what kind of mood I woke up in; a touch of paranoia mixed with some anger, and of course guilt. What a way to start the day.

About four months ago, I had difficulty sleeping, due to the medication that I was on at the time (risperdal.) When I was taken off of it, I slowly began to be able to sleep again. I started taking Lamictal which really seemed to help me in many respects mentally, but it also made me sleep excessively. This is getting to really be a problem in life-functioning.

Damn it! I lost the rest of my post! So now I'm irritated and of course recovering from the panic of "oh no, where did it go?" I clicked at the top of this edit window, and somehow part of my post was erased. I guess it's kind of funny if you think about it, but it was rather frustrating. All the time I was thinking to myself "better open a notepad file and just type it all in there, or at least copy to it." Ah, the bitter irony....sigh

I remember this much - I was rambling on how I realized the consequences of sleeping in could affect my life (finding a job, exercise, etc.) blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the seriousness of a post that I forget that I'm rambling on and on about it. Usually it's a pointing out of the obvious. Maybe it's to teach myself along the way. Who knows?

In Closing...
I know what I need to do. I need to get up when that alarm goes off, get ready, and get out in the world during daylight hours. It will be a challenge, but it's not impossible. I'm tired of living the life of a vampire. It's true that I like the night life, but once upon a time, I liked being outside in the sun...laying on the beach, and getting a nice tan.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Sigh of Relief

Reaching Out
After contacting a very good friend via telephone, I got a better perspective on things. She helped me to calm down, get my wits about me, and look at things differently. She has been there in the past during some of my hard-core panic attacks, most of them I was crying and felt I was losing my mind.

Doing Better
I'm still a little on the touchy side, but it could be worse. I called the Social Security Office and talked to them. The lady on the phone was very nice to me, and that helped alot. She just wanted to know my work history, why I had a hard time working, etc. I felt so much better after I called. It was alot better than dealing with the paperwork.

Things To Be Done
I still have lots of things to be done, but it's nice to know that I have a few out of the way. I am not as paranoid about them as I was originally. I talked with my roommate about the rent situation, and he's going to work out something for me. I am glad for that. So now it's time to see what I can sell off to make some money. I have a few items in mind - some old unused guitars, old recording gear and tapes... Those should fetch some decent money on Ebay. Don't worry, I'm not going to auction off my whole life, just the stuff that is redundant and I don't use anymore. However, my vintage stereo gear will remain forever! That's NOT going anywhere.

Out To Face The World
Well, it's time to go to therapy, and go face the rest of the world. I know that it will do me quite a bit of good to go to my sessions, and I always look forward to it. Last time I didn't say much, but this time I'm going to share more with the group. I have issues of feeling that I don't belong no matter where I go, but I will do my best nonetheless. There I am accepted unconditionally; for who I am. I am grateful for that. Wish me luck!

The FEAR is Back...

I guess I'm going to hibernate again. I feel like the world is out to get me again...I'm so afraid.

I'm So Afraid
By Fleetwood Mac

i been alone
all the years
so many ways to count the tears
i never change
i never will
i'm so afraid the way i feel

days when the rain and the sun are gone
black as night
agony's torn at my heart too long
so afraid
slip and fall and i die

i been alone
always down
no one cared to stay around
i never change
i never will
i'm so afraid the way i feel

(repeat chorus)
this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


The Cure
i think i've reached that point
where giving up and going on
are both the same dead end to me
are both the same old song

i think i've reached that point
where every wish has come true
and tired disguised oblivion
is everything i do

please stop loving me
please stop loving me
i am none of these things

i think i've reached that point
where all the things you have to say
and hopes for something more from me
are just games to pass the time away

please stop loving me
please stop loving me
i am none of these things

i think i've reached that point
where every word that you write
of every blood dark sea
and every soul black night
and every dream you dream me in
and every perfect free from sin
and burning eyes
and hearts on fire
are just the same old song

please stop loving me
please stop loving me
i am none of these things
i am none of these things

i am none of these things


By The Police (From Ghost In The Machine -1981)

I can dream up schemes when I'm sitting in my seat
I don't see any flaws 'til I get to my feet
I wish I never woke up this morning
Life was easy when it was boring

I could make a mark if it weren't so dark
I could be replaced by any bright spark
But darkness makes me fumble
For a key, to a door that's wide open

Instead of worrying about my clothes
I could be someone that nobody knows
I wish I never woke up this morning
Life was easy when it was boring

I can dream up schemes when I'm sitting in my seat
I don't see any flaws 'til I get to my feet
I wish I never woke up this morning
Life was easy when it was boring
I wish I never woke up this morning
Life was easy when it was boring

Just wake me when today is over, OK?

A Second Look At My Chart

Upon further analysis of my chart, it seems that there is a direct correlation between my excessive amounts of sleep and my moods. It appears that the more I sleep, the worse I feel. I was sleeping around 6-7 hours maximum, previously. Lately, I've been leaning towards the 10+ hours range. It does make sense - inactivity breeds depression. Now I just have to make myself get up much earlier. I've got my work cut out for me!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Good Enough

The Best We Can Be
We all within our lives strive to do, be, or have the best that we can. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We as human beings are meant to grow - not stagnate. There is something to be said about achieving goals, as it helps us to learn and to grow as we go on through life. I have but one question: when is something good enough?

How Far?
Now I'm not trying to put a negative slant on things, but how far does this go? Sometimes we drive it to the point of near overkill. Fear not, I'm not going to go on a rant about corporate America today. This is not the time for it. What I would like to focus on is something related, yet in a more personal vein. It's about the reasons why we do what we do.

Reason To Be
Generally, most of us strive to be almost perfect. We try to make things exactly as they "should" be. We hope that it pleases everyone and works with everything. Naturally, this simply is not possible. Once again, this is truly not my point. Just what do we derive from being perfect? Is it a sense of accomplishment, or a feeling of being accepted by your peers or family? Could it be that we feel we're not good enough if we aren't perfect? Where does this all come from? Could it be that we are doing this to please others and not ourselves? Let's find out!

For me, it goes back to childhood. One of the reasons that I always felt the need to be perfect is because I was constantly told by my peers that I couldn't do something. That really hurt me, so I pretty much put my personal beliefs of what was "good enough" aside (if I ever had them in the first place) and focused on pleasing others.

Looking Back
I remember being admonished several times by family members, "do you want people to think of you a certain way, or would you rather have them think of you in a better way?" I believe that this is where it really hit home with me. It was forever etched upon my mind. As a result, I strived to be the best at everything. I remember that I was the second-fastest sprinter in my entire elementary school. I tried like hell to beat the other guy. It was frustrating. and my coach was pretty rough on me as well. I was also one of the best servers on a co-ed volleyball team. My team won both tournaments in 5th and 6th grades. I consider this an accomplishment. I also excelled at spelling bees. I have photo albums full of awards and memorabilia to attest this. Unfortunately, this perpetuated the cycle even more and blinded me as to what I was really feeling. Was I really doing this all for myself, or was I doing it to please my family, teachers, and peeers? I never really thought about it until very recently.

True Feelings
A few months ago, it really hit me as to why I was doing many things. For nearly 6 months, I was producing a radio show two days a week for a station in Belgium and it seemed to be going well. I was told that it was getting better all the time. However, to me it did not seem the case. I pretty much vanished from the air and didn't give them notice. I had developed so much dissatisfaction with myself that I started to feel like I was obligated to make the programs. I wasn't enjoying them, and I think that it showed in my presentation.

Here We Go Again...
There was a sound of dreadfulness in my voice. "Well, here we go with another week of shows that I'm only doing to please someone else..." Of course I didn't say that, but people who know me could hear it in my voice. It was then that I accepted the fact that I was doing this to please others and not myself. I made the decision to stop, albeit not in the proper manner, for I couldn't bear to tell the station owner/manager what my true feelings were. I have issues with hurting people. I try to avoid it all costs, yet I end up doing it indirectly (or directly) somehow. It hurt me to admit to others that I wasn't deriving satisfaction from making the programs. At first I said that I didn't like doing it. This was not the truth; I was just trying to get in touch with my feelings, and i was swinging from one extreme to the other. I realized that I was just not happy with the outcome, and that no one seemed to be listening, so I thought to myself "no one cares, so why should I even bother?"

Excuses, Excuses
Selfishly, I made the decision just to stop. At first it was that I used the reason that my aunt had a stroke (the "family tragedy") as an excuse, but weeks went by, then a few months. The station owner contacted me via email to see if everything was OK. I took a few weeks to answer back. I felt ashamed for what I had done. I had been doing the show for nearly 6 months, and abruptly stopped. I will admit that what I did was extremely selfish, and I owe him a tremendous apology. I know of only one way to make it up to him - and that would be to return to the airwaves. Unfortunately at this time, I don't feel that I have the capacity or drive to do so. I'm sure that it will return and when it does, I'll gladly jump on the wagon once again! I do listen to the station quite often online and I hear a station sweeper (station identification) that I made for him. I think that it's in hopes that I will soon return. Others have asked as well. I wish not to disappoint them. But I do have to ask myself if I truly wish to. Only time will tell.

This event caused me to think about alot of things - am I doing them for my own pleasure, or am I seeking approval and acceptance from others? My previous therapy session focused primarly on that issue. It seemed that a vast majority of things that I was doing was to please others. In fact, if you want take a cross-section of my life, there is a lot of performance-oriented criteria. It involved a sense of "if I was good enough or not." I always put my self-esteem and beliefs on the chopping block, and bled profusely when I found out I wasn't good enough. I would subject myself time and again to the same situation. And, if the situation wasn't of that nature, I found a way to twist, distort, and conform it to be that way. Pretty soon, everything in my life was of a "performance-oriented" nature. Naturally, I wasn't good enough. I soon resigned to the fact that I was a loser and that there was no hope for me.

When Is It Good Enough?
Let's ask ourselves that question - when is it good enough? The answer simply enough is this: when it's good enough for ourselves. Too many people spend way too much time trying to please others and not themselves. They keep acheiving these goals because they feel it's the thing that they "should" do. They feel that if they don't do these things (i.e. go to college, get married, have a family, aspire to being a millionaire, or at least a significant amout of money) that they aren't anything. Outside influences have such an impact on us, whether it be from our family and friends, advertising and the media, or society itself. In addition, because we strive for this perfection, we might miss out on the fact that we are indeed in a moment that we can enjoy and treasure, only to keep reaching for that upper echelon. As a result, we go through life unsatisfied and unhappy. Go on, ask any millionaire (or any overachiever) if he/she is truly happy. The answer may surprise you.

A Quick Note
It's a shame that the ones who truly feel that they indeed are good enough, are shunned and cast away because they don't meet certain criteria in life - almost to the point of persecution. Let's face it, the puritannical ways are still very much intact in this country. Although we don't drown or hang people based on their beliefs, the viewpoint is very much alive and well. It's funny how things change, yet stay the same. I'm saving this one for later though. I'll relish in that rant!

The Bottom Line
Please, stop doing things just to please others and putting your feelings or desire for enjoyment on the "back burner!" Of course, don't stop doing things for others as a nice gesture, necessity, or because you care about them. But please remember that your feelings are indeed important, nonetheless. If you're not happy, then life appears to be pretty miserable to live. You can also do stuff like volunteer work, which benefits both sides of the equation - you're helping someone else and in turn, you get a sense of satisfaction and/or pride from it. In summation, my friends, you are GOOD ENOUGH and (gulp) I AM TOO!

...And that's food for thought. Munch on that for a while.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

I'm not sure what to make of this yet. I just started keeping track, so we'll see what happens. I might need an increase in meds. It appears to be that way.  Posted by Hello

Friday, April 22, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play


Blank - by Failure
From the album "Fantastic Planet"

no conviction in your numb mind
a hidden cell of chemicals
keep your soul on my projection
never turn on the camera

i kinda like the blank way
i fill up my life
i don't care for nothing
that gets me too high
i want some dampend spirits
and black and bitter spoons
i'm not looking for affection
i'm living on the moon

no convicion in your voice box
it's buried low beneath the guilt
it all seems real as you whisper
she lies warm and the smell is you

but she knows
i kinda like the blank way
you fill up my mind
i don't care for nothing
that gets me too high
i want some dampened spirits
and black and bitter spoons
i'm not looking for reflection
i'm living on the moon

here i am
right at home
in my crater
here i am
feeling old
here i am
wishing for
a miracle
i need you to know

that i like the blank way
i fill up the sky
and i care for nothing
you put in my mind

i like the blank way
you fill up my mind
i like the blank way
you fill up my mind
i like the blank way
you fill up my mind

Read: That's my sentiments also.

Feeling Distant...

I'm feeling rather distant today, so I'd really rather not post. Perhaps it's the onset of a mixed episode. I call it my Dark Time. I am most liable to make trouble during this time, and irritate loved ones.

Quicksilver Messenger Service - What About Me?

(Released December of 1970)

You poisoned my sweet water.
You cut down my green trees.
The food you fed my children
Was the cause of their disease.
My world is slowly fallin' down
And the airs not good to breathe.
And those of us who care enough,
We have to do something.......

What you gonna do about me?
What you gonna do about me?

Your newspapers, They just put you on.
They never tell you The whole story.
They just put your Young ideas down.
I was wonderin'
could this be the end Of your pride and glory?


I work in your factory.
I study in your schools.
I fill your penitentiaries.
And your military too!
And I feel the future trembling,
As the word is passed around.
"If you stand up for what you do believe,
Be prepared to be shot down."


And I feel like a stranger
In the land where I was born
And I live like an outlaw.
An' I'm always on the run..........................
An Im always getting busted
And I got to take a stand........
I believe the revolution
Must be mighty close at hand.......................


I smoke marijuana
But I cant get behind your wars.
And most of what I do believe
Is against most of your laws
I'm a fugitive from injustice
But I'm goin' to be free.
Cause your rules and regulations
They dont do the thing for me


And I feel like a stranger In the land where I was born
And I live just like an outlaw.
An' I'm always on the run..........

And though you may be stronger now,
My time will come around,
You keep adding to my numbers,
As you shoot my people down....


More rants on my views of American society past and present coming up...stay tuned!

Miscellaneous Pics and Cool Stuff!

BASF Chromdioxid Maxima II ca 1985 - This was THE tape to have at one time - only trouble was, it was VERY hard to find. However, my dad found one succesfully for me. It was in my Easter basket of all things! I still think to this day that BASF (now Emtec) made the best Type II cassettes. This one was recorded on hundreds of times and still sounds great to this day! Plus it looks cool, doesn't it? Posted by Hello

Ever see one of these? This was TDK's top-of-the-line cassette in the '80's - the MA-R C-90. MA stood for Metal Alloy (tape formula) and the R was for Reference. This was the only one I bought, because they were about $9.00 a piece! Now they go on ebay for about $30 a piece! Even almost 20 years later, this tape sounds great! By the way, the tape's frame is made of aluminum alloy - now that's what I call a METAL tape. Of course, it was made for Position IV (Metal) recorders. Try using it in a normal deck, and you could kiss your heads goodbye! The only time I ever saw one of these in a movie was at the end of The Terminator - Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) is recording a tape for her future son, and they show a close-up of the tape running. Why do I remember this stuff? Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Behind the controls at THE EIGHTIES CHANNEL! Clearly THE BEST studio I've EVER worked in! Turn the lights down...and CRANK THE TUNES! Posted by Hello

My buddy Buda (at right) and me at the old Kiss-FM (the REAL KISS FM) studios in downtown Chicago ca 2000. That was da bomb doing overnights (he worked in that studio - I was down the hall at WXXY - The Eighties Channel!) Posted by Hello

Much happier times...can't believe that is ME! ca 1992 Posted by Hello

I'm a sucker for these. What a dork!  Posted by Hello

For those of you interested... Posted by Hello

The Y& W - a nice shot from the patio...looks like the movie's about to start! Posted by Hello

The old Y&W Drive-In... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Some Wise Words From a Well-Respected Man

Steve Lukather, (guitarist extraordinaire for Toto,) has some very profound words for anyone who wishes to get into the music biz. I for one totally paid attention to what he had to say. The man knows what he's saying. Give "Luke" a listen.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


If you ever feel confused and don't know where to turn, this is the song for you.

By Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Going round in circles
Directions all messed up
I go to ground on a bottle of wine
And drown myself in the flood
My frozen toes are beginning to melt
I believe I'm catching a cold
Got oil on my feathers and I can't fly
I gotta get back to your love

I'm a clown without a circus
There's no-one to see my act
I can laugh and sing and stand on my head
Nobody knows where I'm at
It's hard to be convincing
When these blues won't give an inch
I ain't exactly losin'
But I'm beginning to feel the pinch

My days are long and lonely
And I feel so insecure
There ain't nothing funny I'm losing you honey
I can't laugh anymore
I can't laugh anymore

Going round in circles
Directions all messed up
I go to ground on a bottle of wine
And drown myself in the flood
My frozen toes are beginning to melt
I believe I'm catching a cold
Got oil on my feathers and I can't fly
I gotta get back to your love

Old Chang surely told me
Not to mess with what you've got
But I went stomping all over your head
Like a bull in a China shop
My days are long and lonely
And I feel so insecure
There ain't nothing funny I'm losing you honey
I can't laugh anymore
I can't laugh anymore

I'm a clown without a circus
There's no-one to see my act
I can laugh and sing and stand on my head
Nobody knows where I'm at

Going round in circles
Directions all messed up
I go to ground on a bottle of wine
Drowning myself in the flood

I knew that I liked that song from some reason when I was a little kid. It took me a while to realize why.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The End of An Era...

Long Gone...
A venue of days gone past. I found the site by total mistake and it really brought back some memories. I miss drive-in theatres alot. The environment was fun for me. There was a playground to play on while they showed cartoons just before dark; a HUGE snack bar with every kind of food imaginable; a nice outdoor patio where you could sit to watch the movie, and you always seemed to meet some really nice people. I used to wander around even to other shows going on to make friends. My dad had to hunt me down, or have the projectionist call my name over the PA so that he could find me.

Ah, The Memories
Back then it wasn't about surround sound and special effects; it was about doing something really cool; enjoying a movie in the "open-aire." Sure the audio from those cool metal speakers was tinny and horrible, but it was enough to hear what was going on. I remember trying to tie some down in the bed of my pickup truck after toking up a bit. My friends had to keep untying them from the stake pockets! It was quite hilarious! I never realized the great memories I had there, until recently finding this site:

Interesting Stuff
There's a little bit of info there, and some nice pictures as well. I found them all quite by accident. It all stemmed from a curiosity thing - link to another link to another link...
Pretty soon I've learned alot of crazy stuff along the way. Maybe that's why I'm such a trivia buff. I can even tell you a little bit about the company that made the little intermission films (called "clocks" because they tell you "it's 10 minutes until show time, get yourself some fresh hot popcorn", etc.) Hell, you can even buy those on DVD now (I'm debating on it; but they do have an almost hypnotizing effect on you, so be careful LOL.) They are somewhat creepy, yet intereresting. It's strange how stuff like that can stick in your mind over the years. Ah, the power of advertising! I swear that they run in my dreams!

Little Known Secret
I always thought that being the projectionist would be a great job; sit there and watch the reels go around, listen to the projector clicking away as the shutter opens and closes. The smell given off by the 4,000 watt carbon-arc bulb (be careful!) and winding film reels (splicing in commercials and clocks) as well as fixing them when they break. Those guys get paid good money and I know why. Have you ever seen the inside of a projection booth? They are very small, cramped and crammed with tons of stuff (not to mention dimly lit and hotter than hell!) ; it's not like there is alot of room up there, like to have a couch to sit on and just let the movie roll, getting ready to switch to the second projector when the first reel runs out.

Withering Away
I still wouldn't mind having the job, especially at a drive-in. Unfortunately, they are a dying breed. There are only a few hundred or so left in the US, and the numbers get smaller all the time. Developers entice the owners of theaters with offers that they can't refuse, and in their place are shopping centers and subdivisions. As a matter of fact, many years ago, a town where I once lived had a drive-in theater (before) right where my subdivision stood. I believe the projection booth was located somewhere near where our house was! There were still remnants left - light poles that were never torn down, and some abandoned structures. It's a pity how indoor theaters have taken over. There will never be anything like the american drive-in. It's an institution that's definitely part of Americana.

Go On, Try It!
If you ever get the chance to go to a drive-in, do so. If you have never experienced one, go find one. I'm telling you, there is nothing like watching a screen that is nearly twice as big as the ones in cinemas. There's just a feeling in the air that you can't get anywhere else. And you can't help but always wonder "what's playing on the other screens?" This makes me want to dig out my old 16MM movie projector and dig up some old movies to watch. I have some laying around where did I put that old bulky thing? Anyway....

Are You Ready?
The projector flickers to life and the warbled sound becomes intelligible as the film gets up to speed and the sound lamp warms up. The hungry dwarf will let you know that it's 10 minutes to show time. So go to the snack bar and get yourself some delicious, mouth-watering food and a nice ice cold soft drink. Don't worry - if you don't want some now, you'll definitely want it at intermission, when all of those images are conjured upon the screen, dancing merrily about, tantalizing you, and the friendly announcer voice haunts you from all around the field of unused speakers, echoing into the night "remember to visit our snack bar...." You can hear the creepy, yet suggestive smile in his voice with that catchy, happy music in the background (usually a string ensemble.) By now chills are running down my spine. 5...4...3...2...Blip....

And Now...Our Feature Presentation....

Welcome to the drive-in. Enjoy your movie.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Special People In Our Lives

Taking Notice
We all go through life being exposed to different people and things. Through the years, people come and people go; some just vanish, some find solace in other things, and some die off. Then there are the ones who seem to make an impact within our lives, no matter how long or how short they are there.

Remembering Friendships
Every so often, someone comes into our lives and they seem to have a genuine interest in you and your life. They see the many sides of you; the fun, the happiness, the sadness, the anger, and the hurt. They always seem to be there no matter what the weather is like in your world. When others have abandoned you for "sunny skies," they are the ones who stay with you in the rain, and weather the storm with you until it passes. They think of you and your hurt, and try to bring sunshine into your dark world. They expose you to new things that you might possibly enjoy. If you're hiding in your shell, they are the ones who won't leave until you promise to go with them, and they are there to gently help you out of it. They take you to concerts, movies, great restaurants, introduce you to new people, and take you on camping trips. They open your mind and show you a new perspective on life, or at least the ability to appreciate it. When someone breaks your heart or you end a relationship, they are there to help you grieve and get on with your life.

I truly treasure these people, and I hope that they never forget that. We may part ways over time, but I always remember the good times and the times that you were there for me. This in and of itself is truly a treasure that no price can be put upon. I am eternally grateful and these thoughts will be forever etched upon my mind.

An Apology
Yes, I am eternally grateful to all those who have tried to bring a little sunshine into my life. But I do see something else; I was selfish. When these people were trying to reach out to me, all I really could think of was myself. When the chips were down for them, I did sympathize, but I do feel that I could have been more supportive to them, and I don't mean in a monetary manner. For instance, a friend invites me to a party; I agree to show up, and the last minute I decide not to go. They are expecting me to show up and be there for them; instead, I'm thinking only of myself and the reasons that I don't want to go to the party (someone will be there that I don't like, or I will play horseshoes terribly, or I'll feel like a complete loser compared to everyone else.) I won't bother to think about my friend, who is expecting me to show up and is really looking forward to it. In the end, I disappoint my friend and myself as well. I realize later what I have done and feel intense regret. How selfish of me. For this, I apologize wholeheartedly and sincerely hope that you can forgive me. I am sorry for not taking your feelings into account and what impact my selfishness has had on you. I owe this to my family as well, especially my aunt, uncle, sister, and of course my father. I hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.

As you notice, I seem to put friends first before family. When I was growing up, I never allowed myself to be part of the family; I always wanted to be alone and away from everyone else. The very thought of family things repulsed me. I did my best to keep away from them, even during vacations. I always felt different than them, and they realized this. I took alot of ribbing and humiliation from my step-siblings as well. This perpetuated my desire to be isolated and alone. I found solace in having friends. I found out that I could "come out from under that rock" and do things that are new and excitiing. I could be myself, and do things I never thought possible.

If it wasn't for them, I surely think that I would have committed suicide in my teenage years. The thought did cross my mind on more than one occasion. When I would express this to my family, sometimes I would hear "some days we wish that you were dead, Danny." That really, really hurt. In those trying times, I remember that quite a bit. It was always and option - a way out.

So Who's Important?
Since I do have family issues that I need to address at this time, I still tend to put my friends first. I seemed to get more sympathy, understand, and encouragement from them than my family. They realized when my chips were down, and did everything they could to help me out.

The Motorcycle
A very vivid memory that I have occurred only a few years ago. I was truly down on my luck and could think of nothing but ending my life. I decided that I was going to do it while riding my motorcycle. I hadn't truly thought out a plan, just to maybe hit a tree or something. I got on the bike, and started it up. I sat there for a few minutes, revving the engine and thinking. Something made me reach for my phone and call a good friend. He answered and I broke down in tears, telling him what was going on. I told him that I was ready to commite suicide and that I felt I had nowhere to turn. He told me to turn off the motorcycle, don't go anywhere, and that he'd be there as soon as he could. I did exactly that, and in about 30 minutes, he showed up and we ended up going for a ride and talking. I don't remember exactly what we talked about, but the end result was every therapeutic. I remember feeling much better than I had to begin with. He's been there for me several times and I will always be grateful for that. I hope that someday I can properly repay him in kindness as well as monetarily. Thanks, man. I owe you the world several times over. I truly believe that I don't deserve someone as kind as you in my life. You will never be forgotten.

And I'd Like to Thank...
Of course, there are many others as well. For sake of brevity, I don't want to turn it into a speech for winning an academy award! I do feel selish in a way about that, but the sentiment is really heartfelt for all of them. They have told me that I have in fact been there for them and that it wasn't about money or things. Just the fact that I was present for them in a time of need seemed to be enough. I still have a hard time accepting this, due to my desire to keep upping my standards. Once again, how selfish of me. I just have to let it be.

Garden State
A great example of someone special entering someone's life is in the movie "Garden State." The main character comes home for his mother's funeral and pretty much accidentally meets a girl who over the course of four days changes his life. I'm not going to spoil the ending for you if you haven't seen it yet, but I can tell you this: he ends up making probably the best choice in his life. I was truly happy for him in the end. To me, this movie said one thing; Something (or someone) special may come into our lives; it presents an opportunity that we can take or leave. This may be so special that it touches your heart and makes you feel feelings that you've never felt before, or causes you to experience life in a new and exciting way. If we let this special someone go, we may have missed out on possibly the best thing to walk into our lives. As Budgie says (in a song,) "You're the Best Thing Since Powdered Milk."

The Lesson Learned
Let's remember the ones who came into our lives and touched our hearts. This may be a girlfriend, boyfriend, or just a special friend of either sex. Let's show them the gratitude that they deserve, and think of them and what's going on in their world. Let's reach out to them and let them know that we care the world for them. This person may not be in our lives forever, but for the time that they are, we will truly appreciate, trust, enjoy,learn, and most importantly, grow through our lives. It's true; money doesn't buy happiness, but friendship (or more) surely can.

Hide In Your Shell

by Supertramp - From The Album Crime of The Century (1974)

Hide in your shell cos the world is out to bleed you for a ride
What will you gain making your life a little longer?
Heaven or hell, was the journey cold that gave your eyes of steel?
Shelter behind painting your mind and playing joker

Too frightening to listen to a stranger
Too beautiful to put your pride in danger
You’re waiting for someone to understand you
But you’ve got demons in your closet
And you’re screaming out to stop it
Saying life’s begun to cheat you
Friends are out to beat you
Grab on to what you scramble for

Don’t let the tears linger on inside now
Cos it’s sure time you gained control
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know
Well, let me show you the nearest signpost
To get your heartback and on the road
If I can help you, if I can help you
If I can help you, just let me know.

All through the night as you like awake and hold yourself so tight
What do you need, a second-hand-movie-star to tend you?
I as a boy, I believed the saying the cure for pain was love
How would it be if you could see the world through my eyes?

Too frightening- the fire’s getting colder
Too beautiful- to think you’re getting older
You’re looking for someone to give an answer.
But what you see is just an illusion
You’re surrounded by confusion
Saying life’s begun to cheat you
Friends are out to beat you
Grab on to what you can scramble for
Don’t let teh tears...
... just let me know
I wanna know...
I wanna know you...
Well let me know you
I wanna feel you
I wanna touch you
Please let me near you
Can you hear what I’m saying?
Well I’m hoping, I’m dreamin’, I’m prayin’
I know what you’re thinkin’
See what you’re seein’
Never ever let yourself go

Hold yourself down, hold yourself down
Why d’ya hold yourself down?
Why don’t you listen, you can
Trust me,
There’s a place I know the way to
A place there is need to feel you
Feel that you’re alone
Hear me
I know exactly what you’re feelin’
Cos all your troubles are whithin you
Please begin to see that I’m just bleeding to
Love me, love you
Loving is the way to
Help me, help you
- why must we be so cool, oh so cool,?
Oh, we’re such damn fools...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A Moment of Zen

Seeing Things...For The First Time
I had a therapy session today; as usual it helps me quite a bit. My therapist challenges me to do things I haven't done or thought of before. She really helps me to see a side of issues in my life that I don't see much or at all. Ever time I go to a session, it's like a period of self-discovery; I learn something new. Whether it be a coping strategy, or suggestions to help me be more considerate of others, I benefit immensely. It's similar to going back to school in a way, only the quizzes, tests, and final exams are life itself. This takes multiple choice to a whole new level!

A Rare Moment
Upon leaving my therapist's office, I began to feel a sense of understanding how things in life worked - not just my life, but everyone else's. To me, it harkens back to the scale theory. We try to balance the scales as best as we can; however, we don't always manage that. To do this would be considered perfection according to my theory. It was all starting to make sense. The door to understanding was slowly opening. I could begin to see a ray of hope shining from within. It was a great feeling. If it wasn't the key to the universe, it definitely was a plausible theory.

Which Way?
As I entered my dwellings, I still felt fine about all this. I sat down in my 'office chair' and began to get caught up on emails, reading blogs, and the like. For that moment, everything seemed OK. I had no pressing worries, nothing seemed to pervade my mind. This is indeed a rare occasion, as I am usually troubled by something. As expected, the feeling began to get too good. Slowly, my mind began to think deeper and deeper, which also brought on feelings of anxiety and almost a panic. I remember seeing a cartoon on the television and I began to think about how the characters were feeling. I noticed one of them was angry and the others were in turn angry as well.

Emotional Feedback
I started to dwell on this more and more, until it spun completely out of control. My heart began to race, and it seemed to ache a little as well. A good analogy to this would be using a delay pedal on a guitar. If you set the depth to a reasonable level, you will just get a few echo repeats, which is a very nice effect. However, if you set it all (or nearly all) the way up, the echos begin to regenerate within themselves and the unit goes into "self-oscillation," literally becoming just noise and the original sound gets lost in all this. I attribute my "out-of-control thoughts" to this phenomenon. My brain "self-oscillates" with these thoughts over time, and what was once a beautiful moment becomes a sheer mess. This is why when I'm having a good time or things seem to be really good that I start to wonder when the "depth control" is going to be "turned up" and the chaos begins. Even things such as watching someone punishing their child for being bad, is nearly an ordeal. It totally exhuausts me mentally, as well as physically.

Another Theory
I brought up to my therapist that I remember lots of useless tidbits of information, which in some contexts could be useful; however in day-to-day life they are really meaningless for the most part. She suggested that my mind is like a sponge, absorbing all this. This could also be applied to emotions. When am around a positive environment, I tend to soak it up, and it influences me in an obviously postitive manner. However, when I am subjected to a negative environment, I do the same thing, and I literally let it overtake me. If someone else is feeling down or angry, I tend to sympathize to the point of almost feeling their emotions. In the past, this has caused me to become a rebel in occupational situations, a renegade in social situations, and just a pain in the ass. Sometimes it's great that my mind soaks things up; other times it's almost a curse that I wouldn't wish upon anyone.

Going To Extremes
I know that my mind tends to have the belief that everything in life is "all or none." No matter how hard I try to find that "happy medium," it tends to go right back to the extremes. It appears to me most of the time that there is no grey area; only black or white. This would suggest that I have borderline tendencies; something of which I was terrified of. Fortunately, I don't manifest all the symptoms of the disorder, such as violent separation anxiety, and manipulation of others. I have done a little research and have found that those who suffer from bipolar do have these tendencies, and they sometimes overlap. I have often wondered many times if I was mis-diagnosed. It is a possibility. I do not wish to keep elaborating on this, for fear of the emotional feedback self-oscillation phenomenon. Until I find a way to keep it from spinning out of control, I will be subject to a very intense and extremely dynamic life. I am definitely in for one wild ride. It's time to put on the safety belts, helmet and be prepared as best as I can.

More theories later.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Guilty Pleasures (Musically)

Mission Accomplished!

Just got back from watching a local band play at a local bar (of course.) It turned out to be a pretty neat night because 3/4 of my band were there. We were called to the stage to play a few numbers, and of course it was alot of fun! So I completed my assignment for the weekend - to do something fun. It was also fun to watch someone else tear down for a change. I ended up helping the guys a little bit though. Through the night I was helping the sound guy (my guitar player) as well. I guess I have an ear for good sound!

Guilty Pleasures (Musically)
OK. Where were we? Oh yeah, that's right; guilty musical pleasures. We all have music by certain bands or people that is considered obscure, weird, stupid, or even worse (fill in adjective here.) It's the stuff that you don't listen to when you're around your friends because you feel that A) they don't understand or B) they would just flat out make fun of you. I'm really taking a chance here, because some of my friends read my blog, and I'm sure I'll take some ribbing - but it's all in good fun. OK Here we go....My guilty pleasures are: (gasp)

Note: These are all song titles, unless otherwise noted.

Gilbert O' Sullivan - Alone Again, Naturally
Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman and Honey Come Back
Terry Jacks - Seasons in The Sun
America - I Need You and Tinman (love that bassline!)
Kraftwerk - Autobahn and Radioactivity (whole albums)
Barry Mannilow - Could It Be Magic
Eric Carmen - All By Myself
Andrew Gold - Lonely Boy
Pretty much any Apollo 100 song!
Chicago - Color My World
The first two Foreigner albums
Styx - Paradise Theater and The Grand Illusion (full albums)
Klaatu - Hope
Anything done by 10cc (Especially I'm Not In Love)
Convoy - C.W. McCall (yes, it's a country song, but...)
Earth, Wind, and Fire - After The Love Is Gone
Little River Band - Reminiscing and Lady
Firefall (self-titled, Elan, and Luna Sea) (full albums)
Camel - Rain Dances, and Mirage (full albums)
Bette Midler - Do You Wanna Dance
Captain and Tenille - Love Will Keep Us Together
Neil Sedaka - Laughter In The Rain
Ammon Duul II - Immigrant Song (NOT the Led Zeppelin Song!)
Duran Duran - Rio (full album)
Chick Corea and Return To Forever - Musicmagic (GREAT Jazz/Fusion LP)
Anything by ELO (HUGE fan of Jeff Lynne and anything he touches!)
S.O.S. Band - Take Your Time
Chic - Sao Paolo (B-Side to Dance, Dance, Dance single)
The Carpenters - Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft (originally done by Klaatu), We've Only Just Begun, and On Top of The World.
Dee Clark - Raindrops
The Casinos - A Million Years
Brian Hyland - Sealed With a Kiss
Roberta Flack - You Are Everything, Killing Me Softly, and The Closer I Get To You (with Donnie Hathaway)
Naked Eyes - Always Something There To Remind Me
The Hooters - All You Zombies
Elton John - I'm Still Standing
Barbara Mandrell - Sleeping Single in a Double Bed (yeah, that's ANOTHER country one...)
Roger Williams - Maria
John Denver - Rocky Mountain High, Annie's Song, and Thank God I'm a Country Boy
The Hollies - The Air That I Breathe
Kenny Loggins - Celebrate Me Home and Nightwatch (full albums)
Dan Fogelberg - Netherlands, Phoenix (full albums)
Gary Numan - Cars
John Lennon - Double Fantasy (full album, MINUS most of the Yoko songs.)
Billy Joel - The Stranger and The Bridge (full albums)
Exile's first Album (they didnt know if they were rock, disco, or country!)
Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
Stevie Wonder -Living For The City
Prince - Purple Rain (full album)
Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me (guitarists will know why I like this song!) and Funeral for a Friend
New Order - Republic, Substance, and Technique (full albums)
The Orb - U.F. Orb
Portishead - Sour Times
Gordon Lightfoot - The Edmond Fitzgerald (nice pedal steel!)
Harry Chapin - Taxi and Cats In The Cradle
Jim Croce - Time In A Bottle
James Taylor - JT (full album), and Fire and Rain
Sugar Ray - Every Morning (based on Malo - Suavecito, which is a great song!)
Peter Frampton - I'm In You (full album)
Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds - Fallin' In Love and Barroom Blues
Bonnie Tyler - It's a Heartache and Total Eclipse of The Heart
Wings - London Town (full album) (note: With A Little Luck was one of the first 45's I owned.)
Bread - The Guitar Man, It Don't Matter To Me, Make It With You, and If
Starz - Violation (full album)
Gino Vanelli - I Just Wanna Stop and Living Inside Myself
The Dream Academy - Life In A Northern Town
Diesel - Sausolito Summernight
Tears for Fears - The Hurting, The Seeds of Love, and Songs From The Big Chair (full albums)
Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine, Broken, Fixed, and The Downward Spiral (full albums)
Anita Ward - Ring My Bell
The Church - Priest Equals Aura (full album)
Poco - Legend (full album)
Rod Stewart - Foot Loose and Fancy Free (full album)
Men At Work - Cargo (full album)
Patti Smith Group - Easter (full Album)
Velvet Underground and Nico - Andy Warhol (full album)
Lou Reed - Rock n Roll Animal (full album)
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation, Goo, and Dirty (full albums)
Charlie Daniels Band - Fire On the Mountain and Whiskey (full albums)
The Platters - I Only Have Eyes for You
Little Anthony and The Imperials - Shimmy Shimmy Ko ko Bop
Peter Schilling - Major Tom
The Turtles - Happy Together
Friends of Distinction - Lover Let Me Be
Classics IV - Stormy, Spooky, Traces
Judas Priest - Unleashed in The East, British Steel, and Sin After Sin
Donald Fagen - The Nightfly (full album)
Harry Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin', You're Breaking My Heart, and Without You
Bob Ssger - Stranger in Town and Against The Wind (full albums)
Laidback - White Horse
K.C. and The Sunshine Band - Keep It Comin', I'm Your Boogie Man, and That's The Way I Like It.
Dave Edmunds - Slippin' Away and Girls Talk
Rachel Sweet - Tonight
Eddie Money - Self-Titled (full album)
Todd Rundgren - Something Anything (full album)
Ronnie Wood - Now Look (full album)
Randy Newman - I think I like pretty much anything he does; albums, soundtracks, etc.
Linda Ronstadt - When Will I Be Loved,You're No Good, and It's So Easy
Commodores - Easy, Sail On, Three Times a Lady, Brickhouse, Nightshift and Still
Diana Ross - Love Hangover (Groovy Bassline!)
Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge over Troubled Waters
Steve Forbert - Romeo's Tune
Boston - Self-Titled (full album)
ZZ Top - Eliminator and Afterburner (full albums)
808 state - Gorgeous (full album)
Nirvana -Nevermind (full album)
Loverboy - Only The Lucky Ones, Workin For The Weekend, Till It's Over, and Take Me To The Top
Hall and Oates - She's Gone, Maneater, Private Eyes, and Sarah Smile
Willy Nelson and Waylon Jennings - Good Timin' Woman (YEP! Country!)
The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (full album) (OOH DISCO!)
George Benson - Weekend in L.A. (full album)
Roxy Music - Avalon
Elton John - Your Song
Eric Clapton with Bobby and Cecil Womack - Lead Me On
Phil Collins - Against All Odds, and No Jacket Required (full album)
Depeche Mode - 101, Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion (full albums)
KMFDM - Money (full album)
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Weather Report - Heavy Weather (full album - JACO IS GOD!)
Jaco Pastorius - Portrait of Tracy (honestly, anything he is featured on just SMOKES!)
Genesis - Trick of The Tail, ...And Then There Were Three, We Can't Dance, and Invisible Touch (full albums)
Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me
Bob Welch - Sentimental Lady and Ebony Eyes
Sugar Hill Gang - Rapper's Delight
Newcleus - Jam On It
George Clinton - Atomic Dog
Isley Brothers - Anything I've heard from them!
The Four Seasons - Oh What a Night (December 1963)

OK....that's enough! I think I turned my brain inside out trying to think of guilty pleasures. For those of you thinking of blackmailing me, good luck. I can only hope that my closest friends will not think any less of me, nor will they persecute me for my choices. You know, I could lose sleep over this. Really.

There are several reasons to cite as to why I like these songs. Being a musician I have always tended to listen to the overall tone of the song, and not necessarliy the words. For instance, Carol Kaye's 6-string bass solo (with tremlo) on "Wichita Lineman" to me is so cool! Yes, some of these songs on my list are corny as hell, but some of them also hold a very sentimental value for me. They are a memory of my childhood - what I was exposed to listening to the great Top 40 AM stations of the time ( I ALWAYS carried a transistor radio,) what was playing on my aunt's 8-track deck, and my dad's stereo.

No Limitations
I never really had set that many boundaries when it came to music; until the eighties! That's when I started to dig back into the old stuff - aka my dad's stash. I honestly got lost in his record collection. It was quite diverse and I gave everything an honest listen. Most of it I liked alot - however, some left alot to be desired (which I'm sure he was aware of!)

Your Turn!
Come on! You know that you have some tape or CD (or LP) that you bring out when no one else is around and you honestly love it! You'd absolutely DIE if anyone were to know that you liked a certain group (ABBA, anyone?) Yes, there was a time when I thought that Michael Jackson's Thriller album was good. As a matter of fact, my first concert was the Jacksons' Victory Tour (circa 1985.) So, don't be bashful, go on - post away. I have pretty much let my skeletons out of the closet (almost!) There might be a few more, but I'm really tired and I need to go to bed because I have lots of yard work to to today (YUCK!) Anyway, wish me luck, and I can't wait to see what you reply with. I hope that everyone can post. This way we can learn a little more about ourselves. Perhaps we could delve into the who's why's and what's. It's just an idea. Have Fun!

Friday, April 08, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

A Question of Balance…

Musical Thoughts
If you said "hey that's the name of a Moody Blues album, you would be absolutely correct. Being the music afficionado that I am, I tend to allude to these musical references alot. I think that's because music truly comes from the heart, no matter what it sounds like. Someone might rap how they feel, another might use noises generated at random; then again, someone may go into a 20+ minute epic and break it down into several parts to weave it into a storyline. We all come from different walks of life, and certainly we all express ourselves a different way. Diversity is the spice of life.

A Balancing Act
You may wonder what this all has to do with what I am going to tackle next, but it does to some degree. If you want a simplified look at life in general, think of it this way; each part of your life is essentially a scale that we try to balance. OK, that's easy enough for one scale; now let's add another. Sure, two scales aren't that bad. When one becomes imbalanced, we can quickly add or subtract from either side and are able to reach the other if the need arises. Let's add another one: NOW it gets tricky. You start to find that the second you turn your back on one, it starts to lose its balance and becomes heavier on one side. You notice this, rush over to it, and do what it takes to correct it. Of course, as soon as you do this, either the first or second one(or both) is going to become out of balance, and then you start thinking "am I ever going to get all these to balance out?"

Answer: Of course not. We simply cannot get them all to balance perfectly at once. The minute we focus our attention elsewhere, something else falters. In our minds we know this, and the tension mounts. Sometimes we are totally aware of it; other times we have to be reminded by either a person, or an event that "puts us in check." The truth is, we have more than one, two, or three scales to balance in our lives. We have may have twenty, one hundred, one thousand, or possibly even more! You could also equate this to juggling as well. Drop the ball or ignore a scale, and you notice the effects sooner or later. Life is like this game, with the difficulty level getter progressively harder as you go along. If you can't keep up the frantic pace, you won't make the "top ten" list.

Let's face it; none of us is going to be able to balance all the scales, or to juggle all the balls, but we can sure as hell try. To be a consummate professional, a dedicated family man, an outstanding artist, and great tennis player at the same time would be, well, quite difficult if you looked at it from a perfectionist's standpoint. I think that sometimes the scales are going to tip one way or the other regarding certain aspects of life - there is simply no getting around that! The key is to decide which things are more important. Of course you know this already, but it's much harder than it sounds.

An Example
For instance, say that you are single and don't have a family that you need to take care of; your priorities are going to much different than that of the guy that is married and has 3.2 children running around in the yard. The single guy may put his entertainment needs first, whereas the married guy obviously puts his family first. His scales are very different and need much more "maintenance" than the other guy's. Ultimately, he will have to enlist the aid of sources outside himself (his wife, mother etc) to help him with his daily duties.

What Am I Getting At?
You're probably wondering where this is all going, but it all boils down to this: we are all only human; we can only do so much at one time within our lives. We tend to forget this very quickly and tend to attempt "superhuman" feats (i.e trying to balance all the scales at once.) Sure, it's great to have a challenge, but sometimes we challenge ourselves a bit too much. Sometimes it's outside forces that are causing this.

My View of Corporate Society
As corporations grow and mold themselves, they seem to have a nasty habit; they tend to "trim the fat." In a nutshell, this means that you will be understaffed and be expected to do the same amount of work minus the former employees. In spite of the fact that profits are "better than ever," the organization will refuse to bring on more staff, as it will quickly cite that this will "cut into our profit margin." Correct me if I'm wrong, but in order to get something, you do have to give at least a little in the beginning. I think that these younger generations of corporate types have forgotten this. They seem to want to reap the reward without giving ANYTHING and they want it NOW! As far as I'm concerned, you can wait just like everyone else! (OK. Rant over.) *phew*

In Conclusion
Remember that we are only human! We can only stretch ourselves so far before we reach the interminable end. OK, maybe not the end of our lives, but I can tell you, it feels that way. If you've never been there, I can assure you that it's definitely not the place to be. Just remember, that if you get to that point, there are many avenues that you can take- individual and group therapy, psychiatrists, and medication are just a few. Also remember to reach out to the people closest to you (family, friends, dog, cat, etc.) If you communicate with them, be sincere, and in turn listen to what they have to say, you will probably have a good support system at hand. NO ONE needs to be Superman; No one can, and no one ever will be. Just be yourself.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Do Something Fun This Weekend...

"Do something fun this weekend."
Those were the final words from my therapist yesterday. I promised her that I would. I really have to dig back in my mind and remember what it is like to have fun. I'm sure that I have had fun recently, but couldn't accept the fact that I did. I'll go ahead and dig anyway. I remember the things that I used to do, stretching back about 10 years ago or so:

Camping with friends
Writing and producing music, as well as experimenting with my equipment
Building electronics projects
Running and operating a pirate FM radio station
Hanging out at the beach
Going to bonfires
Going out to clubs in the city
Riding my bike and motorcycles
Building and driving my tricked-out Ford Ranger (street racing it too.)
Drawing on paper and the pc
Sitting around for hours playing music with friends, drinking heavily, and coming up with some of the craziest stuff we could think of.
Producing radio imaging IDs and commercials
Doing a radio show

I think that list is a pretty good start. I'll admit; I don't do alot of things in my life that I consider fun. It seems to be pretty utilitarian for the most part. It seems that stopped once I had to move back home with my parents the first time. I couldn't spread out and work on multiple projects anymore. It was a downward spiral from there.

I was 22 years old and had this quad-level house all to myself - just me and my dog. At the time, I was just working and not going to school, so I had alot of free time on my hands. At the urging of a friend, I bought a little FM stereo transmitter kit and put it together. First it started off as just a wireless extension for my stereo. Eventually it became a dedicated transmitter-and WANK Radio was born (more on that in later entries.)

I had done something like this a while back, but not to the extent I was going to take this particular project. I most certainly had more than enough equipment to do it. With the help of a few friends, and some small investments (and I mean like a few dollars here and there) I got WANK radio on the air. It was mostly homemade stuff.

Trial and Error...
I have vivid memories of making my own commercial carts. I bought a hundred or so old 8-track cartridges, opened them up, and removed the tape in them. I took the tape that I had previously recorded on an open reel machine and proceeded to thread it (in a loop) within the 8-track cartridge. I took several tries to get it right - the first ones had the tape facing the wrong side out; the later ones had the tape facing correctly, but were put in backwards (everything played back was backwards) ; the next generation ones were done correctly, yet they were too tight. The converted 8-track machines that I used would slow down and sometimes come to a stop because the loop was way too tight! It took a few more hours to get it right, and I remember just letting them play over and over to "break them in." I didn't realize that the tape thickness was too much for the application. Somehow it all worked out and everyone was pretty impressed. Needless to say, I was too. I loved that feeling of accomplishment that I had in those days. I came. I saw. I conquered. SUCCESS!!! Most of all, it was FUN!

Fast Forward 10 years later...
If I had opened up one of those things today, I would probably go into a panic just trying to figure out how it worked. I'm sure I could do it, but it would take much longer, because that element of fear is there. It seems that I have lost my spirit of adventure and curiosity - the part of me that was saying "how does this work? I bet I can do the same thing if I tried it." To try anything new now is very stressful and seems to be more trouble than it's worth. I blame this on the "I can't do it" factor. It's a combination of old age and mental illness.

Old Age
Is it old age? I'm really not that old and I realize this. I guess I just let myself get out of shape so much that I feel older than I am. How old, you say? I would say in my mid-40s at least. I have tried on more than a few occasions to reverse this process, but each time I fall off the bandwagon and end up pretty much where I started. Am I resigned to being an old fart? I hope not!

Mental Illness
It's amazing how much being depressed will take from you. Hard to believe that 10 years ago I was functioning pretty much normally (with the occasional bout of depression) and could do alot of things. Over time, I seemed to allow myself to be consumed by the depression and began to believe that I couldn't do these things (or completely forgot bout them altogether.) I look at it similary to being phsyically handicapped. Through proper therapy and constant application of learned techniques, one can rise from the ashes of self-doubt. One thing is sure, however; it never feels the same the second time around. You already know what you are going to experience, which takes the "newness" out of it. I think this is one reason why I choose not to go back to it. The negativity rears it ugly head again. Drat!

Finding Fun Again
So now the next step is to find something fun to do - not necessarily from my past either. I think it might be a good idea to try something entirely new. I will admit also that I have a problem with trying new things; I am afraid that I won't be able to catch on to them fast enough, which in turn makes me feel like a complete idiot. This is why I try to avoid playing games with friends (card games) and even video games. I don't want to appear stupid to them because I'm having such a difficult time grasping what is (to others) a simple concept. They don't make those special exceptions in their mind; therefore it's much easier for them. It's such a damn shame.

Any Ideas?
This is where audience participation comes in. Truth is, I'm fresh out of ideas and would gladly love to hear what anyone (who reads my blog) would consider fun. Maybe you have something really exciting that you like to do; maybe it's just something that is very relaxing for you; or maybe it's just plain silly - who knows! I am open for ideas and will evaluate each one fairly. Just think of it this way - you could be helping someone who really needs it.

Wish me luck!!!

Monday, April 04, 2005

On The Run...

Run Like Hell....

Every now and then I get into a phase where I just want to run away from everything. I get afraid and cut myself off from everyone and everything. It harkens back to that feeling I described previously - When you are a child and you have done something wrong - you are waiting for that inevitable punishment. The time between the incident and the time you are punished is so torturous (you're hanging in the balance.) The suspense is killer, like a Hitchcock film.

Cutting Myself Off...

I haven't answered my phone for days, I pretty much left my job, and I feel somewhat depressed. It's not dominating me though. I am a little paranoid nonetheless. I am looking into things again, seeing too deeply, and not for what they are. I feel that even the people that want to help me (therapists, counselors, etc) are angry or upset with my actions. I haven't spoken with family in a few weeks; at least I've kept in contact with a few close friends, and of course my roommies. If it wasn't for them I'd surely go crazy. My hat is off to them and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

A Rock In A Hard Place

Right now I'm in between emotions - I guess that you could call it "savor time," which in radio speak, is the silence between or at the end of a classic music piece when played on the air. I know that the feeling won't be good; the option of happiness is not there, I can feel it. A good example would be, "Another Monday; what am I going to do? Well, there's not much going on, so I guess I'll just sit here all night and veg away. Maybe I could watch WWE Raw and then come back to the pc. Wow, what a night."

Reach Out and Touch Someone

In reality, I could be calling people and catching up with them. A really good friend of mine who moved away would sure appreciate hearing from me. I know that she worries alot about me. She's probably worried sick since I haven't picked up my phone in a few days. It's really a shame that when I sever the communications ties, I lose touch with the really special people in my life, the ones who really care (and I care about.) I really need two seperate phones - one for regular use, and another "secret line" just to get in touch or keep in touch with friends and family. Again, I should be thinking of them and their reactions as to why I haven't answered my phone. I think that they would understand, yet feel that it's an unfounded fear. Maybe if I explained it the way I did here, then they could get an idea. Perhaps that the best solution. Not the best, but it could work.

OK....The moment we've all been waiting for....(drum roll)...tonight's winner is.....(drum roll stop)....a slight depression tinged with fear!!! (applause, music)

OK, at least I am aware of how the pending emotions could affect me, however they won't affect me nearly as much now that I am aware of how I will more than likely feel. Emotions can be like really powerful drugs; they impair judgement and cause things to appear much different than they really are. You could say that they are like a side mirror for the mind (objects in your mind maybe not be as intense as they appear.)

So Now What?

Now that I am aware of the emotions pending, I need to counteract them with positive energy (e.g. music, uplifting reading, stimulating conversation, dabble with my blog appearance, etc.) Now would be a good time to just face the music, pick up the phone, listen to all the voicemails, react accordingly, and get on with life. It's funny how one thing can totally trip you up. It can be something so simple, yet with an intricate set of circumstances,that it makes for a very stressful situation. It's all overreaction. It always has been. It always will be.

I wanna go home
Take off this uniform
And leave the show
And I'm waiting here in this cell
Because I have to know
Have I been guilty all this time