Sunday, May 29, 2005


That's a good question - with so many answers. I ask myself this on a continual basis:

Why do I do what I do?

Why do I care so much about this?

Why does it have to be this way?

Why does this influence me so much?

Why do I have to wake up?

I want to function like a normal human being - I really do. I just seem to have difficulty with that. I know that it's not impossible, but it certainly holds a challenge for me. I know that I'm dedicated and passionate about music and all, but as I look to my life, it seems that I'm so technically steeped into things that I forget about the simple pleasures of life - going for walks, gardening, cycling, etc. There once was a time when I did that frequently - that is, until I built my "fortress."

I think that it really started for me during high school. I didn't have alot of friends, and I kept mostly to myself. I had lots of time to do things - to experiment. I started collecting lots of vintage electronics (stereo, radio broadcast, musical instruments, etc.) In the eyes of others, I was a junk collector. To me, this stuff was like heaven. I could set up an old stereo system and re-live my youth and imagine that I'm a kid again - listening to some obscure '70's Kraut-Rock band (like Ammon Duul II) and having fun. It was a total illusion. I could get lost in my own world and not have to face reality. It's the same reasons lots of people use drugs and alcohol (I did that too, but not the point.) It's an ESCAPE.

Here Behind My Wall...
From what? From the fact that I was miserable and lonely. I think that I had that little "paradise" was what saved me from thinking too much and making the ultimate mistake. I would just go and buy more and more, so much in fact that it was stacking up to the ceiling. My brother-in-law said that my room looked like NASA! I thought that was hilarious! But the truth was plain for me to see - I didn't have much of a life. When friends came over, I would get into these deeply technical discussions, and totally overlook simple things and world affairs. I could stay voluntarily trapped within the confines of my wall until I decided that it was ok to leave for work, or some other event that neccessitated my leaving the premises.

Looking Back...
I look back now and realize that was a sort of "coping mechanism" for me - it was how I survived through life. It gave me reason to go on and to work. I did have a few friends who would "kidnap" me for the weekend for camping trips and the like, but my mind always seemed to be captivated by the technical things. It was very awkward to meet people, especially girls that I wanted to date, or who wanted to date me. Very abstract thinking is what they had to deal with, and I think that it frightened more than a few of them. At that age, people aren't thinking of that stuff - they just want to get out and have fun! I missed out on alot of that. *sigh*

More Questions...
I know that I've brought this up before, but I do find myself wondering if I should keep holding on to my past (items I've accumulated along the way,) or should I just get with it and live totally in the digital age? I have a tendency to go against the flow of things, and this is no exception. Yes, I'm ebracing digital technology right now with computer use - it's been a huge help so far for writing and production. I can't deny that.

A Comparison
On one hand, I see the total convenience of the unit and its versatility; on the other, I see a plain box with no personality, no character - so utilitarian. It evokes a presence of "I'm just a mean, faceless, big box under your desk - I ain't goin' nowhere..." It's just impersonal and ominous.

Think Black...
I don't like the plain black look of most things today. The lack of chrome accents or color contrasts is very doomsday-ish. Utilitarianism will only get you so far. You don't realize how boring it is, because after a while, you just don't care. I remember the days when things were meant to be a visual statement - to stand out among the rest. They would have a commanding presence that would make you stop and say "wow, now that is COOL!" This could apply to various things such as: houses, appliances, automobiles, tools, toys, motorcycles, and furniture. Contrary to popular belief, contrast IS a good thing! Why do you think there is a contrast control on your TV set? What's that? Oh yeah - it's on the remote now....grrrr Damnit! I want my rack-mountable gear with woodgrain-veneer side panels!

Anyway, the question here is - do I just swallow my pride and move on to more modern things, as so many others have done? I know for sure that I would miss everything from my past, and just the mere thought of losing it all would drive me into a panic. So I hold on...and hold on...

And I ask...


I Live
by The Fixx

And the feeling just ain't right
As I stare into the light
What a time to take a fall
I can't stand the night
And it's long in the tooth
But short in foresight
It's all that I have
And so I'll hold on tight

So I live

That's about all I can say
I breathe nearly every day
Some say that it's better this way
That I live, I live

Take a chance to hear the call

Make a stand to be so tall
'Cause it's all that you have
Like winter to follow the fall
Like winter to follow the fall

So I live

That's about all I can say
I breathe nearly every day
Some say that it's better this way
That I live, I live
Wo oh Wa oh, I live
Some say that it's better this way
That I live, I live

And the feeling just ain't right

As I stare into the light
What a time to take a fall
I can't stand the night
And it's long in the tooth
But short in foresight
It's all that I have
So hold on tight
So hold on tight
So hold on tight
So hold on tight

So I live

That's about all I can say
I breathe nearly every day
Some say that it's better this way
That I live, I live
Wo oh Wa oh, I live
Some say that it's better this way
That I live, I live

We Live In An Age Of...

Virtual Insanity
by Jamiroquai

Oh yeah what we're living in (let me tell ya)
It' a wonder man can eat at all
When things are big
That should be small
Who can tell what magic spells we'll be doing for us.
And I'm giving all my love to this world
Only to be told
I can't see, I can't breathe
No more will we be
And nothing's gonna change the way we live
Cuz we can always take and never give
And now that things are changing for the worse,
See, it's a crazy world we're living in
And I just can't see that half of us immersed in sin
Is all we have to give these

Futures made of virtual insanity
now always seem, to be governed by this love we have
For useless, twisting, our new technology
Oh now there is no sound for we all live underground

And I'm thinking in what a mess we're in
Hard to know when to begin
If I could slip the sickly ties that earthly man has made
And now every mother can choose the color of her child
That's not nature's way
Well that's what they said yesterday
There's nothing left to do but pray
I think it's time I found a new religion
Whoaaa it's so insane to synthesize another strain
There's something in these futures that we have to be told.

Futures made of virtual insanity
now always seem, to be governed by this love we have
For useless, twisting of our then new technology
Oh now there is no sound for we all live underground

Now there's no sound if we all live underground
And now it's virtual insanity
Forget your virtual reality
Oh, there's nothing so bad, I know yeah
Oh, this virtual insanity, we're living in,
Has got to change, yeah
Things will never be the same
And I can't go on
While we're living in oh, oh virtual insanity
Oh, this world has got to change
Cos I just, I just can't keep going on, it was virtual,
Virtual insanity that we're living in, that we're living in
That virtual insanity is what it is

Chorus x2:

Futures made of virtual insanity
now always seem to be governed by this love we have
For useless, twisting, our new technology
Oh there is no sound for we all live underground

Living - Virtual Insanity
Living - Virtual Insanity
Living - Virtual Insanity
Living - Virtual Insanity

Virtual Insanity is what we're living in

Take a listen to that, folks - you'll find it so true.

(In radio announcer 1960's-70's puker voice:) More stuff coming your way soon - tales of woe and comedy straight ahead, right after we get around these... from our sponsor - Blogger! (launch cart of a cheesy jingle) BLOOOOGGG-FMMMMMMMMMMMM!!! (reverb trails off....)


The funny thing is; I didn't even ask for it.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Evolving Thoughts...

Writer’s Block
Have you ever had a moment where you couldn’t think of what to say? Of course you have! We all suffer from an attack of ‘Writer’s Block” from time to time. It’s like you have many thoughts, yet don’t know exactly what to put down. It’s that “getting started” phase that you have to get through. Sometimes it’s just best to write down something….anything, just to get your mind stimulated. Rather than feeling uninspired, this is what I am doing. Perhaps, something may come of it; perhaps not. I guess that I just play it by ear and see what happens.

Well, I’m still struggling along. Mostly I’m trying to get used to this keyboard. I am using my sister’s notebook this time. I am not used to using this type of keyboard. I find myself making lots of errors! Yes, it is a bit frustrating, but I am getting the hang of it. I have to hunch slightly over to reach the computer, as it’s on a coffee table. I will take frequent breaks to relax because of this. At least spell check is enabled!

Good News
Well, in spite of all the negative goings-on in my life, I do have some great news. My aunt (who had a stroke on New Year’s Eve,) is recovering well. She is able to form sentences and communicate much better than before. She is having speech problems, as she is hard to understand. I am very grateful that she has progressed so much. She’s getting back to the same aunt that I’ve known for so long.

A Loss for Words
When I saw her in the hospital, I was nearly speechless. I was not used to seeing her lay in a hospital bed, nearly fighting for her life. She couldn’t talk – the only thing she could do was look at me, hold my hand, and grunt when she needed something. Two weeks prior, I was having conversations with her on Christmas Day. We were all taken aback, especially my uncle, who’s had a few strokes of his own. As they are in their 60s, they are slowly getting sicker and more susceptible to strokes, heart attacks, and the like. I do hope that they can hang in there for a while.

Fear and Suicidal Thoughts
I’ll be honest – I don’t know how I would react right now, if I lost one of them. I’m sure that it would trigger another depression, and maybe this time I would go to the hospital due to a psychotic break. My therapist is very concerned, as I have been struggling with suicidal thoughts for a few months now. After a failed relationship, I started to feel hopeless and helpless. I could barely function at work, and didn’t do much of anything to try and make myself feel better. I didn’t even put forth any effort to get myself out of the funk. I let myself just sink deeper and deeper. I am very glad that I have a great therapist, a therapy group, meds, and family and friends who love me dearly. Without all this, I don’t know how long I would have lasted.

The First Time
The first time I ever thought of suicide and acted upon it, I was on a high school trip in Florida. I was 15 years old, and had a really tough time getting along and making friends. I was very passive, which caused me to be pushed around and of course picked on. All these years I just felt like I didn’t fit in, and it seemed that I had no one to turn to. It just got to the point where I didn’t want to suffer anymore, and there was only one solution – to end my life. We had gotten to our hotel room and settled in for the night. When everyone was busy getting together in their little cliques, I decided to slip out of the hotel room I looked down both ends of the hallway, making sure no one could see me. I made my way to the balcony of the hotel; it was a Hyatt Regency, with 3 or 4 floors (we were on the 3rd floor,) and the balcony was within an atrium. There was a fountain on the ground floor and a baby grand piano close by. I walked up to the railing that was just outside our door and had a few thoughts – perhaps some regret. Apparently, it wasn’t enough, because I started to climb the railing very slowly, leaning forward more and more as I ascended.

Lending A Hand
I kept on going, until I heard a voice shout “go ahead, do it! I’ll even help you do it!” I recognized that voice. It was my friend (the only one I really had,) “G.” Of course, this puzzled me. He pulled me down from the railing and proceeded to explain his actions. Apparently, his father shot himself in the head when he was very young. I don’t remember if he saw it happen or not, but just to know about it would have been traumatizing. Imagine, if you were in his shoes; to have to go through life knowing how your father had taken his own life, and fighting the temptation to do it yourself. He’s very adamant in not doing that, no matter how hard his life gets. He’s still a good friend today, and I tell him when I’m feeling that way. He’s usually the first call. Thanks, man.

Take A Deep Breath…Ahhhhh
Okay, it’s good to get that out in the open. It’s true that I’m having rough times right now, but I’m not going to take the “easy way out.” It’s been a long time since I’ve felt need and appreciated because of my abilities. It means so much to me. I know that many people love and care the world for me, but that never seems to be enough. Reason being that when we are children, we are pretty much instilled with the belief that “we are what we do.” As a result, I’ve lived life on that conditional basis, and have applied it to most aspects of my life. Anyway, you get the idea, and I don’t need to go on a downward spiral. What I need to do is to get away from the negative stimuli that feed my life.

Why Do I Do It?
The answer? It’s very simple – it’s “safe.” Wait a minute, you say; how can being depressed and down most of the time keep you “safe?” It keeps you from getting hurt; from taking chances, which in turn guarantees that you don’t fail. You tend to stay in this safe haven, and you learn ways around everything that is difficult in your life. Most of the time, you run away from your problems and basically crawl into your respective “hole-in-the-wall,” (mine being a room about the size of a typical jail cell.)

Another reason is that you don’t have to take risks within your life, or make any difficult decisions. When in doubt, you just shut it out. You make the choice to be passive and run away from it all. Thus, in turn, you don’t have to shoulder a lot of responsibility or any at all.

The Price You Pay
This is all good and fine, but you certainly pay for all this. Unfortunately, you just might miss out on some really great opportunities or meeting some great people. You might miss out on some great relationships, or having a great time with family or friends. You also cheat and deny yourself of your creative side. You stay trapped, in your own little world, denying that there is anything going on around you. Of your own accord – because it’s the world you know. Everything in your world is familiar to you. There is nothing to surprise you, or catch you off-guard. You don’t have to deal with confrontation, or protect yourself from possible harm. It’s least that is the impression that you have, anyway.

Making Progress
I have made tremendous progress in getting out of my shell. It hasn’t been easy, I admit, but it IS moving forward. I take baby steps – I am adverse to drastic change. And so it goes…little by little. Sometimes it seems that it’s not fast enough. It’s during those times, that I need to realize that I AM making progress, and things WILL get better eventually. For example, I sat and listened to my brother-in-law talk about his job and his salary. It is a lot of money, but I didn’t get jealous at all. I’ve decided that I want to do something that I enjoy, and have a genuine talent for. I for one, (as I’ve stated before,) will not spend the rest of my life working a dead-end thankless job that will deny me of my time to play, compose, and produce music. That’s the decision that I’ve made, and I’m sticking to it.

The Truth
I don’t care if that means living in some rough times for a little bit – even a homeless shelter. I don’t think that I will reach that point, but you never know. As long as I have my music, and people to jam with, I think that things will be pretty good. I hope to never lose that passion, as I do believe it is my calling in life. Anyone who has seen me play knows exactly what I’m referring to. They can see the intensity with which I pour forth my emotions and energy. The Power, The Passion, and The Glory – a triumvirate that rules over my life, and always will. The music will always live within me. Some say laughter is the best medicine. For me, such is not the case. Nothing evokes feeling and emotion so universally as music does. Nothing.

Note: this was written originally on Wednesday, May 25, 2004 @ 10:00pm

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Situation...
Have you ever been in a situation where you are at the top your game in some aspects of your life, and at the opposite in others? In one "arena" you are totally at ease, and for that moment, everything is fine. Once you get out of there, the others are not so great.

How Does This Apply?
Well, this applies to me in the following manner. In the music world, I am totally on top of my game. I can pretty much take whatever is dished out to me. Meaning, whatever song or jam that someone wants to play, I can usually catch on quickly enough and hold it together. I am blessed to have this very unique gift. I plan to use it to its full potential.

In other parts of my world, I am not so fortunate. I am unemployed (of my own choice, due to issues with anxiety and bipolar disorder.) going through the proceedings to qualify for disablity, and just basically hanging onto what I make from gigs - and believe me, that isn't much. I wasn't able to make rent this month, and I probably won't this month either, so that means it's time to start looking for somewhere to go.

Time To Go...
Maybe I'll do as a friend once did - live in a storage unit for a little while. I know that if I got caught it would mean alot of trouble. I can't go back home to my parents, as there is no room for me to come back. I'm sure I'll find somewhere to go. If the band self-destructs, I'm just going to rent a U-Haul trailer, and take off somewhere, maybe out west, or down south. I'm not sure yet.

What Am I Trying To Say?
No, I'm not looking for a handout, but I can tell you this - it certainly wouldn't hurt to win the lottery or something! I thought of playing it before, but totally forgot about getting a ticket. Perhaps it's worth a go. It would be great to win maybe $50,000 or even more. This would allow me to eliminate most of my debt, and to get by for a while. Hell, I could make that last more than a year. I am a man of means, so that's not a problem. Sure, I like some of the finer things in life, but they are not neccessary for survival. As a matter of fact, I am very thrifty with my money. I always look for the deals on things that I buy, and the food that I eat. If gasoline wasn't so damn much, I'd stretch my money even further than I am now. Oh well, it's a pipe dream.

Time For Change
As a good friend of mine said recently - you're about due for a life-changing experience. I whole-heartedly agreed. It has been about five years since that has happened. I don't feel that it's owed to me; rather I feel that I am workin towards that. Those are the times in my life when I am genuinely happy. I feel important, special, and that I am not a hopeless case. It's that "golden moment." Everything is fine for a while. Yes, I have bouts with depression during that time, but they aren't nearly as bad as a time such as right now. During these times, they hit hardest and cut the deepest. These are the times when you dread getting out of bed and trying to function as a "normal" human being.

Final Thoughts
I met an elderly woman last night who said some very positive and empowering words to me. She said one sentence to me that will stick in my mind for quite a long time - "Dan, you are strong and I can tell you're gonna be OK - things will work out for you." For some reason, I was able to totally believe that. It has been a long time since I have had that ability. Suffice it to say, but I truly believe that somehow, someway, it's going to be alright. This is a storm right now, but He will be there for me.

Please don't get me wrong - I'm not a born-again Christian or anything of that nature. I will say this - too many things have happened in my life to be considered a coincidence. I'm a believer, just not in organized religion (I'll go into that in a later posting.) Maybe I'm not a success story, nor do I have a family or a steady job. But...that doesn't matter. Somehow it all works out, of course provided I put forth the effort. Sometimes getting started is the most difficult part.

Running on Empty
By Jackson Browne

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-o-one
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don’t know when that road turned onto the road I’m on

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don’t know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that’ll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Honey you really tempt me
You know the way you look so kind
I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind
You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find
Running into the sun but I’m running behind

Monday, May 23, 2005

Time to say "thanks"

A Realization
Thanks to the comment of a very nice person, I finally realized something: that people DO appreciate my writing, and I DO have a captive audience. I am grateful for that. For me, this started out just as a journal of sorts; it's turned into more of an emotional outpouring since then. I have no problem with this, and it fuels my "creativity" even more. However, many have taken to time to acknowledge that they have indeed read my posts, and I just want to say....


Opening Up Again
If I seem to be cold and uncaring, please understand that giving and showing affection is not one of my stronger points. I am still working on that, as I long to be able to accept it in return unconditionally, and unquestionably. I thank those also who have been there for me in my times of trouble and despair, and those that stuck by me, no matter what happened. There are some special friends, ariK, and Flash. Then there are those who gave me a laugh on a daily basis (thank you, Howdy!)

The Joys of Blogging..and Reading Others' Blogs
For those of you reading this entry, please click on the links of these blogs. You will find some of the funniest, most heartfelt, intense, and extremely interesting writings. I think that it's great to have a blog and to be able to use it to communicate with people - if it's one-way, at least they see how we experience and react to everyday situations. Remember - if no one comments on your post, it doesn't mean that they haven't read it. Some are just not ready to comment sometimes, or just totally agree with you on your point-of-view. I finally realized that myself very recently.

As far as rants go, I don't want to turn into Andy Rooney and say things like "you know Christmas only comes once a year...I hate that,) but it is easy to get caught up in the moment and focus on the inconvenience, pain, or loss of control that things expose us to within our lives. A rant is simply a way to "vent" our feelings at the moment. We may feel pretty irate, and say things that we wouldn't say at any other time, or think thoughts that are not of our regular nature. Stress and anger have a way of doing this to us. You know how rants just wear you out after you relase them? I hate that.... Just kidding.

As For Me...
I'll find my way through it all somehow. I got a feeling that lots of changes are going to be made.
It's been five years since my last life-changing experience, so I think that I'm about due for a new one. This could be the start of something...BIG. Something inside of me keeps saying "Go West, Young Man." Or is it South? (Hello, Branson, MO!)

Take care and God Bless

Friday, May 20, 2005

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Back To Reel-ality

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Revox A77

The pinnacle were simplicity meets sonice excellence. No fancy bells and whistles, just true sound reproduction. Nothing comes close (consumer-wise.) I'd honestly pit ANY cassette deck or CD player against this thing. Of course, I won't deny that I think that it looks cool also - it's quite the conversation piece! It was built around 1974, and once it was overhauled, it could keep up with just about anything out there. With this machine, I record tapes that make most machines balk at; because they just can't handle the extreme frequency response of this thing. They are also very famous for their ability to reproduce low-frequency information very well. I've owned a lot of decks, and suffice it to say, nothing EVER came close. I you are an audio buff like me and you see one of these things on Ebay or at a garage sale, PICK IT UP. There are plenty of resources available for parts and restoration. I think that the Studer/Revox factory in Nashville has parts still in stock - I wouldn't be surprised! Give it a thought.

Why bother?
If you've never had the chance to use or listen to an open-reel deck, you're missing out on alot of the hi-fi spectrum! If you think that it's a dated and obsolete format, consider this - you know that CD of your favorite group you were listening to today? Whether you realize it or not, they probably recorded it on an analog 24-track recorder, and mixed it down to 2-track open reel as well. A majority of artists insist on recording to analog tape, because it has such a warmth that digital does not. Here's why.

Digital vs. Analog - A Comparison
OK, this is for sure going to spark a debate if you happen to be a hi-fi nut. Warning: the views expressed in the following paragraph are based soley upon my personal observation and experience with both types of medium - Use them at your own risk! OK. Ready? Here we go...Press play and let it roll! Mr. emcee, please...

In this corner....Digital

The Pros
Yes, digital - bask in all the glory and awards that have been given to you, you deserve it. You don't introduce hiss to recordings, the ability to edit and do things, such as stretch a recording or speed it up without changing the pitch and vice versa. You also have a much longer life as well. Lord knows that you've made my life in radio so much easier! You also have virtually an unlimited number of tracks that I can utilize. This is heaven, indeed, and I thank you for this.

The Cons...
But, before you get so full of yourself, I would like to point out that you most certainly are not infallible, and are susceptible to tragedy. First of all, you think in absolutes - you are either on, or you are off. With you, there is no in between. If a signal falls below a certain threshold, you abruptly cut it off; or worse yet, you act as if it doesn't exist! Folks who make ultra-dynamic (sorry, Maxell) music don't appreciate this fact, such as classical artists. There are passages that tend to fall short because of this flaw. Sure, you can make more volume steps (also known as "resolution,") and it will fix the problem, to a degree. To the highly trained ear, it can be very obvious (and frustrating!) There is an unintentional harshness that occurs due to the almost non-linearity of the frequency response. Also, another drawback is the recording level. I tend to record everything pretty "hot*" due to my days with analog. However, if you do this with digital, you're in for a VERY unpleasant surprise. The audio clips severely and makes resounding crackles and totally ruins the audio! Once you clip something digitally, forget it. You'd better just start it over. I could go into an even longer explanation, but I think the average person gets my point. Moving on then...

The Perennial Favorite...Analog

The Pros...
OK, so I was a little harsh on my point-of-view on digital recording. Remember, this is just MY observation, not the "law of the land." It's obvious of how biased (no pun intended) my opinion is. For years, I have recorded on analog medium, whether it be cassettes or open reel. I've also listened to alot of LP records (yes, you remember those?) I can tell you this - upon learning how to make excellent recordings with both types of tape formats, the results were quite impressive. Analog is quite forgiving if you overstep the +0 dB mark on your VU meters, provided you don't keep it there, or distortion will set in. However, that being said, there are pleasant "harmonics" produced because of the slight distortion. This is why purists prefer tubes (sometimes called valves) over discreet components. Once again, this could be a debate in itself, but I'm not going to go there. At least not now. Unfortunately, Analog does have its shortcomings, however.

The Cons (this really hurts...)
OK. this was hard to realize, but sadly, analog does have cons. Once again, I won't deny the ease of which digital editing has made my work, to the point of where a kid can do a respectable job. With analog, you use magnetic tape, and of course that is susceptible to wear and tear. Sometimes the stuff breaks, and of course you have to splice it back together. This in and of itself is an artform, practiced by a select few in the industry, nowadays. Actually you can splice it two different ways - at a 45- degree angle (for music) or at a 90-degree angle (for speech.) Truth be told, I mix the two up on a constant basis, as I don't splice much anymore. Another problem is tape HISSSSSSSSSSSSS. Due to the linearity of the recording medium, which has virtually no threshold (and takes whatever you throw at it,) there is the consequence of tape hiss in a recording. Yes, you can use a noise-gate or noise-reduction of sorts, provided that it's set properly. The solution: Do as the early recording engineers did - record everything as HOT as possible - you won't be disappointed. With the aid of a few extra devices (a compressor/limiter, for instance,) you'll get a nice warm fat sound. Upon playback, you will notice that "warmth" that so many audio purists get all mushy about (myself included.) There is also the expense and recent scarcity of the recording medium itself. For a while it seemed that the last remaining manufacturer of magnetic tape (Quantegy, formerly Ampex,) was going under and sold off most of their magnetics division. This was due to declining sales of tape. It is rather expensive as well, but as any tape geek will tell you, it's well worth the cost. Another factor to consider is the 'shelf-life of magnetic medium. It's unfortunate, but it does tend to decompose over time - especially if it's been stored incorrectly. Even if it has been stored properly, it tends to suffer from a phenomenon called "print-through." Over time, the recording tends to "print" itself to the layer of tape below it. As a result, when played back, there is a corresponding "pre-echo" that you hear. An example of this would be on Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," when Robert Plant sings, "WAY DOWN INSIDE, (woman) WOMAN....(youuu) YOUUUU NEEEED...) Or take an older tape (cassette or reel) and find a passage between songs, and turn up the volume on your amplifier or receiver. You will probably hear exactly what I am talking about. The sound tends to echo just before the original. You can recreate this in another way, but we're not going to go into that now. Of course you have to take maintenance into consideration as well. These things do wear out, and need cleaning, as well as parts to keep them running properly. This all being said, alot of folks would rather put up with the hassle. Myself included.

Naturally, there are many other factors involved with both types of media; good and bad. I just didn't feel the need to go into them. There are also some similarities - Such as the sampling and bit-rate for digital needs to be at a satisfactory level (44.1khz @ 16 bits nominally) and with analog, a tape speed of 7.5 to 30 IPS (inches per second) needs to be utilized. In both cases, if you use a low value, your recording will suffer drastically. However, if quality is not of primary concern, but economy is, then the lower values are for you. I grew up with alot of tapes recorded at 3.75 IPS; these were meant for parties or just background music. On an 1,800 foot reel, you could cram 96 minutes per side of music. That's about 192 minutes of time on one seven-inch reel! If you step up the larger ten-and-a-half inch reels (which I prefer,) at 7.5 IPS, you can get the same amount; of course the trade-off being the reel size. With digital, you consider filesize as well. In this way, you see that both mediums have striking similarities. It's an interesting point to ponder. And just so you know, I do make regular use of BOTH mediums. I guess you could say that I want "The Best of Both Worlds." Sorry to paraphrase Van Halen, but that's just how I feel. I see that the supply reel is turning faster by the second, and that means we've run out of time for now, but tune in again tomorro........

(oops, tape ran out- there goes the "head-cleaning" leader tape and the tape comes off the reel and starts flapping around until the auto shut-off realizes there is no tape, shutting the machine down. )

Once again, these are my views, and if you choose to comment or criticize, please fire away.

*"Hot" refers to a recording which is at a level that is as loud as possible, with a slight bit of distortion, but not enough to ruin the recording.

A quick note: This comparison does NOT include 8-track cartridges. They should be avoided at all costs, and are a disgrace to the hi-fi community. They are in essence, total pieces of shit! More later on why I hate them...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Losing My Cans

Goodbye To An Old Friend
Here are what once was my set of lovely Sony MDRV700DJ headphones. I made the mistake of taking them to our last gig (at our drummer's request.) Something inside of me was saying, "don't do it, man." Sure enough, I left them behind. I tried to go back to the bar, but they already had the doors locked. I called my bandmates to see if they could go back the next day to retrieve them. Which I thought, "OK, the bar staff will find them, and will put them up for me." Such was NOT the case, however. It seems that someone found them, and took them for their own use, as they were nowhere to be found. Just as a precaution, I called everyone else involved in the gig, and the same result; no one had them. Yes, I cried. You'd better believe it!

Moving On...
I mourned their loss for the past two days, as I've NEVER had a pair that sounded as good as those! The frequency response was unbelievable - thanks mostly to 50mm drivers inside. I loved the sound that emitted from them. When I did my production/voiceover work, those were the "cans" * of choice. Now that I'm a brokeass and can't afford a new pair, I will just have to do without, or get a crappy pair; the latter of which I'm not too excited about. Since I use a very sensitive microphone, it is impossible to monitor my mixer through the studio monitors. It results in immediate feedback, due to the intense compression and preamp settings (which I can't live without either.) Let's just say that they make my voice much more stronger and powerful than it is. I could tell you the secrets behind it all, but I'd have to kill you.

What Now?
Well, what a better time to go for a walk, just to get the frustrations out. This also lifts my spirits as well. I know that it's not the end of the world that I lost my best headphones, but it does present the problems that I previously mentioned. This makes my life's work inconvenient and frustrating. I'm not one to settle for second-best when it comes to my creativity. Who knows, maybe I'll win the lottery and be able to buy a new pair. Maybe I'll stop at the gas station on the way during my walk and pick up a lottery ticket or a PowerBall ticket. It might be worthwhile to "take a gamble" just for once. That's a sort of risk-taking, isn't it?

That's one small step for man - one giant leap for Danny. (roger beep)

*Cans are radio industry slang for headphones, for those that aren't familiar with the term.

Monday, May 16, 2005


by 3 Doors Down

Breathe in right away,
Nothing seems to fill this place
I need this every time,
Take your lies get off my case
Someday I will find a love
That flows through me like this
This will fall away,
this will fall away

You’re getting closer to pushing me
Off of life’s little edge
Cause I’m a loser
And sooner or later
You know I’ll be dead
You’re getting closer,
You’re holding the rope,
I'm taking the fall
Cause I’m a loser, I’m a loser, yeah

This is getting old,
I can’t break these chains that I hold
My body’s growing cold,
There’s nothin left of this mind
Or my soul
Addiction needs a pacifier,
The buzz of this poison is taking me higher
This will fall away,
This will fall away

You’re getting closer, to pushing me
Off of life’s little edge
Cause I’m a loser and sooner or later
You know I’ll be dead
You’re getting closer,
You’re holding the rope and
I’m taking the fall
Cause I’m a loser

You’re getting closer, to pushing me
Off of life’s little edge
Cause I’m a loser and sooner or later
You know I’ll be dead
You’re getting closer,
You’re holding the rope
And I’m taking the fall
Cause I’m a loser

32 Years...

Just Waking Up...

Today I woke up at 2:28 pm. I set my alarm for approximately 10am, not knowing why. As it turns out, when I turned on my phone, there was a voicemail from my dad wishing me a happy birthday. He wanted to take me out for lunch today. He said that it was OK if I wanted to do it tomorrow instead. I guess that's what I'm going to do. Even though it's ok with him, I still feel bad about not waking up. Alot of good that will do me. I guess my initial reaction is a tearful one.

Goin' Up's Easy, Comin' Down's Hard...

Just like the song says, even though it's referring to being famous and making your way to the top, only to fall down to the bottom again.The majority of the time I wake up upset, it seems. But I was manic for a while, and now it's time to come down. It's the hardest time for me to deal with. That's also a very dangerous time. Thankfully, I usually just tear up and cry a little. OK alot.

Happy Birthday to Me...

I know that today is my birthday, but I still feel like I want to just lay around and cry all day. My phone rang again. It was my therapist. She called to tell me that I missed my appointment (it was at 2pm.) It is now 2:44pm. This makes me feel even worse. I usually never miss an
appointment, and this is the first one that I have missed in a long time. All because of the choice that I had made.

What A Mess...

I have to face facts - my life is a mess right now, and I can't seem to get it together. The only thing that I have going for me is the band. I am progressing to higher heights and becoming recognized. They just don't see the real me. The guy who can't get up in the morning to
go to a job, who sleeps all day; only to perpetuate the cycle. It makes me feel like a waste.


I can sit here all day and feel bad for myself, but it won't change things. Self-pity is something that I am extremely proficient in. The rest of the world can see that I'm pretty much a wreck (off-stage that is.) This also makes it a problem to meet new people - especially of the opposite sex.

Hi! My Name is Danny...and I Have Issues.

It's very difficult to hide who I am - to put on a happy face to meet someone. I seem to scare them away after a while. I have so many issues that it's nearly impossible to maintain a relationship. As a result, I tend to "take what I can get," and it usually ends in a bad way, or I just cut it off. The majority of my time is spent alone - in solitude and constant sorrow. My friends know this, and they at least keep in touch with me. I guess I choose to be this way - to cut myself off from the rest of the world, and not acknowledge that it's there.

The Great Roller Coaster

The best way to describe the illness is that it's like a roller-coaster that you have never ridden. You never know what lurks around the next corner. Sure, you may be aware of a pattern, but it's still difficult, nonetheless. You have the point where you are at ground level (when you get on the ride,) and the acension begins. You are transcending and realizing you keep going higher and higher. Things seem great and you long to feel the intensity of what life has to offer. Pretty soon you end up at the top, and before you know it, there's that feeling, just before you come down - it's like a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. You come down and that "rush" is gone. In addition, you have several unexpected turns that happen in your life, as well as things that will throw you for a complete loop. At the end of the ride, you are exhausted, from all of this. Just
imagine riding that same roller coaster continuously, non-stop; being chained in, not being able to get out. Some can't deal with this constant torture and ultimately find the worst way to end the ride. My friends, welcome to bipolar disorder - the best and worst roller coaster that you could ever ride in your life.


During this time, I have a heightened sense of awareness, and everything seems to make sense. I can usually trace complicated things back to simple concepts, and make engineering-types of people feel somewhat intimidated. There is a tremendous clarity during those times, and the urge to create is immense. It's also a time when you might try to do something that you wouldn't normally do, which could be dangerous or even life-threatening.

The Walk

For example, the other night I got a little upset when I tried to meet someone and failed. I started walking across a major four-lane highway very slowly. I saw cars coming at me, but didn't feel any fear at all. I just kept the same pace. They were far enough away from me, but if
they had sped up, I probably would have gotten hit. At that moment, I really didn't care. I failed to think of what an impact it would have had on others in my life. I just kept focusing on that pain and a solution to get rid of it. It's during those times that you have to let someone know how you feel - it's VITAL!


When you come down, it's terrible. Everything seems to just pull you down. You compare yourself to others and feel inadequate. You begin to question your very existence, what your purpose in life is, and if you should continue to go on. The emotional torment just seems to
color your world black, and you just want to curl up in a ball and wait for the storm to go pass.

The Storm

You feel as if you are caught in a bad storm - exposed to the elements, with no shelter in sight. The only protection that you have is your ability to curl up in a ball, and that doesn't help much. You can't help but wonder when the storm will pass. Some choose not to protect themselves and just die in it. They let the lightning strike them to their death, or even worse, they drown themselves in the flood of sorrow. A sad demise indeed.

An Observation

Mental illness can be just as debilitating as a physical disability, and the world needs to take notice of that. It's time for society to quit turning a blind eye to mental health issues! Every year, MILLIONS of people end their lives due to mental illness. It can ruin your life completely. It can affect your ability to work, your family life, and cause several other problems down the road. To say that "it's all in your head" is just downright unacceptable - period. The days of just blocking out mental illness and pretending it's not there are OVER. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND FACE THE MUSIC!

To All The "Normies"

Those of you that don't understand, or choose not to - I feel sorry for you. You feel that it's all in our minds, and that it's an excuse not to function in this world. Let me put it to you this way (the
storm analogy again,) Imagine a raging violent storm that you can't get away from no matter how hard you try. It follows you everywhere, and tends to focus solely on you. It saturates every aspect of your life; your mind tends to become water-logged and you just drown in the sorrow of it all. If you choose not to even give this a thought or to even try to, I have no sympathy for you when you are physically disabled. How does that make YOU feel? Pretty bad, eh? Remember, "it's all in your mind," right? There. Chew on that for a while, you members of the disabilty determination beaureau, doctors that choose not to believe, or anyone else for that matter. GET A CLUE!!! IT IS REAL AND DOES EXIST!


Can you sense my anger and hostility towards those who are the "enemy?" It's a very intense feeling, and I feel that I would literally beat down ANYONE who would tell it to my face. Trust me, I could do it. OK. You get the point.

I'll get into more of my episodes later on. For now, I have to make myself go out and face the more time. For those that believe and sympathize, thank you. For those that don't want to, I have two choice words for you:


Sunday, May 15, 2005

Some of My Gear

Here's my a similar picture of my backup and former main bass. The Fender Precision. It's got a charm and character all its own. The only problem is, that doesn't work for everything you play. It's great for full-on rock and punk. But if you play blues, fusion, and jazz, you'll find that it doesn't do the job. The neck is also a little beefier than the jazz, so it tends to slow me down. She now sits in my studio and is my practice bass. I love her to death, but she just doesn't fit the bill anymore.

All that Jazz...And then some!

This is where it all begins: The Jazz Bass Deluxe. Its active electronics allow me a tonal pallete that I didn't have with the Precision Bass. Another plus of the Jazz is the ultra-fast slim neck. It didn't take me long to fall in love with it. Once I learned to control the thing, it was perfect. The Strat was the perfect match for Jimi. The Jazz is the perfect match for me. You could say that she's my "musical soulmate." Beware, newer basses with no soul - this one's gonna rip you to shreds! Now to get a fretless...

The Flamethrower - The Real Deal

Here's the Big Boy. This one rarely makes an appearance anymore. If we need extra oomph, The Acoustic 371 does the job. Mine was built in 1972, and has all the original parts, right down to the 18" speaker and even the dust cover. If I need a throaty roar (about around 300+ watts,) this is the guy for the job.

Caution: This Amplifier May Cause Heart Palpitations and/or Loss of Breath!
Note to the weak at heart or victims close by: this amp WILL kick your ass if you are standing near it. I remember the first few practices with it - I only had the volume just below one, and my drummer claimed that he could feel it shoot from across the room. It lacks a little in the sub-bass department, but back then, not many cared about sub-bass. If you're looking for a Grand-Funk Railroad Mel Schacher type sound, this is the one for you. GROOOWWWWWL, ROOOOARRR! Yes, this one will overdrive like a motherfucker if you let it.

Feel The Thunder; Hear The Roar!

This is my main amp - The Ampeg BA-115. It's 100 watts, has 1 15" woofer and horn. It's usually enough to fill a room. If not, we use the direct out and run it through the PA (2-18" JBLs with 8" tops on either side, in stereo,) which makes it sound ungodly huge! This thing is only part of my arsenal. In my mind, Ampeg is THE way to go for bass amplification- period.

Pain...Brought to You, Courtesy of Rotosound

I love these strings! These make the ol' Fender Jazz come alive. I get that growl I want, (notice the lion on the package!) and at the same time, a nice round bottom end. These don't come without a price, however. After playing for several hours (despite a healthy callous buildup on my fingers, I start to "feel the burn." Most people won't play these strings because they are very rough on the fingers. I just deal with the pain and relish in the sound. I love to turn completely to the bridge pickup and turn up the mid (it has active electronics) so I can get that Jaco Pastorious sound. It inspires me to noodle with jazz. It's lots of fun, to be sure.

No Pain, No Gain
It's like the old saying says. I tend to play with a rather agressive attack, which gives me that tone that I like - nearly overdriven, just starting to clip. It's massive and powerful, and it really adds to the band's overall sound. I crank the volume (pre-gain) and set the master volume where I want it. The amp is solid state, yet it somewhat behaves like a tube amp. If you play music, you know why tube amps are highly sought after. Let me say this much. If you were to use a tube amp, and then a solid state as a comparison, you would definitely notice the difference. Anyway, I love the sound that I get from my rig. I see guys using two 4X10 cabinets with a horn in the center. I never liked that sound, nor will I ever. As far as my rig goes, above are a few more pictures of my equipment:

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Hollywood Nocturne

Here's one to chew on for a while. It's the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Good stuff!

Hollywood Nocturne
The Brian Setzer Orchestra

There's a place where you can go
Music's hot and lights are low
But there's something you should know
Before the night is through

'Neath a buzzing neon sign
Dressed in style so cool and refined
Stands a man from another time
Who's calling out to you

There in the night that has heard a thousand voices
Whispered a thousand names
Sang out a thousand love songs
He lives his Hollywood nocturne

There's a place he'd like to go
Where it's cool and lights are low
But the shadows won't let go
They dance and call his name

As he roams the streets at night
Haunted by this devil sight
There's a man in dark red light
Who's calling out to you

There in the night that has heard a thousand voices
Whispered a thousand names
Sang out a thousand love songs
He lives his Hollywood nocturne

His Hollywood nocturne
His Hollywood nocturne

It's a beautiful song; done in his usual fifties-influenced sound.
Many people don't realize just how great of guitarist he is.
If you play guitar, listen to his stuff. You'll be impressed, I'm sure.
Underneath all that slapback tape-echo drenched sound,
are some very good chops!

OK -time for bed!

this is an audio post - click to play
this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, May 13, 2005



Since Blogger fucked me out of my post (due to scheduled maintenance at 11:30 AM!) I am doing my best to withold the rage. That post was one of the times that I poured my heart out the most, and it's GONE GONE GONE!!!!!!! So now I'm listening to Prong and here's how I feel. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHH!

Home Rule

by Prong

More conquest
more proud division
rape for a strong man
it scares you
into submission
now’s the time
to face the homeRule.

it’s our find,
never give it back
our kind
shut em out
shine a light
bring em out
take no flight
never give in

more conquest
Proud division
rape for a strong man
it scares you
into submission
now’s the time
to face the home rule

all alone
never giveIn
hold tight
what you know
gift of pride
look down
upon your foe

How's that for rage? You should listen the full album - Cleansing by Prong. It's 11 years old, but it KICKS THE SHIT out of this younger generation's so-called heavy crap! EAT THIS, YOU PUSSIES!!!!!


by the way, whomever decided that scheduled maintenance should be at that time, I would like to congratulate you for being a FUCKWIT. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

To The Group...

Here's a reply to an email that I received from the facilitator of my local DBSA chapter. She's truly a very sweet woman. She was very concerned, as I haven't been at several meetings.


Thanks for checking up on me. I am going through some difficult times right now, as I am unemployed (of my own doing,) and money is extremely tight. I was unable to pay the rent for last month, and I'm not sure how I'm going to do it for next month either. I guess that I have to think about where I am going to go, eventually. I know I need to find work again as well. As you know, this is no simple feat for me. The good news is that I am not going hungry, and I am eating good meals frequently.

I guess that you could say that I am fearing for my life at this point, and don't really know what to do. I was thinking of going to the towship trustee's office and see if I can get assistance through them. When I was living in G, we did this, and I did community service in return. I would definitely be willing to do that, if it were an option.

As for your invitations to join you at church, I appreciate that. However, due to my past experiences with organized religion, I choose not to participate in it. Please, don't get me wrong; I DO believe in Him and the powers that He has within our lives. I believe that He is there for all of us. I just don't need someone else to point out what I am doing wrong in my life, when many times the one who is quick to pass judgement upon others, is actually the one who is ultimately in the wrong. I don't like that "Do as I say, not as I do" approach. "Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself," Is how I believe the old saying goes. That being said, I don't believe that all churches (or those who attend them) are this way, nonetheless I have a "bad taste in my mouth" as a result.

The band is doing well and we are getting much exposure. Our new singer is a tremendous asset which we truly needed. A strong frontman is always a must when it comes to having a band. Someone has to stand at the forefront; to work the crowd and inspire others to "get into the music." D and I both get the crowd going, and it's a wonderful feeling that I can't put a price on, nor would I ever consider it. I think that music will take me down alot of roads and eventually be my trade of choice. I seem to be able to use my musical ear to learn songs very quickly, which is valuable on jam nights. We host one regularly on Fridays at Romano's in Schererville. As a result my musical "chops" have become well-honed, and I can sit in with nearly anyone who comes up to the stage (if they need a bass player for their set.) Please tell J that, as I do play alot of blues as well!

The jam nights themselves are a little hectic. It's an all-ages type of thing and the kids who hang out at the local coffee house come to play. Admittedly, they drive me crazy with all their screaming and yelling angst-ridden music. I have to remember that I was a kid once, and that they are just learning to feel their way around; testing their metal, so to speak. Nonetheless, I have major anxiety and trust issues with them, and am I bit defensive, almost agressive towards them ("stay back, and don't tear up my equipment!") Perhaps I'm a bit too harsh towards them because they don't want to listen. I tried being a fatherly type once before and found out quickly that it wasn't for me. Anyway, that's the latest on that situation.

I have been going through some tough times emotionally. In February, I was feeling somewhat suicidal; not because of a strong dislike or hatred of myself, rather a feeling of unbelievable hopelessness overtook me. I did the right thing, and reached out to many people at this time, and I should have reached out to the group more. I am still having issues with talking to a group, even though I have been going for nearly five years. I have a huge inferiority complex and feel that my words don't touch many, nor that they care to understand. I do my best to lend an ear to everyone - just because I don't say much about their situation doesn't mean that I don't care. Sometimes I just don't know where to begin, or if I can say anything that could be of assistance. It's difficult to reach out in that respect.

I bear no malice toward anyone, and I am deeply saddened if my absence has caused you (or anyone else) any grave concerns. I do plan to attend the next meeting, and I promise to be as forthright as I can, without dominating the conversation. I've told you before of my thoughts on certain meetings. If you wish to share this email with the group, I have no problem with that. I would like them to know that I am doing better in alot of ways. I am re-discovering myself on a daily basis; re-learning thought patterns and reactions to everyday situations. I guess it's like Life Skills 101 - the course that should be taught in ALL schools during a child's formative years.

With that note, I hope that this finds you well and I promise that you will hear from me soon. Take care and God Bless.



I feel very fortunate to be a member of the group for nearly 5 years now. They have helped me alot and in many ways that they will never know. We have done some great outings, such as eat at a local Japanese restaurant for our Christmas party. I look forward to those things quite a bit. It's those "little things" that help to get me through and to keep forging on through the day-to-day struggle that is known as LIFE.

Be well, everyone!

Monday, May 09, 2005

More Later...

I know that I said that I would go into detail about emotions and the influence that they have in you, in my next post, but I got distracted with something else. I will keep that in mind tonight and work on it as well. Right now it's off to my tech/buddy's house to work on the old Strat.


Dis·ar·ray (ds-r) n. A state of disorder; confusion.*
Yep. One word says it all. My life is in total disarray. I have lost the ability to rise early in the morning, and to go to bed at a "respectable hour." I am truly zombified - numb to the world. It takes me several hours just to "wake up." It also takes me a while to realize what I am feeling, or what the day's initial emotion or reaction will be. It seems the first one to hit me is guilt, or a feeling of sorrow, because I was unable to wake up and "pound the pavement."

Back to Square One
It's no secret that I need to find work again. My rent is past due and I only have enough money in the bank to last a few weeks. I've never gotten myself in a situation like this. I feel so helpless, but I am aware of it at least, and I won't make a decision that I will regret, or hurt others for that matter. I know that there are ways that I can get help for the time being (such as the township trustee or a church.) I am not ashamed to admit that I need a helping hand. I won't, however ask friends and family for money. I couldn't bring myself to do that. I know that my dad would help me the best that he could, but he has his own problems. I couldn't ever impose upon him like that. He's helped me out of alot of jams before, so just this once I need to find a way to do it myself. Step one is to get out there and do it!

I think that part of the problem is that I have some compulsive issues, one of them being the Internet itself. I'll get on a kick for something, and just keep researching the hell out of it for hours and hours. I'll realize what time it is and say to myself "well, maybe just a few more minutes, then I'll go to bed..." For instance: last night, I was looking for online streams that play meditative music. This turned out to be like a 3-hour "project." I was on my way to bed around 1:30 am or so, and then decided to go back to the pc and try to find some streams to listen to. I became obssessed and started hunting down streams like crazy. Yes, I did find many, and bookmarked them in my player, but by the time I was done, it was around 3:30-4:00 am.

Rise and Shine
I really hadn't planned to stay up that late. As a result, when my alarm when off at 9:30 am, I felt lethargic and could barely move; just enough to hit the snooze bar. I think I slept through the alarm the second time that it went off. I barely remember hitting the off switch. When I finally came to, it was approximately 1:30 pm; it was then that I knew I had to get up and function in the world. I awoke with that guilty feeling. I knew that I had bills to be paid, but also realized that my money was running out. This was my initial "emotion for the day." I turned on my phone and went to the bathroom. Then I went straight to the pc, just to see what was going on. I checked my e-mail and then decided to write in my blog.

Things to Do Today
I called my buddy back as he left a voicemail for me. He wants me to come over so we can tweak my guitar again. I'm fine with that, so I'm trying to put on a happy face and that everything is ok, even when it's not. He knows though when I'm not doing good. I just don't want to make it so obvious. As he says, "it's not always about you, Danny." I agree, man. I am doing my best not to have my head stuck up my ass. It's a work in progress.

Natural High

Yesterday, I was cutting the grass, and a feeling of euphoria overcame me. I became giddy and laughed alot. I couldnt' figure it out. I thought that maybe the grass itself was getting me high, or the exhaust fumes from the mower were doing it. I couldn't put my finger on it, but the feeling lasted several hours afterwards. The inevitable downward spiral came eventually though, as I knew it would. It was back to reality and how I dealt with it. I told my buddy this, and he suggested that maybe it was due to the fact that I was getting some exercise. I pondered the possibility, and perhaps he is right. Maybe it was an endorphin rush or something. I don't exercise regularly, and I'm depressed more often than not, so it's very hard to tell when I have a natural high, or it's due to something else. All I know is, I like that feeling and I want it back. I don't care how I got it, I just want to feel that way more often than not. I hate being miserable 85% of the time. Maybe the increase in meds (Lamictal) will start to help. I can only hope.

Little Neutrino

By Klaatu

Across your open mind
I trace erratic lines
In motion and in time

I fought a battle won
To the surface of the sun
Through fires on and on

It's only you
It can't be me
For I myself refuse to be
I am someone you'll never know
I am the little neutrino

Solus is not far away
It's face is brighter than a day
So don't turn me away

It's only you
It can't be me
For I myself refuse to be
I am someone you'll never know
I am the little neutrino

And now I'm passing through
The one who's known as you
And yet you'll never know I do


Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Future...

I've come to a crossroads in my life where I need to make a decision - do I keep playing the victim in life, or do I take charge of myself and be responsible for my actions? I believe that it's time to stand up and take what life has to offer. The more I keep setting up situations where I am safe, the worse off I'll be.

Somehow, I've always managed to make it financially. Whether it be a special arrangement for my rent, or having a substantial amount of money in my bank account. Granted, there were times when it seemed like I didn't know where my next meal was coming from, but things worked out somehow. There always seemed to be a safety net. This time, such is not the case.

I have to admit; my job history is very transient. I don't stay in any one job too long - either it's due to anxiety or stress issues, or of my inability to do what is required. The last job I had was a combination of both. I felt like I had to get out, regardless of the consequences. To me, the money doesn't mean much, not usually. This time it does - it means having a roof over my head and having good meals to eat. I will admit, from a financial standpoint, it was rather foolish to leave my former place of employment. However, I feel that they would have let me go eventually. I was having an extremely difficult time with the job, and the pressure was mounting. I was literally getting scared, and when I get scared, I have to find a way out. It becomes a life-and-death issue for me, so I end up making choices that I will most likely regret later. I guess that you could say that I live my life on the run.

A Plan
So what am I going to do? Well, the first thing that I'm going to do is auction off some stuff and just start saving the cash. That should hold me over until I can get a new job, or find another source of income. I am going to actively start looking for work. Honestly, I have really had no desire to for the past month, even though I knew that this moment was coming. "Just wait til tomorrow..." Tomorrow comes, then another; next thing you know, it's been a month already, and still nothing to show for it. I'm practiced in the art of procrastination.

I would like to work again, but it is imperative that it does not interfere with my musical lifestyle. I will make it a point to prospective employers that I play in a band, and that is my primary source of income, and will be treated as such. The gigs will always come first - that means no scheduling me the day of a gig, or the day after either. It seems that the 5-day workweek would be best financially, but honestly I don't think that I could handle that right now. I'd be fine with 2 or 3 days a week, so that I can live and do things. Sure, I won't get benefits or 401k, but I don't care. I'll be damned if I'm going to be stuck in another factory being a mindless robot, making the same thing over and over again. I'll also be damned if I ever work in retail again. I am not customer-service oriented by any means. Oh, and don't even use the words "mandatory" and "overtime" in the same sentence. I'll only laugh at you and tell you to run along.

Is this wise? Probably not - but damnit, I'm not going to be one of those people who makes lots of money, but has no time to spend it or hates his job. What's the point of having it if you can't find the time to do the things that you like to do? I suppose that if you do find the time to do things that you enjoy, it makes things a lot easier to deal with. I know that it's simply impossible to be able to always do what you would like to do, but there most certainly should be more time for that. I mean, come on! ONE week out of 52 is NOT a very generous ratio. In countries like Australia, they get vacations every 6 months, and they get FOUR weeks if they so desire. so - eight weeks out of the year, they get to do the things that they want to. Here in this damn country you only get ONE to start with. Give me a break. I've said it many times and I'm going to say it again. I'm not going to be one of the sheep in the herd. I absolutely refuse to. Plain and simple. I guess that will make me pretty poor in a monetary sense, but somehow I'll manage.

The Road Ahead
What lies ahead? Well, things are definitely looking up for me in the music world. More and more people are taking notice of me and my abilities. This makes me feel needed and important. I've never really had that feeling before in my life. I guess you could say that I'm on my way to finding my 'niche' in life. This could lead to a profitable career someday. Sure, it's a hard road - life isn't easy by any means. But if you like what you are doing, it makes all the difference in the world. My only fear is that I could lose that passion, especially during a time of need. Then I would need to seek other avenues for income.

Money Is The Root of All Evil!
...To paraphrase an O'Jays Song (For The Love of Money,) they really hit the nail on the head! It all began when someone had the bright idea of using currency instead of bartering for goods and services. It seemed that the barter system worked better, and that it was much more honest. I'm sure that there were some dishonest folks during that time period, but the "honor system" was very much intact. People were honest in bartering for their goods and services. "I'll give you this for that..." It seems simple enough.

Peer Pressure
In my opinion,simply too much emphasis is placed on how much money we make. Society makes us feel inferior if we don't "measure up." Some think that they are better than others, and flaunt what they have in front of the "have-nots." If that's not enough, the media have picked up on this, and have learned ways to entice and trick people into purchasing things that make them to appear cooler, boost their self-confidence, and just make you (or famiy members) happy. Don't you love those commercials about hair loss? Boy, they sure make you feel worthless if you don't have a full head of hair. They create a scenario to give the illusion that unless you have a full head of hair, you're a loser of sorts.

My Travails With Hair Loss
I will admit, that for a long time I bought into this theory. When I was a teenager, I had a full head of long hair. As I started getting older, it began to fall out. The jokes ensued, and it made me feel inferior to everyone else. Pretty soon, I would refuse to go anywhere without a hat perched atop my head. Out of habit today, I still do this. I guess that you could say that I still feel a little inferior and envious of others who haven't lost theirs. I found a secret weapon that works though. I found that if I keep my head shaved, then it isn't so readily obvious - plus it gives the illusion that I'm younger than I am! Fortunately, I am able to pretty much take any comment about my hair and come back with a snappy one-liner that puts the person in their place. If it's not worth my time to respond, I'll just brush it off. It's so nice to be able to do this now!

In Closing...
It definitely seems that there are more changes in store for me. One of them may involve a change in living arrangements, monetary situation, or other things that I am unable to think of at this moment. They may be good, or they may be bad. Whatever the case, I have to be ready and take it as it comes. It's easier said than done - when times are hard, your mind tends to focus on the pain and inconvenience (why is this happening to ME?) rather than on coping strategies and plans that you have laid out. The key is to not let your emotions rule your world. It can be done. I will go into this in more detail in my next post. For now, it's off to bed.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I Mean Every Word Of This.

By John Miles

Music was my first love
and it will be my last.
Music of the future
and music of the past.

To live without my music
would be impossible to do.
In this world of troubles,
my music pulls me through.


Music was my first love
and it will be last.
Music of the future
and music of the past
and music of the past
and music of the past.


Music was my first love
and it will be my last.
Music of the future
and music of the past.

To live without my music
would be impossible to do.
In this world of troubles,
my music pulls me through.

One of the most beautiful songs that I've ever heard. It literally brings me to tears.