Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I call myself a passionate person. I'd like to think that I am - however, it seems to apply in only one direction. Due to my illness, bipolar disorder, I tend to internalize alot of things. In the process, I shut myself out of seeing other's views, works, and interests in a more passionate light. This really bothers me, for it causes me to appear that I'm not interested, or that I just don't care. The truth of the matter is, there are many more that are passionate on a deeper level that I can only begin to understand. To me it seems that they are rather worldly, and well-rounded - whereas I am self-centered and ignorant to things, events, and people around me.

Admittedly, this has never been easy for me to do - to share an interest in something that someone else does, if it doesn't pertain directly to something of my interest. I do my best to understand, yet still feel empty. In return, they deal with my turns of "woe is me," and my continual rants at what's wrong with the world. It's like having Warren Zevon and Andy Rooney in the same room, taking turns saying what's on their mind. When all is said and done, I feel sad that I didn't listen more than I've spoken.

Understanding Daily Life...

Being somewhat eccentric doesn't help matters much either. When all the talk about the hurricanes was going on (and still is,) I sit here in my own little word - allowing myself to feel misery and pain. This of course is nothing compared to what those folks experienced and will go through for the rest of their lives. I could sit here and knitpick and complain about my life, when in all honesty, it truly could have been worse. Yes, I had some hellacious emotional struggles, but I pretty much had what I needed most of the time - food, clothing, and shelter. When those three needs are met, everything (except relationships) is a luxury. The old phrase, "Could be worse," indeed comes into play here.

A Lot To Learn...
I am slowly beginning to realize just how important it is to build relationships within our lives. Whether it's the friends we meet, the family we know and love, or a spouse, we need those "connections" in our lives more than anything else. This hit me mostly because during my times of genuine need, there always seemed to be someone that was willing to help me in my predicament. It was a combination of friends I've known for years, some new ones, and my family that helped me to get through this mess since the past two months worth of "crashing." I reached out, and they were there for me. For this, I am truly grateful and will always be.

I know that I've covered this subject before, but I feel the need to do it again. That door to being generous has slammed shut again, and I need to "wedge" it open with kindness, forgiveness, understanding, and generosity. When I was feeling generous and kind-hearted, it truly took a burden off of my shoulder, and I literally felt "light-hearted!" When that feeling was starting to go away, I could literally feel it all "sucking back inside" of me, like a vacuum cleaner picking up the dust in the air. I now know why this happened.

So why did I let this all happen again? I'll tell you - I was afraid of losing it all. Somewhere along the line, I became afraid, and reverted back to my old ways. I believe the lack of meds had alot to do with it as well. This being my own fault, in some respects. Just as I thought that I'd "seen the light," I began to tire easily and let myself get weaker with each passing day. Pretty soon that light was gone, and I was trapped in the abyss. I swear that I could hear that door slam and echo down the tunnel. I try to rationalize why I do this, and frankly, it's pretty absurd. I wish that I would have been able to stop, think, and say to myself, "Hey! You know what's going on? You're going back to your faulty thinking again. Stop that!" I began to accept those former thoughts as reality again, and pretty much picked up where I left off. Too much apathy on my part.

Helping Myself...
I could sit here all day and say that I must do this, or I have to do that, but it really won't matter unless I take the steps necessary to go on and succeed. In short, it's easy to talk a good game, but it's another to actually play it. My writing and speaking skills are there, but the mind is somewhere else. It seems to be hiding in bed, not wanting to leave. It is so scared of the "what-if's." Alot of this is inspired by taking the thoughts and concerns of others to heart, and believing that they are always right. Phrases such as, "Are you sure you can afford it?" "Can you make it on your own?" and "Now what are you going to do?" seem to play back endlessly in my mind. I am doing my best to ignore them and just go on. At this point, I don't want to even know if they are valid questions or statements - I'd rather not hear them at all.

And Others...

If I keep playing it safe all the time, I'm going to miss out on alot of things, and people as well. I truly believe that if I feel better about myself and what I am able to do, then I will be more than happy to help other people get through their lives as well. I don't need to be at 100%, but I can't feel miserable either. I don't want a happy medium either - just a feeling of decency to begin with. I thought many times of volunteering for an organization within the community - not because I feel that I owe anything, but to reach out and give more of myself to others. Sure, I do it through playing music, but there is indeed alot of self-gratification in it as well. Maybe going to a nursing home to help feed the elderly, take them for walks, or play them a song would be a good start. Yeah - it's definitely something worth thinking about. Maybe helping children who have a low self-esteem or suffer from a mood disorder (or physical illness) would be great as well. Giving is supposed to be so much better than receiving anyway, right?

A Plan...

Well, as of this moment, I am still looking for a new place to live. I will find it soon - I have faith in that fact. I know that once I have complete independence, I will feel much better about myself and my purpose in life. This will make it much easier to give something to others in need. I don't need to benefit directly, but of course I will in the end, and that's a good thing. I am putting someone else first before me. This will be a whole new experience, and I am truly looking forward to it.

A Big Thanks...
Thanks to all who read my blog, and as always, feel free to comment. Also, take the time to check out each other's blogs. There are some really great writers out there - lots of untapped potential. I am continually impressed as I read the many blogs out there in "cyberspace." As for my regular readers, I have been looking back on previous posts, and your comments have inspired me to "wake up" once again, and get back out there and fight the good fight. Depression is only causing me to feel pain, anger, hurt, sadness, fear, and to be totally selfish. Of course, we all know this,

But the moral of the story is... (Ding!)

I'm really not a cold and uncaring person - depression causes me to think inwardly and unintentionally overlook the cares, concerns, needs, and wants of others. It's all about being very unhappy and very frightened at the same time. It causes you to think thoughts that aren't true, such as that friends or family have given up on you, or that they are tired of you and your life. It may even cause you to think that the rest of the world would be better off without you, and prompt you to suicide. If you have thoughts like this, or experience depression-like symptoms, do yourself a favor and get help. You don't have to live your life this way - it's not worth it. You don't need to subject yourself to this torment any longer. There are many mental health professionals out there who can help you, and there are medications out there that help with the chemical imbalances associated with mood disorders. You owe it to yourself to talk to them and see there is indeed "light at the end of the tunnel."

Here's where I drop some links: - The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has many chapters around the country. I am currently a member, have facilitated meetings, and also served as a chapter representative at the "Road To Wellness" Convention. - NAMI is also a great organization to join. They are very active in the community, and organize walks to help fight mental illness.

These are two organizations that specialize in helping those with mental illnesses. I can tell you that my life has improved alot since the 5 years that I joined the DBSA. I walked in a disheveled, sobbing, mess, and got to the point where I could lead a meeting! WOW!

Don't get me wrong, there are many more than those I've listed. These are the two that I am familiar with.

More Links...
These are links to some great blogs of friends who also deal with mental illness, and/or the travails of daily life. I urge you to take the time to read them as well:

Weird Cake

There's Your Karma, Ripe As Peaches

Shithouse Rat


One Day At A Time

Lake Walks

Friends, I will link you when I sit down and finally figure out how to do it. That stuff is all new to me, and it will come in time. Remember, I'm still stuck in the days of good old analog - well mostly, anyway.

Be well, and I'll be back soon.

Oh, one more thing - this song is stuck in my head. It's a nice groove by one of my favorite bands, Kraan. Check it out!

Another Blog?

I am thinking of starting another blog, just for my musical and technical interests. I will keep this one also, and update them both from time to time. I want to diversify and expand my thoughts beyond what I am at the moment. Anyway, you get the idea. I'll be around...

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I have posted replies to your comments on the previous posts, and they can be found with your comments there as well. I am fairly tired tonight, so there will not be anything long-winded, concerning a post for this evening. I am sure that tomorrow I will have more to say. Thank you again for taking time out of your day to read my blog. This is always appreciated.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I know that there are other options for me, and I will explore them. I just felt so hopeless for that moment during the previous entry. I guess what I'm saying is, I'm reaching out and listening with both ears to anything you may have to say. For more on this, see the post below. At that moment, I truly wanted to die. I'm not entirely against it, but I do see other options that I have. I'll work it out somehow.

Damn, those Care Bears got to me tonight *sob*

It's Been A Year...Time To Move On...

An Apology:
To anyone who reads and comments on my blog: I am sorry for being a selfish self-centered bastard for not checking out your blogs or replying to your comments. I am in one of the most painful times in my life right now. I will do what i can to get back to you in the near future.

Time To Pack It Up...
Well, it's official - I'm getting the hell out of the house where I'm living. I arrived home this evening to find a note on my desk stating that I need to pay $100 more than what I normally do, in addition to what I owe for the past. I was originally told that I had until Christmas to pay that back - now it's next month. I left a note in return simply stating, "don't worry - I'll be out soon." At this point in time, I really don't care where I end up. I'm sure I'll be "couch-surfing" for a while, unless I decide to make another choice.

At A Crossroads...
I've seriously come to a conclusion - do I really want to continue doing this? My life is so dark and dreary most of the time, and it seems that more bad than good comes my way. I often wonder if I was a mistake and my father never told me. I'm guessing that I was a born with a losing hand. It seems that the almighty one had it in for me since day one. I mean, what the fuck is the point of my existence? I thought that I figured that out - apparently, I was quite wrong in thinking that. I can't even come up for a breath - every time that I do, something else happens to knock me on my ass. Maybe it's time to not get up again and just wither away into nothingness.

I have caused my family alot of pain and problems. I have been foolish in my financial and career decisions. I mean, why the hell would anyone go to school to become a radio disc jockey? There's obviously no future in that - everything is automated these days or via satellite. Sure, I graduated at the top of my class, but look at me now - nowhere near the business. What a waste of $10,000, eh? The sad thing is, I still owe thousands of dollars for that loan. The bad thing is, my father co-signed for me, so if something happened to me, he would be fully responsible for that. I'd hate to leave him with that burden.

I know he loves me, but I don't know how I'd ever make up for all that he has done for me. He says it doesn't matter, but I feel it does, and I know that the rest of my siblings think less of me as well for all that I have done. I'm the black sheep of the family - the one destined for trouble, failure, etc. I'm not sure that being creative is enough to justify my existence anymore. I guess because I didn't "do the right thing," and take my SATs and go to a regular university that this makes me a loser. I guess I sealed my fate when I took that first hit off a joint. Or was I pegged when my mom died when I was three years old? I can't figure it out. Maybe it was that - when you lose a parent at a young age like that, it really fucks you up. One doctor even told my dad that I was mentally retarded. Maybe they should have kept me on ritalin, and confined in those special education classes. Life may have been at least a little easier then. Then again, maybe not.

Now, I know what you are thinking, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with your life!" At this point in time, I can't help but truly feel the way that I do. I'm running out of rope - there is just enough to hang myself, and maybe that's the solution. I'm tired of pretending that it's getting better. I'm only fooling myself, and others around me. All I can seem to do at this moment is to focus on the pain, and any solution to get rid of it. I guess I'm taking the easy way out. I was never good at taking on challenges - they bring on incredible amounts of panic, anxiety, and fear within me.

I guess I can talk the talk, but not walk the walk. Therefore, that makes me a hypocrite. Call me what you will - coward, loser, crybaby, wimp, wuss, pansy, etc. If it makes you feel better, then do so. Throw stones at me, rotten tomatoes, whatever. I don't care. So much for being a visionary...

If you choose not to frequent this blog anymore, I understand. I mean, who wants to hear from someone who nearly always feels "woe is me?" That gets old after a while, doesn't it? Some friends have stopped talking to me as well, and I believe that this is why. I can't blame them if they feel that way. Negativity is like a poison that kills everything in its path. Hopes are dashed, and positivity is decimated, only to be replaced by hopelessness, helplessness, and despair.

Thank you, dear friends - I truly hope you will understand.

by Supertramp
Rudy's on a train to nowhere, halfway down the line
He don't wanna get there, but he needs time
He ain't sophisticated, no well-educated
After all the hours he's wasted, still he needs time
He needs time - he needs time for livin'
He needs time - for someone just to see him
He ain't had no lovin' for no reason or rhyme
And he whole world's above him
Well it's not us thought he's fat
No there's more to it than that
See he tries to play in school
Wouldn't be nobody's fool
Rudy thought that all good things comes to those what wait
But recently he could see that it may come too late
All thought your life, all thought the years
Nobody loved, nobody cared
So dim the light, dark are your fears
Try as I might, I can't hold back the tears
How can you live without love, it's not fair?
Someone said give, but I just didn't dare
What good advice are you waiting to hear?
Hearing's alright for them that's all there
You'd better gain control now
You'd better show 'em all now
You'd better make or break now
You'd better give and take now
You'll have to push and shove now
You'll have to find some love now
You'd better gain control now
Now he's just come out the movie
Numb of all the pain
Sad but in a while he'll soon be
Back on his train...

I wonder if Rudy ever got off that train... I hope so.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Still Kicking Around!

I'm still here, functioning almost normally. Tomorrow (today) I replace my car battery, and hopefully that will put an end to my vehicle woes, at least for a while. I am getting ready for bed, and just before I go, I will meditate for 20 minutes or so. I can say honestly that things are starting to look up again, and I see some great things happening down the road - more gigs, a possible new relationship, part-time work, and a new place to live. Right now, I think the most important things for me are:

1) Keep going to therapy (group and individual) It helps quite a bit.

2) Get back on my medication because I am obviously becoming depressed quite frequently. It was helping, and it's time to stop sabotaging myself and potential to succeed in life.

3) Practice meditation frequently and get in a routine.

4) Exercise more often - walking and maybe even jogging!

OK - that's enough stuff for now! I don't want to overwhelm myself. It's best to do a little at a time. For now, it's off to my bed...ZzZZZzZZZ

Good Night, Everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Everything but Nothing....

I have lots to say, but my thoughts are muddled at the moment. Lots of sadness... I don't think "woe is me," I just need to find a "handle" to grab onto. The first thing I will probably address is relationships. More later. This song IS me right now.

Wouldn't It Be Good
by Nik Kershaw

i got it bad
you don't know how bad i got it
you got it easy
you don't know when you got it good
it's getting harder
just keeping life and soul together
i'm sick of fighting
even though i know i should
the cold is biting
through each and every nerve and fibre
my broken spirit is frozen to the core
don't wanna be here no more

wouldn't it be good to be in your shoes
even if it was for just one day
and wouldn't it be good if we could wish ourselves away
wouldn't it be good to be on your side
the grass is always greener over there
wouldn't it be good if we cold live without a care

you must be joking
you don't know a thing about it
you've got no problem
I'd stay right there if it were you
i got it harder
you couldn't dream how hard it got it
stay out of my shoes
f you know what's good for you
the heat is stifling
burning me up from the inside
the sweat is coming through each and every pore
don't wanna be here no more

wouldn't it be good to be in your shoes
even if it was just for one day
and wouldn't it be good if we could wish ourselves away
wouldn't it be good to be on your side
the grass is always greener over there
and wouldn't it be good if we could live without a care

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Let's Go Back A Few Months....

I found this, and wanted to share it with my readers. It was from a few months back:


Hey buddy! How have you been and how has life been treating you? I hope that things are going well for you. So what are you doing these days? I thought for sure that you'd end up working at ESPN or TS by now. You have such an intense passion for sports, and it shows! You and "DR" helped me learn to enjoy sports talk. I may not know much about sports statistics or little known facts, but I can certainly appreciate them more. Thank you for that.

Have you heard from anyone that graduated with us? I regret to say that I've lost touch with almost everyone. I do talk to LA on occasion. The last I heard, she's working in ____ for the local CBS station as a manager of sorts. I'm glad that she's doing well for herself. She's a good kid - bright and good-natured. She'll go far, to be sure.

I think about the fun that we had at (school). That indeed was a very special time for me. In that one year, I had felt that I had "found my calling," and that I would be a superstar. To be looked up to and respected by many was an overjoying experience for me. To meet fun
people like you and R (as well as the others) was an added plus, in addition to "learning the ropes" of radio and tv.

I still think about the day that we graduated and the emotions that were welled up inside me. Words could barely describe how I felt when I found out that you all had chosen me as the "Oustanding Broadcaster!" For the first time in my life, I had won an award and truly felt worthy of it. Believe me, I wanted to cry (tears of joy) when I found out! This meant that I indeed had a purpose in life - that I WAS capable of doing something well while enjoying it. Little did I know that this was only a part of what I had to offer.

As you may well know, I landed the gig at "TEC" through B and had a blast doing overnights - first as a board-op, then on-air. That to me was one of the biggest thrills of my life! I knew
that it wouldn't last forever, so I enjoyed it as much as I could for the time I had left there.

On January 29, 2001, at 5pm, "TEC," failed to exist anymore, and I was out of work. Unfortunately, also on that day, I lost the power to the house I was staying in. I had no heat, no light, and no electricity. Fortunately, I still had water! Nonetheless, I felt painfully depressed. I was living in GI - which is not exactly a great place to live, having been voted "Murder Capital of The World" on more than one occasion. This depression kept me almost bedridden for nearly 6 months.

I remember once the power was restored that I started working on demo tapes and sent them out like crazy. A week went by, and the rejection letters started to pour in. Each one influenced me to feel a little bit worse, and to doubt my abilities. After about the 135th one, I decided to just give up and no longer try. This totally exacerbated my condition even further, and I became as close to an invalid as you could be without actually being one.

Not many people know this - but during the time (and years prior to,) I was attending school, I was experiencing the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, better known as Manic Depression. This was the source of all my boundless energy, and flight of ideas. I could do my project, work on
someone else's, go to bed for about 3 hours, get up, go to school, stay a bit after, go work for 8 hours a day, and go home to work on another project. As my father put it, I "burned the candle at four ends." I just figured that I was just so intense and passionate about this that
it was "just the way that I am."

I remember around December of '99 that I was starting to feel upset alot of the time. I did my best to cover this up as much as I could. Some of the staff began to become concerned about me, (namely MK and MZ (instructors).) I told them what was going on, and they totally offered me their kindness and sympathy. I'll never forget them for that.

Over the past 5 years, I have struggled with jobs of several types, from factory work, to retail, to driving a delivery van. I was stricken with panic and anxiety attacks on a regular basis, in addition to bipolar disorder. I had changed medications, therapists, doctors, and the like many, many times. The last real job I had lasted 3 days, due to overwhelming anxiety attacks and a genuine fear of the job. Fortunately, I now have a source of income that is just enough to help me through a very difficult and trying time in my life. I truly believe that this in and of itself was a miracle!

As for radio, I have done alot of freelance stuff - imaging and producing shows for other stations around the globe. I started (company name) in 1999, and until recently, was a bit successful. I'm not a famous voice, but I have done stuff for stations such as (various stations,) and also helped to host an internet radio stream that has to do with radio jingles and airchecks (of course another hobby of mine,) and such.

Over time, I began to become discouraged in my abilities. I was helping my former boss at "TEC," by making IDs for his new station. It seemed that no matter what I did, he was not pleased. Eventually I just gave up and basically disappeared in the throes of depression. My belief in my abilities and creativity were basically annihilated in one fell swoop.

I can tell you that bipolar disorder will sometimes bring you to your knees spiritually, and make you hate yourself and everyone around you so intensely that you want to die. You feel as if there is no hope for you, and that's all there is to it. It's like being in a prison that you've made for yourself. You refuse to believe that you can indeed break free from all this, and that no one is there for you. You are locked up in chains - you have the key, but can't bring yourself to use it. Even though you may have many caring family members and friends, it still doesn't matter. I had a girlfriend that was willing to do everything that she could to help me. All I could do was to see the negative side of things - to criticize her housekeeping, her children, and her lifestyle. This put me at a severe disadvantage.

As a result, I sabotaged our relationship, and destroyed yet another. I ended up moving back home with my parents for a while, and that was not easy. I was still very defensive and full of hurt, anger and resentment about my past. I harbored alot of this towards my stepmother (which I'm happy to say that today, such is no longer the case.)

I moved about 3 or 4 more times after that, and ended up where I am now. There were times when I didn't make the rent in full, or at all - thinking that I would have no place to go. I remember more than a few times being on the brink of suicide, thinking that there was no hope for me, and that my purpose in life was to "get by." If it wasn't for more than a few caring friends, family members, and therapists, I would have surely taken my life. Once again, in 2002, I was taken by surprise.

Nearly three years ago, I helped to form a local band with a few great guys. The band has been through a few different line-up changes, but the core remains the same. Playing music had always been fun for me, and I had played in a few bands before, but this was different. We
actually had a goal to get out there and be known. We started playing local bars and having a great time. Several people would come up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed watching us play, or me in particular. This gave me a total feeling of bliss! I realized that I was indeed communicating with people, and I was affecting them in a positive manner. Over time, I worked more and more on my stage presence, and my overall demeanor. But the real turning point came a little while after.

We would frequent a local restaurant on Friday nights for their local "Jam Night," so that we could get some gigs. We did get more than a few, but then a really great thing happened. The band that was hosting the jam night wasn't able to do it anymore, so we were asked if we
would like to do it. We agreed, albeit reluctantly, and with the stipulation that it was for only a few weeks. I was petrified, mortified, and stupified in every sense! I mean, at the time, we could barely hold together a set, let alone play songs that none of us knew! What would happen if we failed? Nonetheless, we did it anyway. I'm happy to say that it's the best "mistake" that we've ever made!

Fast forward to 7 months later, and here we are, still doing it! What I thought was going to be the most dreadful of experiences at first, turned out to be one of the best things that happened in my entire life! I have sat in with so many people that I can't count them all! I play bass, and not many jammers bring a bass player. As a result, I was asked to sit in nearly every Friday for at least one band. I took advantage of my keen ear and learned many songs "on the fly," which is a blast! This has also helped me to gain confidence in my ability to sing and play again. I find myself playing guitar or bass, and singing lead vocals quite a bit. My dad says that I need to start playing solo acoustic gigs so that I can make a little money on the side. This is a goal of mine that I'm steadily working towards.

Amidst all this, I had reached an all-time emotional low in my life. If I wasn't playing, I was miserable. I was addicted to the internet, and too entrenched in my own worries to care at all about anyone else. That hopeless feeling started to really permeate me, and so I thought of
injuring myself to "free the pain" and have a sense of control. I am happy to say that I never acted upon those urges, but they were very real. I started to read some self-help books and listen to audio books, as I had done in the past. I listened intently, but nothing seemed to
help - it just wouldn't sink in.

But on July 17,2005, I came to terms with myself. I realized what I was doing all wrong in my life - I was TAKING IT ALL TOO SERIOUSLY! I believed that everything was "life and death," and that everything in my life (or lack thereof,) was contingent upon my life. Once I LET GO of this belief, things really started to change for the better. All I needed to do was to change my approach! Instead of being impatient, I would ask myself if this was really that important, and remind myself of the things that I have been through in the past. I didn't look at them as negative aspects, rather that I was able to survive and keep on going through the storm. I thought of other people who have been in much worse situations, rose from the ashes, and had become the successes that they are today. This alone was a great inspiration, and drove me to push myself even harder.

As a result of this constant exposure to all this positive motivational material, it began to seep slowly into my life, and eventually started spilling back out as well! Once I found out that this worked for me, I began to tell others, through support group meetings, conversations with friends, and in my blog. Once again, people came up to me and told me that they honestly tried these strategies, and that they did indeed work for them! This of course brought a feeling of joy that I cannot describe. It's truly magical, and I've never felt it in my life! I discovered my mission in life!

This helped me arrive at a very important question in my juncture - WHAT IS MY MISSION IN LIFE? The answer came back rather quickly - TO COMMUNICATE, TOUCH THE LIVES OF OTHERS, AND TO HELP THEM ANY WAY THAT I CAN! Earlier, I had been doing this, through radio and playing music, but failed to see this. To be an entertainer/media personality is to reach out to people - to let them know that THEY EXIST, THAT THEY DO MATTER! This approach helped to make it even more enjoyable a thousandfold! What a difference one little (or not so little) change can make in your life!

Along the way, I have written quite a bit in my journals. I have used them as a form of therapy to help me through those trying times. Sometimes I would let others see what I wrote, and they would tell me how much they enjoyed reading it. It was then that I realized I truly have a flair for writing - to create an image that would put them in the "story," experiencing what I was going through. When someone says, "I know what you mean - I could feel how you felt," that really hits home. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword!

So, by now you've probably guessed that I intend to do alot of writing as well. Absolutely! I find it very therapeutic, as well as enjoyable, not only for myself, but for others as well. A friend of mine (who also deals with Bipolar Disorder,) and I are going to be collaborating on a book in the very near future. It will be a unique perspective of the disease, coming from two different viewpoints and walks of life. Meetings are in the works, and we will soon embark upon our journey. I am totally looking forward to it!

Z - I'm sorry if this all sounds like some sort of blatant sales pitch, but it's truly not. I just have a natural habit of writing in this manner. Trust me, this isn't a form letter! I'm just very
passionate and honest - sometimes it can take a while to say something, even a simple hello! I know that we have lost touch over the years, and now we can make up for lost time. Maybe sometime we could call each other, just to talk about old times, and things going on within our
lives. I think that would be alot of fun, don't you agree?

I sincerely apologize for the time that this letter may have taken from your day. I know that you have a life of your own to lead, and that it's probably full of events that consume your time already. As a result, I would like to thank you for having taken the time, consideration, and genuine concern to read this. It was great hearing from you, and if there is anything that I can do to help you, please let it be known, and I will genuinely do my best to lend a hand. Hope to hear from you soon!



Unfortunately, I have yet to receive a reply from him. I wonder if the letter freaked him out or something. Oh well....

Time For A Change?

Maybe it's time to change my way of living completely - to give up everything and start over completely. Right now, Amish life looks appealing. They aren't greedy, they do what they need, and they get by just fine. They don't fall victim to the capitalist scum of this country and give in on command. They just drive their horse and buggies, taking their time as they go.

To hell with progress - it just impedes my way!

Guess I'd better grow a beard then....

When The World Is Running Down...

Where To Begin...
Well, I definitely need to write today, in order to vent properly. I am somewhere between seething rage and pure apathy. Why is this, you ask? It's not because of just one thing, but several. This weekend (specifically Sunday) was just HORRENDOUS! Oh, there were a few good things, but the bad just seemed to outnumber the good. I'm trying to be optimimstic, really, but in this instance, I don't foresee that as a possibility.

Had the usual jam night, and it was not too bad - that is until I sat in with a guy that I know. He's a real pro, and keeps everyone on their toes. As I was playing, I started to lament about my sloppy and scratchy rhythm playing, and that just made me feel worse. At the end of the night, I really didn't want to pick up my guitar for at least a few days. Everyone else did their best to keep me from feeling that way, but it didn't do much. Oh well...

Not much happened really. I just sat around and listened to some music, and became basically lethargic. I talked to a few friends on the phone, and went to bed.

Phase One...
Here's where things took a turn for the worst. I go to the benefit gig at 11am, and NOTHING IS SET UP! By this, I don't mean my band's gear, but I mean tables, chairs, tents, food, etc. We end up having to help set everything up. Gee, so much for that 1pm start time! When we are setting up, my drummer informs me that he didn't bring my larger amp in the van. I make a call and my buddy brings his out on the spot, and doesn't bother to tell me that he had things to do earlier in the day. This gets him in trouble with his wife, and that's a shame. He was going to sit in with us during the show, but thought it was later on in the day. *Sigh* He left when things got rolling, and I knew that something was not right.

Phase Two...
We were headlining this benefit, which meant we were basically hosting it. That meant we would play last. We played a benefit show about a year ago, and were the last to play on stage. As a result, hardly anyone was around to hear us, and we all felt cheated. We didn't host that one, but the guys were still bitter about it, and I still can't say that I blame them. However, the manner in which they tried to strongarm the stage was not cool at all. I saw them get into arguments with a few bands regarding "who was up next." I tried my best to just stay out of it all, as I knew I'd flip out, and fights would ensue. That's very bad for your image, to say the least, so I kept my mouth shut, as long as I could...and then...

Phase Three...
We knew earlier in the day that it was going to rain. The bar owner gave us the choice of setting up inside or outside. We chose outside, as it seemed to be a nice enough day (for the moment.) We watched The Weather Channel, and there was a 30-percent chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms headed our way. I guess we pretty much ignored the warnings and set up anyway. This proved to be our downfall. When my bandmates were arguing with the second to last band about getting up on stage before it rained, I knew it was just going to get worse. As it turns out, the last act got to play for only 30 minutes at best. When the storm closed in, I could hear my band mates complaining about it. This set me off, and I started screaming at the top of my lungs, raising my middle fingers to the heavens and screaming such stupid and unbelievable things like:






That's just a small sampling of things that I said, and some of my musical colleagues were shocked, and rightfully so. They didn't believe that I could say such things - neither did I. Inside, I was truly hurting and instead of crying, I turned it into full-on rage, which didn't do much of anything for me. I guess at least I got the emotion out of my system. On a positive note, the members of the previous act were nice enough to stick around and help us tear down. I was glad for that, believe me. Thirty minutes later, I was feeling much better.

Jam Night To The Rescue!
I was told that they were having their usual jam night inside the bar, and that it started in about an hour-and-a-half. Suddenly, I felt relieved, and was eager to play to make up for the loss. However, my drummer and guitarist had other ideas. They were still very bitter, and just left without giving it a thought. My vocalist, his wife, and I stuck around - we talked about things that needed to change, and how to implement some new ideas. It was a productive session, for a spur-of-the-moment thing.

The jam night started, and eventually it was our turn to play. We decided to open up with "Crossroads," and the instant I hit the A string on my bass, it broke! I kept going, and played the whole song on the E string. There's nothing like flying by the seat of your pants! I borrowed the other guy's bass and got through it. I had a great time, and decided to stick around for more, after the bassist approached and complimented me. I thought to myself, "sure, what the heck. After the day I've had, I deserve to have a good time!" Again, I approached the stage and had a good time.

Time To Go...
I glanced at my watch and noticed that it was 12:30am. I thought that I'd better get going. I said my goodbyes and headed out to my truck. I climbed in, turned the key, and the starter began to get slower.....and slower.......and slower......and...s-l-o-w-e-r....until....Click, click. I went back into the bar, and asked anyone I could for a jump. One of the guitarists of the band was happy to help, and did his best to help me. We thought that the battery needed a jump, so we tried that. No such luck. He apologized and went on his way.

Try Another Approach...
I went back into the bar, got some change, and called my roomies. As I was on the phone with one, the other started complaining about what time it was..."Why did he wait until 1 in the morning to call us?" This of course set me off, and I yelled into the phone...


I hung up the phone, and walked back into the bar. The bartender could see that troubled look in my eyes, and asked me what was wrong. I explained my situation to her. Right next to was the bass player, and he offered to help me. At the same time, the bartender was looking for a cab for me so that I could at least get home. She was willing to "float a loan," so that I could do this. The bass player said to give him a few more minutes and he would help. I waited patiently and we made our way outside. He tried to jump start as well, and to no avail. We both noticed that the positive battery was very corroded, and I took note of that as well. Eventually, he offered me a ride, and I packed up my guitars and climbed in his Jeep. Again, this is where things got better...

A Local Legend...
We spoke quite a bit during those 35 minutes. I asked him alot of questions and for advice. He was glad to discuss in depth with me, offering tips that are very valuable. He helped me to see things a little differently in music. He's a well-respected, well-known blues musician, and comes from a very musical family. I never realized just how close by he lived to me, and this blew my mind! I has said on more than one occasion in the past that I had wanted to go up to that jam night and meet him. Now I had my chance, albeit through a very unusual set of circumstances, but hey, I'm not complaining!

I feel foolish and awful for the way I had acted during the benefit gig. I realize that I had totally lost my composure, and let my emotions (and everyone else's) influence my thoughts. I feel that I have much apologizing to do, and I can accept that. I have to somehow "make it right." I guess in some circles, this would be called "repent." I have indeed sinned.

The Saga Continues...
All that having been said, I'm still a little frustrated. I went back to the truck yesterday, thinking that if I replaced the bad battery terminal, it would solve the problem. Nothing could have been further from the truth. After messing with it for about 2 hours, I decided that the starter was out, and that it needed to be replaced. I called around today pricing starters, and found that they were quite a bit more than what I'd expected. This set me off again, naturally. This time because even with the money that I have at the moment, I still don't have enough to replace it. I hate borrowing money from other people. I have a long line of debt as it is, so I don't need any more to tack on to it.

Walking Away...
Right now, I really want to just walk away from it all. I want to just pour gasoline all over the truck and let it burn, and eventually explode into nothingness. I just feel like things are being taken away from me, left and right. Right now, being an optimist would be nothing short of a miracle, as I don't seem to get time to recover from each blow. I know a way out, but it's not the right way out. I don't dare mention it, as that would mean I'm totally backing away from life.

I'm not even sure that meditation would help me out of this mess. I've had several offers for drugs and alcohol, and believe me, I am considering them as a viable option. Just numb all the pain and frustration, at least for the short term. Once again, I'm not talking logically, and I know this. I just get so consumed by the emotion at any moment. With me, it's not just a feeling in my mind, it's a feeling in my entire body, almost to the point of being sick physically. How's that for "overreating?"

Maybe if I play a country record backwards, I'll get everything back that I lost? Is it worth a try?