Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dreams of Stone

I was standing in the field at my mother's house, nearby one of the hickory trees.  The grass was short.  The air was pleasantly fresh and cool, bespeaking spring.  I surveyed the field, head cocked, and said quietly, clearly "I want a house of stone."

With those six words I said so much more - I want a house unassailable, a house solid, a house that will hold generations safe within its walls, a house that even nature would admire and respect.  With those six words, I made something happen.

The ground beneath my feet trembled a little, a thrumming vibration that rose up my legs, hummed along my spine, and made my teeth buzz the tiniest bit.  Up from the earth, just where I had been considering its placement, stone rose.  Rooted in, born of, the bedrock, the house rose up with stately grace, settling into itself as if it had always been there, always would be there.

My house.

There were windows, great swaths of glass to let in air and light.  There was a porch wrapped entirely around it, an embrace between inside and out.  Chimneys spoke of fireplaces within, and I knew they would be large, friendly, inviting hearths suitable for warming nearby spaces.

There were, however, no doors on the outside.  The only way in was to know one was home.
Before me was a block of granite.  In my hands were hammer and chisel.  I could see what the block wanted to be, the lines and curvatures that yearned to be coaxed from the stone.  I knew, to the bone, that if I touched chisel to stone and tapped, I would ruin that dream-of-being.  I did not have the skill necessary to transform the block into what it was supposed to become.  Better to put the tools down and walk away than to dishonor it with imperfect skill.  I left it for more able hands than mine...
I was a statue on a plinth.  Unseen tools wielded by unseen hands struck invisible blows, chipping away at me bit by bit, slowly turning me to dust.  Just before the final blow landed, just before I became nothing but dust to be blown away by an unrelenting wind, I woke.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

This 'n' That.

Busy week.  I was in Gatlinburg on Monday and Tuesday, recording with two of my band-mates (K2 and Otter) and another band.  It was fun, a challenge, and I enjoyed it for the most part.  The drive up was beautiful - we took 441 through the Smoky Mountains.  I was afraid we couldn't because until Monday morning the rout was closed due to a landslide.  Just in time, it reopened.  Hurrah for us!

We left Gatlinburg Tuesday night and drove home - I was driving, no sense taking three vehicles.  I didn't get home until after 2:00 in the morning!  Wednesday I took the kids to the park, then started registration for the Grand Am race.  Grand Am pretty much took up the rest of the week.  I think it went well enough...at least, no one complained to me about anything.  I took the kids over with me and they had fun running about and playing in the dirt.  There's so much sand in our septic tank, the microbes probably have a resort...

I am looking forward to a hopefully quiet, uneventful Sunday, because next week is already looking busy, and somehow I have to squeeze in more studio time because one of my tracks needs to be relaid.  Then next weekend I am working at another race track as a control communicator, and then we are heading to Florida for a performance.  Whew.

I am exhausted, and there doesn't seem to be much of a respite in sight, but at least it's a good kind of busy.

How was your week?

Friday, April 12, 2013


Monday is Mum's birthday...but instead of spending it with her I am going to Tennessee to guest-record with another band.  I hope she has a good day.
I used to tell people I am a writer.  I don't feel like a writer any more.  I don't feel like writing, and I don't feel that it matters.  I am tired of trying to carve seconds out of the day to cobble together a few weak sentences for a story no one's interested in and that doesn't go anywhere anyway.
I can't even manage a full-on blog post.
Yes, I am feeling sorry for myself.  My chosen craft is devalued or outright unwanted.  I am tired of chasing after people and begging them to look at what I've written.  I'm tired of feeling like I am whispering into the wind.  I am tired.
I am enjoying the process of recording.  I think this will be our best CD ever, not because of where or how we are recording but because we are working so hard at it.  Still...it is exhausting.  Frustrating.  I want it to be done perfect now, and that's not how it goes.
If I can't finish my part of the CD on Monday morning before K2, Otter, and I go to Tennessee, I won't be able to finish.  It won't matter...the things left undone are small percussion parts and I am probably the only person who will care...but I hope I can get them done on Monday.
Maybe I am still feeling sorry for myself.
I am grateful to be part of my band.  Individually, we are all okay, but together?  Somehow, our rough spots even out and we make musical magic.  I want to take the way I feel when we are deep in harmony and spread it throughout the rest of my life.
What makes you feel good?

Monday, April 8, 2013


It's funny, isn't it, the lasting impact a person can have on one's life?

I don't have any childhood friends.  I had friends as a child, though few, but none of them made it to this point in my life.  A lot of moving about will do that.

I keep loosely in touch with some people from my boarding school days...and I thought of them as friends then, but as some sort of curious, limbo relationship now.  I believe that if any of them should tell me they need me to come and help them, I would.

I have no contact with anyone from high school.  Again, I had a few friends, but our lives took us in vastly different directions, and whatever we had then, it was not strong or elastic enough to get to now.

College?  Best let that go.

A short time after college, I met Patrick.  Patrick and his lover Fred were the first gay men I ever knew as gay, open, living their lives together.  I adored them.  Once, Fred made me breakfast on my birthday.  He was a marvelous cook, was Fred.  About a week later, he died.

We combined his ashes with an ex-lovers's and scattered him somewhere I won't name for legal reasons.

Through Patrick, I met Bear.  His name wasn't Bear, but that's what I called him almost from the start.  We played ExCom, UFO Defense until all hours, sometimes all night and into the day.  His boyfriend didn't appreciate it.  Neither did Mum, with whom I lived at the time.  We soaked in the hot tub and laughed like loons together.  We played D&D.  Mum tolerated it better than the lover did.

When I moved out of Mum's house, it was into an apartment with Bear and his lover M (who, it turns out, really didn't like the idea but had no say because he didn't pay the bills)(and resented me deeply).  We would often go not-so-skinny dipping in the complex's pool.  When I moved out from that apartment and into my own place, it was within walking distance, and Bear and I spent many days and nights together, friends always.  Through Bear I met JS, Otter, and K2, as well as Joelicious.  When I hurt my back and couldn't move my legs, it was Bear and Joelicious who picked me up, straightened me out, folded me into a vehicle and drove me to the hospital.

These became my net, my web, my Tribe.  Because of them I met PJ, Butterfly (who died on my birthday, drifting from this world on the notes of the songs we sang him), Straws, Sexy E, and a host of others.

We made music together.  When some of us wanted to get more serious, we split our band in two.  They kept the name, we kept the original music (mostly because I wrote it and wasn't going to give up my right to sing what I wrote).  In many ways, it was a bitter parting.  Bear had hard words over it, and we drifted apart for a time.

Not long ago, we struck up a sporadic thread of a conversation...an e-mail here and there, a friend request on Facebook.

I kept track of him through others, always hoping he was happy, had a loving partner (he was not an easy Bear to live with, and good partners are thin on the ground, you know).

I had hopes that we would reconnect, silly old Bear and I, that he would meet my children and, rightly, adore them...and that they would climb him (he was quite large) and hug him and tease him, pull his beard, love him as Mama's friends are loved.

He died today.  On April 7, Shayne Michael Patrick, silly old Bear, the one person with whom I could do tandem Tarot/Rune readings, the man I once told I would carry a baby for as soon as he could keep a houseplant alive for more than a year, the man who helped transform me from the scared, scarred, introvert in the corner to the woman on the stage, the man with the sometimes gross, often earthy, usually loud sense of humor stepped through the veil and left a large, empty place in this world that will not soon be filled.

I will be looking for you to return, Bear...a spirit so large, loud, and hilarious can't possibly linger long on the other side.  I'll be waiting...

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Started recording Friday at Root Cellar Music Studio.  Good times, well run, productive - we may get this done in time for our first event, after all.
Sprout has been sick - vomiting, diarrhea, fever...poor little thing...she acts chipper and happy, then she'll get listless, vomit, and nap on Mama for a bit in the morning...afternoons, she seems okay except for wanting a little more love and nap time.
Recording again Monday and Tuesday, a marathon for us, but I have hope it will see us finish...and well worth it.
I'll be in Gatlinburg on the sixteenth, guest-recording for Tuatha Dea on their new CD.  I am so excited - I adore them, and was mighty chuffed to be asked!
Despite recording and feeling like I am DOING SOMETHING...I am battling an ugly depression and feel myself losing ground.  Being "Mom" means I can't hide or sleep or just take off and lose myself for a few days, which is a blessing and a curse.  This feeling of futility and constant weariness can go away any time, fine with me.
I'm tired of politics.  I am tired of politicians.  I am tired of people constantly battling it out with cartoons and quips and cooked statistics on Facebook and implying that anyone who doesn't agree with THEM is either evil or stupid.  I am neither (on a good day) and resent the implication.
I will muddle through, somehow, but if I keep crying this much I am going to be dehydrated...
Did I mention I am looking forward to recording with Tuatha Dea?  'Cause I am.  Added to the fun, K2 and Otter will be coming, too, so we'll get to have some time together like we used to get before we all got married or employed and life kinda took over.
Someone did a serious clean-up of our bathroom, and now there's no more kitty litter in the tub (falls off their paws when they jump in and up onto the window sill) so I am thinking there's a nice, long soak in my near future.  Sweet!
What're you up to these days?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Beat Goes On

We begin recording our eighth CD on Friday.  Thursday is our final full rehearsal day.  This weekend we'll take a break, then it's back to the studio for Monday and Tuesday.  We have high hopes we'll finish in three days.  If we don't, it's going to be fun finding more time - April is jam packed for all of us in one way or another.

Here's hoping...

Monday, April 1, 2013

They're Such High-Maintenance Critters

I am keeping some Peeves as pets.

They start out small, almost unnoticeable, but with time and attention they grow quite large.  Each Peeve has its own special diet and housing needs, a challenge when you have an entire herd of 'em roaming about the grounds.

There are indoor Peeves and outdoor Peeves, and they don't mingle.  They're a little anti-social, Peeves.  They don't often interact with each other, preferring to remain aloof in their individual demesnes.  Oh, sure, the kitchen Peeves will interact with each other if they must, as will the living room, bathroom, and closet Peeves - mingling with their own kind isn't as trying for them as is socializing with other types of Peeves.  They are constantly mumbling and buzzing and reminding a body that they're about, even when they can't be seen.  They don't like to languish, preferring to be the center of attention, much to the consternation of all the other Peeves who feel the same way.  Indoor Peeves are a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all excel at being present without being seen, and feeding them requires a little effort, diet being determined by their location within the home.  Try to feed a kitchen Peeve the hall Peeve's lunch and you'll have one angry Peeve.

Outdoor Peeves are wild and woolly looking.  Their care and feeding is simple enough - just let them alone and they'll find plenty of fodder in the yard and garden.  They like to hide and leap out at unsuspecting folk, roaring and gnashing their teeth.  They're capricious, those outdoor Peeves, sometimes docile, sometimes ferocious, and never a hint what they're going to be like today until they're upon you.

Lately, I've been thinking I should thin the herd a little.  Trouble is, finding homes for Peeves isn't exactly easy.  It's not like I can advertise on Craig's List or sell 'em on eBay.  People want their own Peeves, and generally aren't looking to take on an adopted one.  Fostering is right out - Peeves don't thrive on uncertainty.

I could, I suppose, just set them out in the wild and let them sink or swim, as it were.  Quite a few of them are fully mature and ought to be able to fend for themselves if only they would.  They're lazy, though - domestic Peeves are spoiled and will fail to thrive if removed from their accustomed nests, perches, or burrows.

Perhaps you, dear reader, could use a few extra Peeves around the joint?  You know, just to liven things up a little?  Do let me know - I'll even pay the freight.