Wednesday

As we head into the longest night of the year, today I finally acknowledge - through my perpetual optimism - that in truth the last couple of weeks have been... less than stellar. It all started with a yucky head cold about two weeks ago that forced us to cancel a couple of rehearsals and kept me up with that tickling type of dry cough that doesn't do much besides irritate your throat and give your abdominal muscles an alternative work-out. Feeling sickly, and sick of television, I decided to try a sci-fi paperback handed down by a friend as a quick thriller-type read. This book was so horrible, so violent and nasty that I can't in good conscience even donate it to a thrift store. Instead I feel compelled to post a warning and do something I don't think I've ever done before: put a usable book into the recycling. Then, the same day I compulsively finished the horrible tale of snuffing whores in some far future century, with stomach rebelling from doses of OTC cold medicine, and still feeling mentally contaminated by the dirt and rage of that author's mind, not one but two people I'd considered friends behaved in ways that makes me think their stockings may deserve nothing but sooty black lumps this holiday season. And, as usual in these situations I'm deeply saddened by the loss of friendship, then turned blue in general about the state of the world, and human nature in the post-post modern era and the hope of relationship and connection in general. Also it's not the first time I've maybe been a little too nice, a little too forgiving with a deeply flawed but interesting and talented person - and had it come back around to insult me to my face. I know enough not to take it personally: this need to be right at all costs seems just another form of putting others down to try and make yourself feel better, because you don't chop up a friendship unless you're feeling reckless and out of touch with the subjective quality and worth of experience that is I think what ultimately makes life worth living. Or to be concise, when someone's acting like an ass they're almost always feeling as much pain as they cause. Still, as peace-loving as my nature is, there are at least three sure-fire ways to provoke me into the unpleasant state of anger: 1) Fuck with my band. 2) Knowingly act unfair. 3) Name-call to leverage your opinion in a verbal disagreement. What makes you angry? It's interesting to think about, and I've realized how effective the social-conditioning for women is against feeling powerfully angry. Often it takes a day or two of feeling depressed and/or anxious to realize I'm actually rightfully ticked off and turning it in instead of constructively expressing it out. Ah, but you'd think that would be enough with the Christmas Calamities. Not so! All the above unpleasantness faded into the background during last Friday's midnight ambulance ride - as chaperone, not victim. Nothing like seeing a man's face streaming with blood to snap your priorities back in order. Our friends in CCK were entertaining at a holiday party when this guy lost his balance and what would've been a little fall became a big deal because someone had already broken a glass and he fell into the sharp shards and pieces. It wasn't until the bright lights of the downtown New York City emergency room illuminated the doctor's prodding and cleaning that I realized how truly serious this could've been - another inch and this would be the story of how a broken glass cost an eye. Instead there were just a lot of used paper towels and three stitches. Happy Bloody Holidays! So we head into the longest night looking for the returning of the light. Working for peace, cultivating the habits of health and doing our best to remain upright and present, appreciating all the experiences life chucks at us. And there is a lot to feel positive about. My WonderWheels for one - true friends, lovely collaborators and three of the most supportive, fascinating and gifted people I've ever had the privilege to get to know. It's not surprising we occasionally provoke that grabby feeling of envy in others... I'm still not sure how or what I did to deserve such a good thing, but I do know enough to feel daily and perpetually grateful for our music and our crazy club of being together. And our recording. While I was still recovering from the cold I lay down a cool piano part on "After Last Night" - my first experience recording on a baby grand piano. I also added some keys to two songs on the new Larch album, and on Monday was clear-throated enough to do backing vocals on three of Larch tunes that ranged from a counterpoint part to layered harmonies to some Kinks-y ooo's. We have three more long recording sessions scheduled before the end of the year, which will hopefully bring us very close to completing all tracking for both albums. Looking forward...

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