Grocery Lists of the Damned
I try to be regular with these things. But lately I've been anything but regular.
More information than you require, doubtless.
So here's what's up on the down-low.
I did another climbing trip. It's sort of sad. Climbing has been such a big part of my life over the past many years. But over the past year or so I've had so much going on, so many things that have nothing at all to do with getting vert, and my motivation to be out, pushing it, even a little, has waned. I'll admit it, as much as it stings to own up to it. I did a very enjoyable trip to the Cascades last June, the first time out in an epoch, and it was a fine outing with two good friends, successful, scenic - when we could see. But I still haven't gotten around to doing the trip report. I haven't even edited the photos. This isn't like me. But then again, it is, these days. There are things. Many things.
Brian and I went to New Hampshire last week. We were there to attempt one of Brian's long-standing projects. I was happy to be there, even though I was scared as hell of It. We arrived on a Saturday with my Jeep full of more gear than we've ever taken before. We looked up at It. It paid us no mind. We dinked around, mostly not looking up anymore. I ate some bad steak. I got sick as all get-out. Everything left my body, violently and with alarming frequency. The project was delayed. We climbed up six pitches of munge in the interim, marking time. On our final day, our last chance for a little while, we went up to It and tiptoed up a ropelength. And then, before we really started, we failed.
I regret it. There were things beyond my control on that trip. Things weighed on me, many things unrelated to climbing. And then there was, also: the vomiting. And all of these things exacted a toll. And we failed. And I'm sorry about it. Brian handled it all with a grace I quite frankly didn't know was in him. I count him as one of my best friends. Still. There will be a trip report soon. Brian will write the bulk.
I don't think I'll climb again for a little while.
[Here's the trip report, come to think of it.]
I went grocery shopping tonight. Here was the list:
So you know, when you find me in the bathtub, full of Paul Newman and Starbucks, eyes wide and gullet stuffed, you'll know I just completed history's most depressing trip to Safeway.
Krikey. I'm really not feeling that bleak. Honest.
I saw American Splendor. I'm no underground comic freak, but I know who Harvey L. Pekar is. I remember him being on Letterman; I remember Toby Radloff on MTV, eating White Castle burgers. Historically I suppose the film is a good thing to have around. I do like Pekar's work, and I think, actually, that conceptually the whole thing is pretty cool, the comic and all. Paul Giamatti did a nice, perpetually scowling job, and Hope Davis was very funny, and looked like Cousin It in overdone specs. Otherwise the film left me feeling a bit empty. Then again, maybe that's just how one feels after one has expunged every ounce of food from one's body over a weeklong period, give or take.
I am currently listening to John Mayer's newest, which I bought, along with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' newest, which I bought, along with The Believer #7, which I bought, along with the 2003 edition of The Best America Non-Required Reading. All of which I bought along with a Baja [Fresh] Steak Burrito (no guac, though it was included despite my detailed instructions). It's good. The first thing. John Mayer. A bit of a departure, which is usually not a bad thing. Can't tell you about the rest just yet. The burrito was going down one way or another, and thankfully it's staying that way.
I've been watching the MLB playoffs, here and there. I'm suffering some extreme guilt over the whole business, and so, at the present moment I think I should move on, rather than offend some folks with my sentimentality and temporary (?) allegiances. And with that, I say no more. I mean it. I never knew you.
Do you live in California? Do you own a radio or have access to one? Well, you should listen to KMUD. Because the nice folks at KMUD, they're gonna play some tunes from "Half Pint." On the radio, son! Get out! It's true! Sho'nuff! Because they're freakin' gold, that's why. Stay tuned for more information. I'm gonna be large on the airwaves, I'm sure of it.
My friend Hal, he did a moobie. He's editing it nowabouts. It's called Seize The Day... Tomorrow. Hal tells me that he and his crew are considering using, again, some tunes from "Half Pint" for the film. And I think this is quite cool. Quite. Meestah How is so hot right now.
Ever since I completed my record I've been thinking about doing another one. I had originally planned to write new material through the summer, play some gigs to get the new stuff out there and hone it, maybe do a small tour, a few dates here and there, and then go into the studio in late-Fall. Well, a few of those things have happened. I have managed to write a handful of new tunes, and despite the fact that I haven't been playing as much as I'd like, I'm still playing fairly well, which always sparks new creations. It's tough to feel like writing new pieces when you're playing like ass, after all. The down side is that I just haven't been able to devote the time to getting out and playing as much as I'd like. And playing live is such a prime motivator for doing more and more and more.
But, as I have mentioned, there have been things. Some of those things, in fact, most of those things, have been life-alteringly beautiful, in every sense of those words. I am grateful for so much. And then there is, of course, the inevitable Other Hand. The fact is that I have been drained by things, and on some fronts, I've gotten up to very little since my record came out in April. And honestly, I had become more or less resigned to hanging things up for a little while, just to allow things to settle. To coalesce. However things might... congeal. And now I have terrible visions of leftovers from the kitchen at Burger King.
Anyhoo, I wasn't happy about putting things on hold, but I knew better than to rush things. Because there's only so much time. And also, there's so much time. Because life, she is long, no?
This last weekend I was driving... somewhere. I don't quite recall where, but I'm reasonably sure I was moving at ~27mph, bumper-to-bumper in D.C. traffic, cursing my existence. And somewhere on the asphalt, the words came out: "I want to do another record."
And so I will.
I don't have a schedule, and I'm going to proceed, I think, rather organically with this one. But, I'm sure at a certain point I'll have it all down in a spreadsheet and it will all squirt out at properly-spaced intervals, like sponge cake at the Entenmann's factory.
It's a document. There have been a lot of things that have transpired over the last year. I'd like to make a record about those things. There are tunes that I have written in the past year that capture, precisely, where I have been. I want a document of those places. I want to write more tunes in more places. I want to remember these times. Because there have been things, and I don't want to forget where I've been. And I want to keep playing to keep travelling. I can't think of a better way to say what I want to say than with music.
I hope you'll come along.
- Razor blades
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