I’m writing this in the last couple hours of 2013. It’s been a hectic few weeks since I put anything up here. Shit’s been falling apart.
The Toshiba has been showing signs of rough usage for some time. You know, bits falling off, little quirks, special knowledge required to get things to happen. It went mute a few months ago, which meant I had to burn cdr’s and go for a drive to listen to anything I was working on. In mid-December, the power cord wore through. The thingie that plugs into the back was already pretty hinky and it turned out they don’t make those anymore, so replacing isn’t an option, which left me without a computer for a couple weeks. That’s why I ain’t posted.
There’s also some car trouble – my ignorant guess is that it needs a new head gasket. I’ve done that job on older cars with simpler engines, so I might be able to pull it off. We’ll see. I sure can’t afford to have somebody else do it, even though the garage where I get inspections is pretty cheap.
Both roomies bolted. One has been talking about it for months, did it all right and on the up. The other one…not so much. I heard a rumor she was moving, asked her about and yeah, she’s out in ten days. No reason to think she would’ve told me if I hadn’t asked. Utilities are in her name so I assume she was just gonna leave me with no power and water, which is no worse than I would’ve expected really. She ain’t what you’d call a friend. I needed a place to live. I’m on a separate lease, so my rent don’t change, but the utilities’ll go up. Meh.
Then there was Xmas. I am a huge fan of the pagan celebration of the winter solstice and I don’t mind at all that the Xians pasted the birth of Jesus on top of it. They got all the imagery right, that’s for sure: the birth of the Sun God/Son of God, the miraculous birth, the evergreens, all of it merges smooth and works well. Until it all went commercial as shit. I’m not exactly sure when that happened. I’m sure somebody has been complaining about how the “real meaning of Christmas” is being forgotten since the year 2, but I’d put it in the 1950’s, since that’s when most of everything started to really go to shit in the USA. I haven’t done a lick of research on that one and I’m not going to. Xmas has been steadily getting more and more horribly anti-Christlike for as long as I can remember. The past few haven’t been too bad for me personally – my daughter is all caught up in the magic of it, believes in Santa Claus, loves every bit of it. I enjoy her enjoyment and I focus on what the Yuletide means to me. It works.
On Xmas day, we got up. She ran out to the livingroom and came running back yelling “Daddydaddydaddy! He was here!” It was cute. We saw some kinfolks, I took her to her Mommy, who took her to visit her family in godforsaken New Jersey. I had to endure a bit more relatives, but the food was good. One complaint I don’t have is that my people can’t cook. I ate all there was that didn’t have dead animal in it, sat around and listened to pudgy, bald guys talk about hunting and football and got out. Leaving the family thing on Xmas is always a giddy experience: it’s the furthest I can ever get from the next Xmas.
Here’s a thought: how about if we just don’t have Xmas occasionally? I’m thinking we take every fifth year and just don’t do it. No Xmas in years that end in 5 and 0. Wouldn’t that be cool? We’d all be able to get through December without the hectic, bombastic stressfest for a change. We could still give gifts to people if we wanted, get together with friends and family, donate to charities. We can do those things anytime we want, Xmas or not. Just think how nice it would be to be able to go to the grocery store and not have to hear some idiot ringing a goddamned bell. If we liked it, we could increase it to every other year. Maybe we’d eventually eliminate Xmas altogether, which would actually mean it would be celebrated by friends and families on 25 December, at home, with a good meal and some simple gifts, the way it was until the 1950’s or whenever.
Anyway. The grrrl went to NJ for a couple days. I worked both jobs (Isaiah 48:22). She came home and we’ve been tolerating each other pretty good for a few days. We’ve had a couple spats, but we get along pretty good most of the time. Things’ll get back to normal soon enough.
Nana gave me this weird little computer that I’m using now. She got it a few years ago, never really took to it. I had no trouble getting it working, though it did need one-hundred-twelve updates. I’m not kidding. “Now installing 1 of 112 updates. Please do not turn off your computer…” I had to download Google Chrome to check my email. I installed the sound program I’m used to and I’ve started fucking with sound again, which is fun. As I type this, in bed, sleeping Spotted Opossum beside me, I’m listening to Shinki Chen’s Shinki Chen & Friends, a fine slab of 70’s Japsyche straight off youtube, which I hain’t been able to do for a while. I still gotta get all the shit from the old box to this one, but I’m not worried.
2013 was a fine enough year. I moved twice, which was less than the year before. Swear to gods, if I can put some cash together, I’m buying a cabin out in the woods and never moving again. The little red truck runs like a top. BDSR released a bunch of new stuff. The line-up right now is a good one, possibly soon to be augmented with clarinet and flute. Seriously, there may be a clarinautist and a flautist joining the din. I can’t imagine how esoteric that would be.
Another thing happened. There’s this guy in town, another musician-type, we’ve had some bad blood between us for years. There’ve been times when I’ve wanted to make that right, but there’ve also been times when I’ve stirred shit up. Mostly I’ve just let it alone. Guy came up to me one day to tip me off about some LP’s he thought I’d be interested in at the local skateboards and used records shop. I was dealing with the grrrl, who was pitching a fit about something at that moment, so I couldn’t really engage with him, which may have been better. Small steps. I sent him info about the “Crazy Bush’ compilation, invited him to contribute a track. He said he’d put something together. So – may be that we’re both ready to move on. One shouldn’t look too far ahead with this sort of thing, but I’m hopeful. Decreasing the amount of negativity in my world is something I always hope for.
Been feeling the bite of poverty, man. Getting all Zen about it. Nothing like poverty to help ya get all Zen. Then again, I picked up a copy of Dennis Tedlock’s Popol Vuh: The Definitive Edition Of The Mayan Book Of The Dawn Of Life And The Glories Of Gods And Kings at the free book stand in front of Downtown Books recently and I’ve been reading that. I haven’t figured out if the Mayans had anything like Zen, but they had some good shit going on, that’s for sure. Solid Twin Hero stuff, very popular all over the Americas. And I just realized, just now this moment while I was writing, how I can use that looped sample I made this afternoon and a section of the Popol Vuh that I wanted to do something with when I read it last week. Those two elements might just fit together exactly right or I might have to bend ‘em a little, but I think it should work. Ha.
Ah…uh….the Shinki Chen thing ended a couple paragraphs back. I switched to Taj Mahal Travellers July 5, 1972, which is a whole ‘nother trip. Also, it’s about to be 2014.
See ya on the other side.
Brown Hat the Espresso Shaman
The pun is always intended.