Friday, December 30, 2005

• I am pretty sure I was in line behind this guy at the Taco Bell tonight.
• The Big E joins us. In order to avoid confusion with tha Big C (who thinks I am a stranger!), I will call him Erik. He really likes that.
This is cool. (Subscription required… you should be reading the paper anyway, even if you don’t like the slant).
This isn’t (diteaux). What the hell is the point of a Sug@r Bowl P@rade without beads and boobs. Absolutely pointless.
• I was reading tonight, and it occurred to me again. I keep waiting for this big thing to happen.. a miracle, a revelation, an epiphany, or something. I think that’s foolish… I think it is always happening.
• The smell of a dryer sheet from the dryer vent reminds me slightly of waiting for the babysitter as my parents were going out on a Saturday night when I was a kid. When you add a touch of cheap perfume and the sound of Mickey Gilley, it reminds me of it a lot. Our babysitters were twins, and (I swear on the future of good whiskey this is true) their names were Daphne and Davina. I wonder what they wound up doing.
• Heading back to Atlanta tomorrow for bowl and new year activities. Back on 1/3.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Memory from the Five Points HM

A dear old friend was in town today. David D0ver lived on the floor below me my freshman year in college. My third and fourth years, he lived next door to me. Today, he, his wife, and several members of her family joined me for lunch on the row. They brought their son Owen along, and it was really cool to see them all. (Warning: Inside joke approaching). The conversation and company were great. Not once was I asked whether or not I could sing five shelves elective hole. Here's the post-lunch pic.


My favorite Dave story is from my freshman year. The two of us, along with Special K and others, were making a late night trip to the HM (HM was the W@ffle H0use, and was so named because one of those two put a W@ffle H0use hat on upside down, and the other read the initials too literally). For some reason, Dave had a toy hook arm with which he had been scaring performance majors. Before leaving the dorms for the HM, it was determined that Dave should go into the Waffle House with the hook arm on. On the way to the car, it was furthermore determined that we should make a big deal out of the hook arm upon our arrival at the HM. The end result was as follows.

Special K drove (I think) south on Lumpkin, then East on Milledge and took the left directly into the HM parking lot. He stopped about 20 feet into the parking lot, positioning the vehicle carefully directly in front of the building's largest window so that the car's presence was obvious to all of the restaurant patrons.

I exited the vehicle from the passenger's side and SpecialK popped the trunk. I lifted the trunk door and offered a hand to a fetal yet patient Dave. I helped him out of the car and onto his feet where, in full view of an attentive HM population, he stood looking bewildered and completely unaware of the fact that he had a hook for an arm. Gaining his composure, he slowly turned to look at those dining within, and simply stood and smiled as the HM customers looked on with their mouths open, thinking as one, "WTF?"

The rest of us were laughing wildly at Dave's ice-cold self-control and the awe on the faces of the onlookers. We were also remarkably embarassed to go inside, and instead thought it best to continue down Milledge to the next HM, just so we weren't eating at an establishment at which we were already branded crazy. We did so, and the meal was fine. But I will never forget the looks on those faces as Dave emerged from the trunk. It was as though reality had wrapped itself around its own neck and was threatening to cause the universe to explode. I'm glad I have that to remember.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Results of Christmas and Randomhood

I enjoyed a great trip home for Christmas. Russ has pics of the Sweater Party, which I thought was a blast. After hanging one more day with the Blog This and GeorgiaGirl, I headed to my folks’ house.

I’m pretty well convinced that the bed in which I slept at my parents’ house was dressed with brand new sheets… brand new as in unwashed. They were rough enough that I actually had a strawberry on one knee.

I took very few pictures, but here are a couple. This one was right before the present-opening began. The family has gotten big enough that some gifts have to go on the fireplace in order to facilitate walking through the den. It’s really rather ridiculous.

Here’s a pic of the boys (my nephews). Only some of you will know what I’m talking about, but it’s hard to believe that it was almost five years ago that I was canceling the Hawaii Party Part 2 in order to go to the hospital on the night the oldest was born.

I asked for two large gifts this year, expecting that I would only get one of the two. I didn’t get the accordion. I did get this.
Needless to say, this was a hell of a lot of fun to drive from Atlanta to Nashville. It was even more fun unloading it from the ‘splorer into the apartment.

I liked almost everything I got, but I think I might take this one back.
Talk me out of it if I should keep them.


• It is supposed to rain tonight. I’m excited.
• I have been eating like shit since my birthday. I’m not doing that New Year’s resolution stuff, but I am over this. I would start tonight, except the bowl trip will blow it.
AHayes was back in town for a day. We had a blast as always.
Adam Evans is now linked on your right. He’s a former student, a good friend, and probably the most intensely loyal Georgia Bulldog I know. Enjoy.
• I’m-a head back to Atlanta Saturday for the big New Year’ Party and the bowl trip, which isn’t really a trip at all.
• I’m ready for the fall right now.
• AHayes talked with me about a song on the radio called “The D0llar.” I don’t really care for the tune, but it reminds me of a thought I had from my childhood. At about 4 years old, I remember asking my mother where Dad went every day. She told me he went to work. I asked why, and she responded that he went to work to make money. At that moment, a mental picture entered my head that has never really left. That was of my Dad standing above a desk, intently depressing a lever on a machine attached to said desk, and watching pennies fall from the machine into a bucket. Yes, he was making money.

Friday, December 23, 2005

You guys were exceptionally good sports about that. I hope you laughed as loud when you saw the response as I did when I realized my results were sent to a former student that I honestly really don't know that well.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Try this.

Oh yeah... this quiz is definitely worth taking.

Be bold and unafraid. It's pretty accurate.

Wrapped in gigglitude

My brother thinks he is very funny. Every year for Christmas, he manages to package something very cleverly or send a message that he thinks is appropriate. He is usually wrong.

I once received a small pocket knife from him. It was wrapped very carefully in a tube that was about five inches in diameter (I wonder if that's a lot... hmmm) and six feet long (I know that is.). I once received a pair of pants that had three holes in it and was missing one-third of one leg. Two years ago, he gave me a plastic shoe horn, on which was a decal with the Auburn logo and an explanation that this was to be used to remove the Warplainstigers foot from Georgia's ass the following fall.

He really is a card.

This year, I am reminded that Christmas is not only about giving. It's also about receiving. I will be receiving me a belly-full-'o'-laughs when he opens one of his gifts this year.

Here is the actual gift itself, a book that I happen to know he wants.

Here is the package as it will appear before he opens it.
Totally Wrapped

Luckily for those of us on the correct side of the rivalry, I thought to purchase an AJC before leaving Athens on the morning of December 4, 2005. I thought that one particular page from that paper would make good "padding" for the gift. The result, when he opens it, will be something like this:

So what if they beat us. Little bastards still aren't champs.
Did I just see Malc0lm-Jam@l W@rner pretending to be a member of a pseudo E@rth, Wind, and Fire band on a T@rget commercial?
• Today, I finally got my business license, so my plan to take over QuikTrip is underway.
• Got my guitar back from the shop, uuuuuuuuh-gain. The first time I took it in was on the morning of the expletiving Tennessee game. It's been in twice, and I picked it up today to find that only half of the work I had requested had been done. Needless to say, I'm pretty pissed off (but only paid half of the price of the new set of strings for the entire repair job... a solution that kept me from going postal at the local Music and Ar+s).
• I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tonight. I liked it. I also saw The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and was unpleasantly surprised.
• I have more additions to the side, even though some in the list have not posted in over three months. I won't be blog police right now, because I know life gets busy. I'm only pulling links when someone officially closes their blog, or when they tell me that they're not going to blog anymore.

With that in mind, there are some additions to the right (again: your right, my left):

The Blog Flogger is one of the guys who works in the office in which I used to work. He's a great guy, and a donk trombone player.
The Big Bad Wolfe is a musician and teacher with whom I get to work every now and then, not to mention a great friend. He now teaches in small town America, and runs a "You Scratch My Back" racket with the Barr0w County Oobs.
Special K is really Alan K, with whom a spent a significant amount of my mischeivous free time in undergrad. We work together pretty frequently, and I miss being around him as much as I was when we were at UGA. He's also a great teacher, and a hell of a good cook.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I’ve been catching up on DVD’s lately, in an effort to make up for anything I may have missed when I was in a job that was significantly busier than the one I have now. Over the last three days, I have been enjoying seasons 1 and 2 of the series NewsRadio. When Russ and I used to hang out pretty much every night (which eventually became 6 or 7 of us hanging out every night), we would have a drink and watch whatever crap the TV would spit out at us. There were at least three serials, however, that I didn't feel fell into the crap category.

For about a year or so, A&E would rerun NewsRadio frequently, and often in marathons. I think that was the first show whose sudden appearance I recall to have caused both of us to say “Hell, yes,” go back to the kitchen for just one more, and settle in until the network moved on to some new program. In fact the only other one that I remember working that way for us was Sportsnight (the DVD of which would later become the centerpiece for gatherings of several of us). West Wing would often work with Trina.

I like the marathon idea, as long as I like the show. In fact, like a good book, I find that I get involved or invested in the show, the characters, and especially the theme music (if it’s good). When the marathon or DVD ends, I kinda feel like I’ve lost some friends. And I guess that means that those involved in the production did their jobs… and that I have behaved exactly as they had hoped I would. Wow, I should be sorta sad about that.

Monday, December 19, 2005

That Toddlin' Town

I’m back from the great white north. I used to have a love-hate relationship with that conference, but now that I don’t feel an obligation to be anywhere before 5:00 pm I really enjoy it.

I have included a very few photos for your enjoyment. I still haven’t quite grasped that batteries can “run down,” so the level of sharing is limited to what I could manage to take before this inevitability became a reality.

In an effort to avoid being branded a potential terrorist, any pictures I took on the train were taken discretely. So I only took two. For those of you who haven’t seen snow in a while, this is what it looks like from the train.

A look at the floor of the train is a nice reminder that having snow (and thus sand) all over the place might be fun and all, but it can make for some pretty disgusting surfaces (not that train floors were ever… whatever, here’s the damn picture because I took it).

There are lots of really cool things to do at this convention, but by far my favorite was always the revelry (and the side effects thereof) that took place at the bar in the lobby of the Hilt0n. This year was no exception, and Happy Holidays were enjoyed by many.

As a public service, I wisely thought to take a series of time-lapse photos documenting the increasing population of the bar as the evening progressed. Though the results are a little disappointing (it was the slowest of the three nights), I still think it is worth posting.

Photo #1 is from somewhere in the neighborhood of 8:30 PM CST Wednesday.

Photo 2 is at approximately 9:40 PM CST. Again, I am really disappointed in the results and my poor battery management.

Photo 3 was at about 10:15 PM CST. I think you can tell that the cigars had come out at this point.

Here are Mike and Scott after a lovely dinner with the Lovely Young Woman (and for the record, she proved herself to be all three), a friend at Miss0uri, and your's truly (me).

Here’s Barnes, right after he thought of a way for us to get a free round of drinks.

Here’s my attempt to take a picture of Barnes forging the receipt in the name of one of his friends (along with the friend’s room number). Brad’s friends were really good to us. Whether or not they intended to be isn’t the point. (Editor’s Note: This picture is blurry because Dwight bumped me, almost made me spill my drink, and did cause the camera to move.)*

This is what the bar looked like at closing time (Editor’s note: The camera was not moving. This is definitely exactly what the bar looked like. I know because I remember… sorta.)

Needless to say, closing time is just an excuse to get some fresh air and find a new place to continue the revelry. Many of us did. Pictures are not available.

Other highlights and lowlights include the following:

• Scott had to bolt before I got a chance to say good-bye. Good-bye after the fact. I know I’ll see you ‘fore long.
• Barnes broke the company record for Manhattans consumed at one sitting. That would be 8, and the rest of his night reflected this. It was pretty much priceless, and full of well-intended cursing (Example: “I f**king love you, man.”).
• Enjoyed conversation with Mike as much as I ever had. He had lots of well-timed wisdom.
• The lack of pressure, resulting from no longer working at my former place of employment, allowed me to enjoy my time there much more.
• I was repeatedly asked repertoire questions. I would usually attempt to answer the questions, and then remember that this was my area of greatest weakness in my former profession.

All ridiculous examples of consumption aside, it was a very nice few days in a new-old venue with good old friends and some new ones. In addition to those already mentioned (I realize some of the names will mean nothing to some readers), I enjoyed quality time with Christian, Laura and D, Heath J., and at least one Matt. There were also some Richards.

When I can afford it and justify it professionally, I would like to be in a position in which I could jet out of town to a new place for a few days at a time every six weeks or so. It just keeps things fresh.


* - This is not true.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Out to lunch and more documentation

I am off to Chicago Wednesday morning and won’t be posting in that time. If I do not have something to say when I return Saturday evening, the trip will have been a waste of time and a total buzzkill.

When I began this blog almost 13 months ago, it was intended to allow me to join a trend, share my silly little ideas with people with whom it wasn’t feasible to speak everyday, and to document what seemed to be a puzzling time in my life. I never kept a journal, and this seemed to be a reasonable outlet.

Having now lived in Nashville some five months, the blog seems to have become a documentation of my progress in the music business. I hope I never bore you with it (you know what to do if I do!) but I think this is a worthy cause.

Over the last couple of weeks, my attention has admittedly been more drawn to Nashville than it has been since I moved, for a variety of reasons. Since beginning that change of focus, I have definitely begun to feel that I was progressing more rapidly in my professional trip. I have started feeling more and more like I was actually achieving something here (albeit very slowly… just how I prefer it) rather than simply sleeping here.

Tonight was a particularly strong example. On Sunday, I met a writer in the kitchen of the home where the party was held. We’ll call him Don. Don was a quiet guy, the sort of person to whom, as I mentioned a few days ago, I feel I should make it a point to pay attention. As he drank his Dixie cup full of pure water (he didn’t appear to be in “need” of water), we struck up a conversation that was rather dry yet comfortable. I had overheard that he was playing a round tonight, and I asked him about it. After he confirmed the time and location, I mentioned that I might attend. He encouraged this, mentioning that there would be three other very solid writers.

Tonight I went to that show, which was honestly rather out of the way. As I sat for dinner, he made it a point to say hello to me from the stage in the middle of a tune. Over the course of the next hour or so, I realized that his reference to the other writers as “solid” was a wee bit understated. By the time the show was over, I had heard old and new music by the writers of this, this, and this, among others. And I didn’t realize until he played it that Don himself had written this.

At that point, I think I realized that a great deal of the key to becoming a successful part of this community is to genuinely want to be a successful part of this community – not to attempt to get to know people for the purpose of exploiting their own prior success. I would never intentionally use someone, but everyone has heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” before. The temptation to try to develop a professional relationship with the people one meets, without bothering to concern oneself with the real individual, is a temptation for everyone here. I suspect the people who have operated in that fashion have either gone home or soon will.

After the show, Don was very cordial – took the time to thank me for coming, asked me about my week, and encouraged me to keep writing. I thanked him for letting me know about it, and promised to do my best to show the next time he was playing. If a number one eventually develops out of the acquaintanceship, great. If it doesn’t, it has to be enough for what it is – and that in itself is worth enjoying… another friend, another part of the ride, and another story to tell.

For the record, in the midst of listening to the classic tunes these gentlemen were singing, I was reminded of a couple of really important and valuable facets of this brand of music. I had forgotten about the importance of humor in a song, and will try to get back to that immediately. I had also forgotten about the a-ha moment, the live performance of which often results in a verbal expression by the audience indicative of what I like to call The Gospel of Country Music (just my overly dramatic name for a very real phenomenon that I think one can only experience here). I’m sure there’s a post coming on that one day.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

So, I didn’t mention in the last big entry that I had been invited to a holiday party that was to have taken place tonight. It was pulling rotten teeth to get myself to go, but I did. And I had a great time.

I met and became friends with some folks who have been doing what I am doing for a long time. I think I might have acquired some degree of comfort that I had been looking for… a way to socialize here with people that have an interest in this business. I met some folks that I think I can work with. I also saw some folks that gave me a solid vision of what I don’t want to become. I think that’s healthy.

It was a good night.
I don't know when the D@wgVent got this far off course, but this is the most screwed up string I have ever seen. I can not imagine.
Finally saw Sling Bl@de tonight. I've been missing out.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Making something happen (long with lots of backstory)

The most solid and promising friendship that I have with a person in the business (we’ll call him Dave) was a result of what has been considered my best song to date… those of you who know me pretty well, know what that song is… it has the name of one of the people linked to the right in the title. He became familiar with the tune in the late winter and spring of 04 as it was being reviewed for the song contest that was sponsored by the organization for which he works. As each of the ten finalist songs was being announced at the gathering at the end of a conference, the writer stood and was recognized. He approached me about writing after that happened, and thus began the friendship.

Later that summer, after writing together, he referred me to another person (we’ll call him Chad) in the industry who, when he hears a song of promise, has the ability to do something about it. This person listened to my stuff, and didn’t do what I wanted him to do. But he did offer me a spot in a once-per-month seminar his organization/company does with up-and-comers every summer. I began to attend this seminar in the late summer of 04, but I could not continue due to a legal issue prohibiting me from becoming a member of his organization until the Summer of 06. Nevertheless, I met a writer (let’s call her Jenny) at one of the seminars I was able to attend. We agreed to write the next time I was in town. We had a brief email exchange, and then we stopped communicating since it was so tough for me to write with her from out of town.

When I moved here in July of this year, I sent several emails to friends in town letting them know that I was on my way. One of them was to Jenny, whom I had really planned on writing with. I received no response from her, and was frankly a little agitated that this was the case. I also knew, however, that she was getting some attention from publishers, and decided to accept the fact that she may no longer want to write because she may be getting action with hit writers already. I figured that I probably wouldn’t hear from her, and just got on with it.

Lately, most of the time I have spent on the internet has been devoted to researching songwriting websites and kinda trying to keep my “finger on the pulse” of what’s going on. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled onto a site that was promoting a showcase for a writer. The writer was Jenny, and the venue happened to be the same one in which this night started. Oddly, in an effort to reconnect with one of the first writers I got to know after I moved (we will call her Lisa), I noticed on her website that she would be performing as a member of Jenny’s band at this showcase. I decided, “what the hell,” and booked myself to go to the show tonight.

I sat in the corner at the show, as I usually do. When Lisa arrived, she noticed me there and came up to say hello. In the course of conversation, I told her that I had known Jenny from some time back but was sure she “didn’t remember me” (because I was sure that, if she didn’t want to write, she would pretend she didn’t remember, and I didn’t see the point in embarrassing her). Lisa replied, “No, I’m sure she does,” and proceeded back to Jenny to initiate a re-introduction. Jenny came over and we “re-met.” After 30 seconds of catching up, she recalled the last name. I told her I was in town now and had been for several months.

Shortly thereafter she said, “Well, when are we going to write?”

Before the end of the evening (which was actually quite humorous in a number of ways) I had a three-person co-write (which is not what it’s called, but I’m trying to keep Russ from giggling) promised in early January. I had also learned that Jenny no longer had my email address because she had lost a year’s worth of emails deleted from her server. Whether or not that was the whole truth isn’t important (and for the record, she seemed sincere… not that I’m a great judge of that).

The point is that I learned tonight that, when things aren’t happening and “letting go” doesn’t seem to be getting me somewhere, maybe making something happen will. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I’m normally a person who does his best work alone. When the partial phrase “group proj…” was uttered at any level of school, I almost always threw up a little. I never felt my best work was completed that way.

Lately, however, a couple of opportunities have presented themselves in which I could collaborate with responsive, open, honest, and respectful minds. It gives me a glimmer of hope that I may be able to work with someone in a creative fashion.

An old friend or two has agreed to work with me on their fall shows, and at times I find myself very happy to have such inventive, creative material and feedback with which to work. Tonight, I spent three hours in a co-write (smack dab in the middle of the Tech bball game) with a guy who loved what we started with enough that he agreed with me that we couldn’t phone the second verse in. That seems to be rare around here. For better or worse, we wrote nary a word in stone. We spent that time debating the character of the character we were writing. Though I know I am bad about injecting talk like that into everyday conversation at times, I’m really glad he had the patience and resolve to respect the seed of the song enough to make sure that the execution was deserving of its origin.

I curse my work on a frequent basis, but I suspect that is more out of loneliness or frustration than anything. I really like making stuff up. I function really well in a make-believe world. I have always been better at that than maintenance, and that realization honestly is owed to Dwight, whether or not he is an ass.

Unfortunate also, however, is that I make up a lot of things. Sometimes, I insist that they must become true, and torture my chassis until it becomes so. Other times, I wind up disappointed. And I guess that winds up as fuel for more imagination.

I would love to live in a world of truth… where things were obvious, and time wasn’t wasted figuring out what reality was. I would love to live in a world in which people weren’t offended when you said what you really thought, and where you never lived in fear of doing that.

I think that’s a pipe dream. But I do appreciate the glimpses of that possibility that I get when someone tells me that I did something exactly right, or exactly wrong. I appreciate my current collaborators in all media for doing that.

What I fear the most is that I might love that idea so much that I won’t be able to function long in a world that isn’t based on telling the truth the second you know it. I worry that I might believe in the face value so much that I may not ultimately be able to deal with the fact that we lie and mislead in order to end in a way that meets our satisfaction.

I have rarely been happy with the truth, but I have always been satisfied when it was given to me completely and without remorse or reservation. I’m not much of a salesman for that reason… I demand that you know of my penchant for sleeping long hours, a relaxed glass of jack, the stupid in the context of the noble, and a disdain for those who can’t make decisions and don’t think about the big picture before doing so. I guess my only outlet at this point is to keep doing what I (and maybe I only) know how to do. That is to be myself, and trust that there are more people out there willing to think the same thing.

For now, I seem to be calmed by the fact that I couple of great collaborators are listening, and they’re telling me everything they think and perceive. And that’s fine… for now.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Thanks, D.J.


What a pretty picture.


Ok, now that I've gotten that out of the way, I am going to give myself a bit of encouragement after a five-day stretch that has seen extreme highs and bitter lows. Read if you want. It is, after all, a public blog. But don't think ill of me for preaching... I'm not writing this for you tonight.

Last August, I proclaimed my belief that Georgia would go 7-4. I didn't think Shock would get all of the way through the season as a starter. I think I had reasons to believe that, and I was absolutely dead wrong.

As many have already said, D.J. has to go down as one of my favorite Dawgs ever. That he sat for four years and waited patiently and without public outburst is admirable, but many thought it was stupid. I include myself in that group. That he accepted circumstances that should have relegated him to status as an also-ran in the history of Georgia football was portrayed by many to be either foolish or indicative of a lack of confidence in his own abilities. I include myself in that group also. That he took his only chance and turned it into paydirt is nothing but magic and a testament to the fact that loyalty and belief can still result in something great in a world based more and more on probability and actuarial tables.

This is obviously not the ultimate feat in football, but for myself and many others it is the sweetest tonight.

The statement "there were no expectations this year" is stupid. There were expectations (there always are). We expected not to be in this game. We expected D.J. to take one for the team and regret having ridden this thing out to the end of the line. We expected to be average. It's one thing to be expected to dominate a season and to fulfill that expectation. It is a far more rewarding end to be expected to be average and to emerge a champion.

At a time when I had lost just a little bit of the width in my eyes... at a time when I had begun to stop believing in fairy tales, in risk, or in belief itself... at a time when I started to think that the smart money was with the oddsmakers, D.J. reminded me why I needed to keep my belief in the infinite and the preference for being the underdog.

This was sweeter because it was all but impossible.

I love the vision of a 5'8" defensive back intercepting a ball against a man 6 inches taller than him, and outrunning faster men as assistant coaches and trainers fall to the ground, pounding the artificial turf with their open hands, and screaming their vocal cords into nodules, "Go, go, go, go, go, go, goooooooooooo!" I love Sid Bre@m running on a bad knee, lumbering around the bags, running a race that he can't win against a 9-inch-around ball that can travel over 100 mph, and winning. I love the unsinkable shot from half court that swishes. I love the afterburner firing on the last turn for the victory, the Hail Mary that connects, the ugly guy that gets the girl because he's funny, the cancer patient that beat 10-1 odds and lives to become a successful physician, the no-name candidate that shocks the world, the royal flush, and the 400-pound guy that whittles it down to 185.

Success is great. But I think that the people who really experience euphoria are the ones who find the impossible and unthinkable missions, fulfill them, and have learned to experience the moment. I think that might have something to do with why I chose a profession in which the odds are so bad.

I needed to be reminded to get to know the geeky-looking kid that looks like he will be picked last. I needed to remember to eat at the hole in the wall. I needed to recall that the guy with the rough voice might be the most beloved radio personality. I had to remember to write against the market, to love the one you can't have even when you know you're going to have your heart broken, to speak the socially unacceptable, to belch, to take the scenic route, and to risk imperfection.

I believe that the euphoria of beating the odds makes you virtually forget your failures. I believe that riders on the bandwagon experience empty victories. I believe that those who seek to live lives devoid of complication and frustration will get exactly that, and that nothing that is worth doing is easy.

Thanks D.J. I am glad this had paid off for you so far, and I hope it continues to do so for a long time. It definitely did for me.

Friday, December 02, 2005

When I'm 64 (edited)

So, today (12/1) was my birthday. Yay. Late last night, I wrote a parody of “When I’m 64” but I pulled it at about 6am ET, for fear that anyone who might have forgotten the day might see this as a veiled attempt to publicize the day.

In the mean time, I have received no less than 60 IM’s, emails, Facebook messages, and phone calls to wish me well. Those who forgot were way more apologetic than necessary, and those who remembered were way too kind. I… well, I pretty much laid around and did nothing all day.

In an effort not to rob the world of useful parody, I have decided to repost last night’s entry. Hope you enjoy. And if you didn’t know, buy me something nice, and see if I remember yours. I’m horrible. In fact, comment with your birthday, so those in the blogosphere who care for you by way of ones and zeroes can wish you happy birfday. Enjoy.

When I get older
Devoid of hair
Twice as old as now
Will you still be humping me on Valentine’s
Hiding all my bottles of wine
If I’d come home
With my women friends
Who really were whores
Would you still love me
Lying above me
When I’m 64

You’ll be older too.
Aaaaaaah, and if you say the word
I could lay on you.

I could be handy
Watching the tube
When your urge is gone
We could watch the bulldogs by the ocean side
Take my Harley
Go for a ride
Poisoning my mistress
Smoking my weed
Who could ask for more
Though you might strike me
Will you still like me
When I’m 64

Every summer we could rent a woman on the first of June
She will cook and clean
It’s my half birthday
Ahhhh and if you don’t like her
She won’t have to stay

Send me an ointment
Drop by the home
Force me to eat fruit
Check up on my fiber and triglycerides
Sneak me in some foods that are fried
Give me a back rub
Spike my IV
Pick at my bed sores
Girl will you hate me
Or stimulate me
When I’m 64

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This just in...

It is 4:53 PM local time and it is almost completely dark here. Unacceptable. This has got to change.
Now that I am well-rested and less angry, an explanation on my last post is in order.

I had been working on a recording for about 7 hours and had programmed a cool drum track. In an effort to finish the tune, I used a keystroke that should have copied my basic groove several times. Instead, it reduced my entire bar to one note. I wasn't paying attention and did this several times. When I attempted to undo or revert to saved, Apple went "whoa!" and said what it said. I wound up having to reprogram the entire drum track on tired eyes and ears. I'm not okay with that.

There... I'm not that crazy.
You see the time of day.

Any time an Apple program responds with the following message, I get really concerned:

"Please report to Apple how you did this!"

Damnit, with a capital "mni."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Outlet Malls, Face, and Mierda Breath

• Upon arriving at my folks house on Wednesday afternoon, my mother took me to the outlet mall and bought clothes like I was just about to experience my first day of middle school. I was a bit confused, as the butt cut and mousse were nowhere to be found, but I was and am grateful nevertheless. No details were available at press time, but let’s just say that I now have jeans and shoes that don’t make me look like the son of a crackwhore.

• My brother was away all weekend, as most junior pilots at major airlines will tend to be over the Thanksgiving holiday. My sister-in law opted to keep my three nephews at my parents’ house on Wednesday and Thursday. That gave me a lot more time to hang out with them.

The middle nephew, who is 2 (and a half) seemed to cling to me more than usual which (as all uncles and aunts know) is a particularly cool thing. He became somewhat obsessed with my iPod. So I played him a few of my own songs, making clear that they were mine. Then I played him a song that I can’t quit thinking about (“Fix Y0u,” by C0ldplay), making clear that it was not mine. He 1) began to identify the song as “Face” because of the big chorus at the end, and 2) began erroneously identifying the song as “Uncle Brett’s Song” by the time I left Friday morning. Sister-in-law snapped pictures of him today:

1) Listening to his “iPod” and Uncle Brett’s Song...
uncle brett's song

2) ...and calling me on a fake cell phone to tell me about it.
talking to uncle brett

GeorgiaGirl briefly recounts our game of kickball with great old Redc0at friends on Friday afternoon. All I will say is that I am somehow still sore, in that good sort of way that causes you to laugh every time you have to use your hands to lift your leg off of the clutch while driving 85 mph (that’s “miles per hour,” Tech grads). I can’t wait to spend time with all of those friends again. I really really miss them, and more so now than I would ever have thought when I was in school.

• Great weekend… hell, anytime you beat a particularly irritable, feisty, and drunk Tech fandom it’s going to have been a good weekend.

• Today’s drive back to Nashville was unnecessarily long once again, thanks to ridiculous traffic in Chattanooga, of all places. Between this and a couple of unfortunate retail experiences, I created a complex plan of fighting back against:
- gas stations with no parking and disgusting restrooms
- counties that completely refuse to address their traffic issues when the only things that should be causing them are rushes of visitors to a now second-rate aquarium and closing time at the Kryst@l Corporate Headquarters, and
- State Police who refuse to address transport vehicles breaking significant traffic laws on major interstate mountain passes, causing accidents which result in twenty mile traffic jams three days after Thanksgiving.

This plan, certain to shock a nation*, was to be (probably incorrectly) called “Lista de la Mierda." However, the American economy can thank me, as cooler heads have prevailed, and I will now sleep on my decision whether or not to rock the economic boat in pursuit of better traffic, toilet seats free of human waste, and properly stocked coffee cups at convenience stores everywhere. Tonight, a nation waits with baited breath.**

* - Not really.
** - That phrase makes me think of, well just really bad breath.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Two things:

•I think I'm getting into an Eminem phase. Hmm.

•This is stolen from Traci, and very important. I don't know why this is just now coming up.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sometimes I wonder if I really moved

I found myself back in Marietta later Thursday night than I had planned on being there. I hung out with Russell for a good bit that night and Friday morning, then once again made the trek to Athens. I met a great friend for coffee that afternoon, and said some things out loud that I think she has a unique ability to listen to because of her familiarity yet distinct third-party status with me. Off to band, followed by dinner with the Byrd R0lands, then great conversation with Trey which was very reminiscent of the old days, and hopefully is similar to more nights in the future.

I skipped Saturday morning band for the first time in a very long time, and it was nice. I ran into the Wolfe’s and Big Oob’s very quickly, then met Brad, Warren, and Steve F (old friend from the band) and hung out for a few minutes before the game. The game was obviously great, and there was enough time remaining afterwards for plenty more hanging out. That hanging out got a little bit more out of hand than I had planned on, but everyone was safe and understanding after the results were obvious (the next day).

Sunday, I met my dearest friend for lunch, Walk the Line, and dinner. The movie was absolutely phenomenal and I highly recommend it. I am still amazed thinking about it. I got to spend more time with her today, and then finally had to leave in the middle of one of the colder nastier rains I remember seeing in some time. I absolutely hate leaving… one minute you’re at home and comfortable with great laughs and conversation… the next you’re listening to a dj for hours, with the exception of a few welcome phone calls and text messages. Hate that. Bad.

To make matters worse, today was the longest trip I ever remember from Athens to Nashville. It was six hours in duration. Precipitation had begun before I left, and lasted five of those six hours. As I got halfway up the mountain, the rain turned to huge snowflakes, and conditions remained blizzard-like for the next twenty minutes. It was like a Winter Wonderland, except in the fall, and without the wonder.

I don’t know what’s coming in the future. I do know that I have work to take care of here, and that I have to be here to do it. On the other hand, I don’t know a soul in the world who has friends like I do… and at this point, it makes me most comfortable to realize that I could eventually do this in Atlanta or Athens once I get established. I get the distinct feeling that I’m going to always have those friends… I want it that way, and wouldn’t mind putting a few miles on a car to live around the people who love me most. I feel best when I think about that possibility, but I recently quit predicting the future – so we’ll see.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Obviously, the traffic after the Auburn game was pretty significant. I have never sat through it as much as I did that evening, largely because I am usually in no rush to get to wherever I am staying (nor are most people). After finally arriving at my weekend residence at a little past 2:00 am, I slept for a little over four hours, then headed north and west.

Wasting not a moment of time, I stopped only for breakfast, fuel, and to pick up my suit from my place in Nashville. I continued westward two more hours to the site of the funeral, which happens to be the place where my parents grew up and the town where I spent a lot of time when I was growing up. This was another of those strange and uncomfortable experiences that I don’t really wish to repeat any time soon… something about life moving on and being glad in hindsight that it did.

In one of the all-time weird moments, the first time I saw my brother after the end of the Auburn game was as he was joining me in the line of pallbearers (He is an Auburn grad). We were exchanging banter about the game, agreeing that the interference call on P0pe was crap, and 30 seconds later found ourselves in the chapel preparing to bury our grandmother. I have no idea how to feel about that.

Funeral was fine. Everyone handled it well. I spent a little bit of time with my last living grandparent (who fed me the best barbecue sauce I have ever had in my life), my folks, and my nephews. My brother’s house is going to be unbearably loud in about a year. Then I headed back here, which is where I am now(?).

Random observations:

• Noise canceling headphones really just make enough noise that you can’t hear the other noise.
• The CMA announced 18 months ago that they would be moving their awards ceremony to NYC for one year. Though people really hated the idea at the time, it seems to have worked beautifully based on the number of country artists who have been on network tv over the last couple of days.
• While working today, I overheard a major cable news outlet talking about new slogans for New Jersey, and encouraging the audience to send in suggestions by email. I made one up, followed the instructions, and five minutes later heard my suggestion read on the air. I got tickled.
• My abandonment of daily nicotine intake has also resulted in a reduction of my daily caffeine intake, which seems backwards but is probably good.
• In the past six months, if I have been watching TV and found that Fletch was on, I haven’t once failed to immediately tune in. In fact, it’s on right now.
• I think I am less funny lately, and I don’t know why… but that’s just tough.
• I would like to see someone play Dodgeball with Pilates balls.
• Would someone please let me know when short socks with tennis shoes are not cool again? I didn’t even notice that they had become ok, and I don’t want to miss the inevitable non-coolness that they are sure to experience soon (and maybe already are).
• “Can I borrow your towel for a sec? My car just hit a water buffalo.”
• Tune you should be hearing on the radio right now, but probably aren't: "Banj0 B0y" by Ry@n Shupe and the Rubberb@nd.

Friday, November 11, 2005

In Georgia...

... and happy, but a bit bummed.

My grandmother died this evening. This was not my most dearly loved Granny Sue. But she was a woman for whom I had a great deal of sympathy and intrigue.

Mom called tonight while I was at the home of Blog This and GeorgiaGirl. Unfortunately, I will have to leave Georgia early to attend the funeral. I will make the game, but not much more. I will be back for KY.

I am thankful that I don't have to permit a world in which women must live the way that this woman did. She was wonderful... a very loving caring woman. But she was also brainwashed into believing that she was less than the other gender. She believed that she owed men something. She felt that there were joys in life of which she was unworthy. She perceived herself to be second tier.

God rest her soul, I am sorry that she is gone... she was a long-term Alzheimer’s patient. But I am glad she isn't suffering anymore. And I am very glad that she no longer feels like a second-class citizen.

I don't understand a lot of things about the world. But I wonder what she could have contributed if she had only been permitted to contribute.

Please... no comments of sympathy. We haven't been close since I was a child.

But I admit that this only further confuses my perception of an already confusing world.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Like I'm in School Again

I'm heading back to Georgia tomorrow (today) for the weekend game and a little bit of socializing. This unfortunately won't be one of those Wednesday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon extended weekends... too much going on.

As you can see, it's after 1:30am local time. I find myself looking for that damn last line that I have to finish tonight. This totally feels like school again... trying to finish a paper into the wee (as opposed to "Weeeee!") hours of the morning, with no choice but to stay up and get it finished. It's kinda cool. It also kinda completely sucks. I hope it pays off this time, but I'm prepared for it not to... just like the last 20 or 50 times I've submitted to a publisher. What a life.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

If you know my address, you will get this.

I received a package today from a client. Inside was the CD containing the original versions of the tunes which I am to arrange for his show. At the top of the disc, it reads "SGHS '06." At the bottom it reads, "Hot Droppin' Player's Court Remix." Nice.

I'm really not just any idiot

Here's what happens when I buy a digital camera and decide that I really really really really wants to use it. In the great tradition of photojournalism, I offer "A Day In the Life of Me" or "Not Just Any Idiot Can Successfully Operate a Digital Camera Without Slaving Over A Japanese-Composed User's Manual."

I set out around 2:00 PM CST for my writing appointment with Matlock. Because I have been consistently been hitting school traffic lately, he decided that I should try a new route. While on this route, I realized how pretty the changing colors of the leaves were, and thought it would be wise to attempt to operate the camera and drive at the same time. I get progressively better and better at it as I go, though I managed to get no decent shot of the leaves (It is a lot more difficult to drive while you are looking at the viewfinder than you might think).

Oh, and Secretary of the local chapter of Mensa here slowly realized that he might get better shots if he rolled his window down. By then, I was already going too fast to get a good shot... a problem for which I could fathom no solution. It was a pretty drive though, for everyone except my roadmates who weren't too tickled with my swerving every time I checked the focus.







You were just looking at the southern rural parts of Nashville and the western outskirts of Franklin... nary an outhouse in sight.

I arrived and Matlock and I bantered about Georgia football, old songs, day spas, Dr. Pepper, mice, and of course music. After actually writing for awhile (which honestly sometimes doesn't happen), I told Matlock that I needed to test my new camera on him. The first time I tried, I think Matlock was making some sort of funny face, or was conjuring some type of demon spirit thingy, or both.


The second time, I'm pretty sure it was my fault.


The third time, however, was a charm ("Bumblebee Tuna!").


Afterwards, I drove to |ndependence HS for their final marching band rehearsal of the season. Upon stepping out of the car, I was intrigued by what appeared to be a flash card on the ground. In a move that "exposed" my digital camera virginity, I thought I should take a picture of it.


Just out of curiousity, I decided to get a closer look to see if I could guess what class the card was from.


I thought to myself, that's a dead giveaway. Then I flipped the card over to find that I was mistaken.


Latin. I should have guessed!

Into the school I went, first visiting with Cooper in his office while his DM's warmed the band up (Note: my camera skills become worse here).


Once Cooper went into rehearsal...


... I snapped a picture of his desk.


Not that I'm one to be talking, but I know that I see a clothes hanger, a McD0nald's cup, a tie, a D@s@ni bottle, a Chic-fi|-@ cow, and a Sh@rpie. But I can't tell whether that orange box is Theraflu or Phazyme.

Anyway, I was shortly thereafter dispatched to sectionals where the tubas and I would work our way through the 2/3 completed "Armed Forces Salute." Gunner, you'll be really tickled to know that he put the Navy last! Here is my third and final attempt to get a decent shot of the tubas. They appear to be out of focus, but they're actually just vibrating.


After spending 30 minutes in sectionals (of which I was useful for about 22), I turned the section back over to the students, and went back to the office. Just to see if my poor picture-taking was my own fault, I made one of the drum majors take a picture of me in Cooper's chair. I became validated, but not very much.


Rehearsal ended and I returned to the 'scourt for, well pretty much what you're reading. However, I did take one last picture that I thought was pretty cool. This is the pit instructor's dog (the breed of which is, honestly, pit bull... get it?). This is Coda.


Hopefully, tomorrow we can work on focus and shutter speed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Just another day in Nashville

Lately I've been kinda hyper-productive, which I guess is good.

This evening I had a co-write with a friend that I have seen a lot but haven't been able to write with very much. If any of you knows the tune about the mobile phone, this is the same guy with whom I wrote that. We decided to look back into that tune at some point soon, and we started a new one.

I have to say that my enthusiasm for writing with another individual is in a down cycle right now... I think he tends to simply admire the artistry of other tunes and imitate it in what we write. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, and we seem to have pretty decent results. We are actually writing tomorrow.

Dave, on the other hand, is only a couple of years older than me, so we can work a little faster... and we never need to discuss whether or not a phrase is in the modern vernacular (Matlock and I had a prolonged discussion about the phrase "spooning" the other day... co-writing can be unusual). Dave does speak from a bit of a position of knowledge and authority in the industry, so I trust his critique and praise. He's also a musician, which, um, helps. At any rate, I really enjoy writing with him and it was nice to get back together again.

I guess that's kinda why I'm here. Not much else to tell.

(PS - Kenny L0ggins dropped into Dave's office yesterday. There's a really neat story, which I won't blog, but I will tell anyone who cares to know.)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Waiting for you

First of all, go here and watch what Sarah sent with the sound at a reasonable volume at a time when you aren’t at work. Cute.

I had a pretty serious debate with a dear friend a couple of weeks ago about whether or not everything happens for a reason... you know, why do great parents get killed in car accidents, why do wonderful people develop Parkinson’s Disease, why do the nicest and most talented people get mugged when doing what amounts to charity work, why do people kill each other? I have mulled over that statement for some time and have come to no conclusion that makes me feel any better. There are at least two ways of thinking about this, and a third that is probably the most accurate.

Obviously, everything does happen for a reason. That is, there is no effect that takes place without cause. That’s not what people mean when they say that, but it is what the phrase literally means. I knows, I’m a smartass.

A second way of thinking about it is to believe that whoever thought all this Existence stuff up has a gigantic blueprint. And on this blueprint is a ginormous flowchart of causes and effects. And each of the effects, even the ones that are perceived as negative to an individual, have lines that lead from themselves to further effects. In other words, the thing people really mean when they say “Everything happens for a reason” is that each effect is also a cause for a later event that theoretically fulfills a part of the blueprint and hopefully (if the Architect is just, within our perception anyway) leads to the greatest possible outcome for one’s life.

I don’t know if this is true. I won’t get into religion too deeply here, but it does seem odd that those who say that everything happens for a reason usually also subscribe to a belief system that accepts free will as a given. Well, free will pretty much removes the possibility that everything happens for a reason. However, not all events are caused by the deeds of humans, so it is possible that some bad things do indeed happen for a reason designed by something greater than us. It does make me feel a little better to think that at least those negative truths can bear positive results.

There is however a third, but backwards, way of thinking about this. That is that sooner or later each of our stories will be finished, and someone will hopefully care enough about us to remember our story and to pass it along to someone who never got to know us, but would benefit from knowing about us (ie, Great Grandchildren).* When that story is told, they will describe a set of events. Then they will recount what happened after the first set of events. Each circumstance, each encounter, each feeling and action and lapse in judgment and moment of greatness will have a cause. And each will of course have an effect. In the story that someone tells about me many years from now with a young person on his or her knee, she will talk about the way my life unfolded; and in that context, everything will have happened for a reason, and therefore does.

So I’ve been thinking about that, and contemplating the sometimes negative view of my current situation. I think I may be having a little more of a difficult time with the change of scenery than a lot of people might, just because I was so accustomed to being surrounded by many people. I suspect that everyone who finds himself alone in a new place thinks the same thing, so I don’t know if that’s valid or not.

What I do know from considering these questions is that there may be opportunity in being alone. I had several habits when I lived in Athens that, quite frankly, were perpetuated by being surrounded by people and being busy all of the time (For the record, I still don’t have a decent perspective for what busy actually is.). There were also good habits that I had a difficult time getting into for the same reasons. The removal of myself from that situation, coupled with a little willpower, some good research, and a motivation that is solely internal could reap some pretty great results that might just make my life more effective, more enjoyable, and maybe even longer.

So the past week has been about improvement – about taking advantage of the fact that I am alone, the fact that no one who wants to be near me can be right now, and the fact that I have a decent amount of time on my hands. Hopefully, the next week will yield results as pleasing as this week’s.

I’m definitely not saying that I wouldn’t change my circumstances if I could. I would. But there is this nagging notion that says that I’m not really ready for circumstances to be any different than they are right now. And the only obvious thing for me to do is to take advantage of the way things are. Maybe the next effect in this story will be better than I could have written myself. Maybe it won’t.

*Side note: In the 04 band video, Jim Black accompanied game day with the Se@l tune, “Waiting For You.” After watching that, I wished that I had thought to address this very subject with rookie band members. I think it’s an awesome thing to think about the history of the band waiting for a new member’s place in it. Oh well... too late for that now. UnLESS... (*thinking, but knowing that the people who would need to won't think the same thing*)

Saturday, November 05, 2005


And if you are interested, look at what this town has done to C@rrie Underw00d.

Addie, the future of blogging, and Leprechauns

1. I went out tonight to hear an acquaintance from New York. She was a student of a former colleague of mine, and he introduced us by way of email several months ago. She’s got a nice Americana sensibility about her, and a great voice. She’s currently a very successful actress in New York, but she seems to be very serious about this as well.

2. SES seems to think that the blog trend is fading for a lot of us, and sadly, I fear that she may be right. I hope not though.

3. I am not even moderately amused by the following list of American holidays I have made in follow-up to a rant I made toward Trina last week. Nevertheless, I need to post it so I can stop thinking about when I am going to post it. In an effort to prove our celebrations somewhat strange, I am listing the name of the holiday, the thing it celebrates, and how it is celebrated. Enjoy.

Holiday: MLK Day
Celebrates: Memory of Slain Civil Rights Activist
How we celebrate: Part of Country Goes To Church and Memorial Services While Part of Country Runs Errands That They Have Been Putting Off

Holiday: St. Patrick's Day
Celebrates: Irish Bishop Who Converted Ireland from Paganism to Catholicism
How we celebrate: Drink (preferably green beer), Wear Green, Persecute Those Who Don't Wear Green By Way of Simple Battery, Dye Major Tributaries Green, Cause Thousands of High School Band Students to Permanently Despise Parades, Tell Stories About Little Magical Men, Scour Grass for Abnormal Plant Life and Believe This Discovery Brightens Our Future.

Holiday: Memorial Day
Celebrates: Memory of Military Dead
How we celebrate: Grill Out, Drink, and Open the Pool

Holiday: Independence Day
Celebrates: Declaration of Independence signing (though it wasn't signed that day)
How we celebrate: Grill Out, Drink, Blow Shit Up, Wonder if the Radio Will Ever Play Anything Other than Martina McBride or Lee Greenwood Ever Again

Holiday: Labor Day
Celebrates: American Work Force
How we celebrate: Don’t Go To Work, Grill Out, Drink, and Close the Pool

Holiday: Columbus Day
Celebrates: Discovery of America (by someone who was arguably not the first to do so, and in fact never set foot in what is now the United States).
How we celebrate: Bankers have secret super-fun sex parties (this is as yet an unproven theory) while everyone else bitches about the bank being closed.

Holiday: Halloween
Celebrates: Caricatures of the Dead
How we celebrate: Dress Up as Someone We Aren't, Beg Others For Unhealthy Food… Pass Tradition Onto Our Kids and Hope the Obesidy Problem Disappears.

Holiday: Thanksgiving
Celebrates: The Creator/Provider in the Context of a Historic Friendly Understanding with a Race we Would Later Force to Vacate the Premises
How we celebrate: Eat Turkey, Drink (in some cases), Watch Football, Sleep, Plan How To Spend Money For the Next Six Weeks

Holiday: Christmas
Celebrates: The Birth of Christ (on a day on which he was not born)
How we celebrate: Fat Man in Red Suit Delivers Toys To Kids (the volume of which is determined by their behavior and their parents' earning ability). Turkey. Sleep. Football. Stimulate the Economy. Perpetuate the Career of Manheim Steamroller.

Holiday: New Years Day
Celebrates: The Beginning of a New Year
How we celebrate: Drink, Kiss Someone, Count Slowly From a High Number Down to One, Blow Horns, Comment on How Young Dick Clark Looks, Say We are Going to Do Things That We Aren't Going to Do.

Weird. Whatever… now I can stop thinking about it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

This is awful.... funny

KNOXVILLE, TN (AP)-A seven-year-old boy was at the center of a Knoxville, Tennessee, courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt in keeping with child custody laws and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible. The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently away of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him. After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to Phillip Fulmer of the University of Tennessee football team, whom the boy firmly believes is not capable of beating anyone.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I've been away from computers for the better part of two weeks now, and I must admit it has been a refreshing change. Unfortunately, I'm headed back to Tennessee for two weeks tomorrow morning. It is time to get back to work. I will provide more details upon my return.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Hello from Outer Space

I'm sitting in one of my former offices, waiting on a phone call that will enable me to handle some last minute business on campus for an old friend. In the meantime, I thought I would preempt complaints of my non-bloggedness by, um, blogging.

The weekend has been great as it usually is when it's spent in Athens. I spent the first four nights at JNC's, which gave a lot of great friends a chance to drop by and say hello. Wednesday, I caught up with Trina. Thursday I literally sat alone in the Cubmansion and actually listened to music. The very thought.... Friday I wrote, got to pick on Ln, laugh at Russ, and become wisdomized by Gunner. The next night, I enjoyed the parade as well as dinner with a mentor and his family. There was a ballgame in there somewhere (damnit, DJ) the next day, which was followed by more Trina, more Gunner, more Cub, Brett-analysis by Chief, and time well-spent with my replacement. Sunday was jazz, followed by dinner, desert, DespHouse, and on-and-off movies with my very dear friend Sarah. Tonight I teach a seminar and then a little more hanging before heading back in the morning.

It's funny. I worried so much before I left about how I would get by. Almost daily, something else pops up. I find myself with more work than I would have imagined and having more fun than I would have imagined, all while doing what I have wanted to do for a long time. Life is good.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I am heading back to the motherland this morning (Wed) for a couple of meetings and rehearsals, a football game (and homecoming), a guest speaking engagement, hopefully some time with friends, and perhaps an appearance at a church bizarre or meeting of the ladies’ auxiliary. Who knows. If you’re in the area, have a few minutes, and would like to grab a cup of coffee or a turkey leg, call me. You probably have my number.

I seem to have an amazing knack for making the simple complicated, the easy difficult, and relaxed awkward. More of the same. Yay.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


I had an awesome weekend with my old friend. It was just perfect to see her, and I know she was happy to get away from school for a couple of days. Long story short, I think we both had a blast, and I think we both needed that. I know you don’t give a gator about the details of the conversations we had, and so I won’t trouble you with that… except to say that my dear friend really likes to talk about feces.

While she was here, we took a brief trip back to my original hometown of Mt. Julie+, just to look around at the places where I grew up. I hadn’t been there in several years, and I don’t plan to go back anytime soon. I was more uncomfortable being there than I remember being much of anywhere ever, with the possible exception of a certain winter cabin in Lake Dillon, Colorado. I’m sure an entry on the subject is forthcoming.

In other news, you may recall my statements of excitement this summer regarding the fall potential of a band for which I write. Things apparently went pretty well for them Saturday afternoon. I’m proud.

This evening and the next couple of days are covered with late-season drill, and a couple of transcriptions. It is looking like the year will be financially better than it is for most “starving songwriters,” as the work seems to keep rolling in. This is very good news. In even better news, the writing seems to improve daily (it did this afternoon) and a couple of nice pitch opportunities have presented themselves. In the little time that I am here for the next two weeks (and some that I am not), I will by trying to get things together for those.

And for those of you who love to follow my mental state, things are good. I have realized, as a friend said to me when considering this move, that home is “portable.” At the time, I thought she meant that wherever you lived was home. Now I’m realizing that it isn’t… you take home with you. Nevertheless, I am more or less comfortable here now, though I know in my heart of hearts that there will be good and bad days. What the last two weeks have proven is that “the ones you love are always in your heart and if you're very lucky... a plane ride away.”

And lastly, for those of you to whom the previous quote applies: Please keep cheering, calling, and coming up to remind me that you are there. I’ve got that look in my eye, but the next few months are critical… every little thing helps.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I'm Every Woman

Not really. I stole that from a song. In fact, I’m actually a boy, and not a woman. I thought the title was catchy.

My synapses fire in twelve different directions tonight, so let’s see if we can make some sense out of this.

The weekend

The weekend was almost perfect. Gunner, Chief, the Diva, Blog This, and Georgiagirl had a great time watching the Dawgs restore order to the football world. I am not as thrilled with the outcome as many are, as I don’t think the win was as impressive as a lot of people think. I’m ridiculously glad we won, but we’re not even halfway finished.

After reveling a bit too much in the recreational activities that not working at a game tends to allow, we experienced a brief recurrence of the “No Bullshit Policy,” which shall henceforth be renamed the “Bullshit Policy.” To date, I can’t recall a time when the old “No Bullshit Policy” ever resulted in the revelation of truth. It rather normally revealed an imaginative mind’s twisting of reality in such a way that multiple dear friends became profoundly pissed off at the words that were coming out of my mouth (Tell ‘em, Dave). It’s an occasional byproduct of my weirdness, but I am learning that there are far more productive and less dramatic ways to allow my own creations to see the light of day. In the meantime, I will only say that I deeply appreciate the understanding and forgiveness of those who were this week’s victims. I think I have almost victimized everyone, so I hope this phase is ending. Nevertheless, I thank you and love you all for being willing to deal with my worst moments and hanging around for my better ones. Just so you have something to look forward to, please know that there are many better ones on the way.

Good (mostly) times, good football, good drink, and good friends. Go dawgs.

The beginning of the week

The adjustment to a life in which I am not constantly needed, asked questions, and depended upon continues. In many spare moments of this relative “free” time, I have indulged in the Bravo Network’s “West Wing” Marathon. Though the policy is frequently not my own, I love the writing and the point of this show. I kept getting one lesson out of every episode: “Stay on message.” For me these days, I think that instruction is closely akin to the line near the end of Star Wars, “Stay on target,” or the caption on your second grade report card, “Stays on task.”

On Tuesday, I attended a somewhat productive band rehearsal, then had a great conversation with an old friend who is supremely capable of reminding me of who I am when I get “off message.” It was exactly what I needed. I posted a blog about it for a few hours, knowing that those who really need or care to know what’s going on in my head would probably see the entry. I then removed it, knowing that casual readers of my blog neither want nor need to know the more intimate details of my life. I like this practice and intend to continue it for things that don’t need to remain a part of the record.

Writer’s blog

I have been writing for some time with a former attorney (from Atlanta) turned songwriter named Bob. Brad has requested that he be referred to in internal communication as “Matlock,” and I have agreed to comply.

I wasn’t really thrilled with the early efforts and communication in my writing with Matlock. He tended to look for phrases like “heart on the shelf” and “killin’ me” and so on… the long since cliché snapshots of a once brilliant common practice of writing songs in this genre. But there is something about Matlock. He is in his mid-50’s and has the wisdom of a man who has experienced great heartache, a divorce, the separation from one of his children, and the tell-tale stress of a somewhat free spirit who attempted to live a textbook life that was never to have been one in which he felt at home. I have since begun to learn how perceptive he is, and have truly begun to look forward to our writing sessions every week.

This week, Matlock and I assumed new roles. Being able to tell that I am very far into the process of making sense out my life, Matlock transformed himself from songwriter to opportunistic therapist (utilizing the Socratic method of which many attorneys are fond) and he began to drag a song out of me, one piece at a time. In a brilliant combination of prodding and questioning, followed by stepping out of the room, Matlock gave me the impetus and then the space to create something new. And it is new. If we ever write something great together, you will be shocked when Matlock steps onto the stage to accept his trophy, because you would never have guessed it. We only finished one verse tonight, as he recognized early on that I hadn’t sorted the entire story of this song out in my head. He said to me, “This is too important to try and rush. We need to get this right, and we need to make sure we have fully explored the idea that you are pursuing.” We broke and will meet again next week.

I had to kinda step back tonight and realize it. But for all of the bitching I do about being lonely and lost in this town, I have five tunes that I believe in, growling and reeling for completion. That’s the first time I have ever had five things I believed in on deck. This is good.

This weekend

The Dawgs return to this state again this Saturday. A very dear friend and I have decided to seize the opportunity to make a weekend of it. When I’m not obsessing over one of these tunes, I am hopping up and down to the annoyance of my downstairs neighbors in excitement for an upcoming weekend of laughs and gourmet meals (as long as I can be kept away from the kitchen utensils). I am so excited about dropping the guitar for a few days and soaking up the moments of being with someone who gets me. It’s harder to do these days, and that makes the times when we can infinitely more valuable. This is exactly what I have needed for a long time, and I’m just as excited as I can be.


There are still good days and bad days, and to expect that that is going to change completely misses the point. I’m doing a pretty decent job of realizing that the only end we ever encounter is one which we won’t be alive for. I’m pretty free right now, with few obligations, and I’m doing a pretty good job of making something of it (though there is much more to be done). Not to be hokey (yet to be hokey), but I understand more everyday that this isn’t about looking for something. It is about knowing, believing, and enjoying where you are, when you are….

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It has been brought to my attention that I missed several nicknames. Here are those that were omitted from the original post, in no particular order.


So there.

Friday, October 07, 2005


If you really really believe that you too aren't gullible, I would urge you to watch this trailer. It's just proof that we can all be manipulated and that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. This is brilliant.

The difference, abbreviated random time, and nicknames

I have always deeply appreciated the line of thought that says "There is very little difference between a rut and a groove." I find myself in one or the other. Judging by the product of tonight, it seems much more like a groove right now. I far prefer it that way.

I was walking back into my apartment from a brief trip to a local fast food establishment, when, from overhead, I heard "Bre+t B@wcum!" This was quite alarming, as I am one of a very few people in this town who know my own name at this point in time. I looked up to the balcony above my apartment (yes, the balcony of the place that once flooded my home with fecal blessings, and the same abode of whose residents I frequently complain regarding their "walking too heavily"). It was an old friend from my high school church days in Gwinnetia... cigarette in hand, in town for a church conference. My how times have changed, but it was nice to see him. At least we're all paying the same penance, or learning the same truths, or untruths, or whatever the hell (I mean heaven! I mean heaven!) they are.

My cable went out in the 3rd quarter of the Tech game, which deprived me of the right to see Tech get beat in heartbreaking fashion. The world truly is unjust. (Editor's note: The game began to air [or perhaps "err" is more appropriate] just as I was checking this entry. Gonna be a long night.)

So instead, I wrote me a song, that had nothing to do with a guy named Jim Bob Cooter. I will however be checking my own genealogy to see if I am related to him. I would say that's a distinct possibility.

For the record: My brother and I were given the names we were given because my parents had an strong wish that no one would shorten or bastardize our names. My brother's name is Ch@d. To this day, the only nickname he has is "Ch@ddy Ch@ddy Bangbang." As a child, mine was "Bre++y Bre++y Dingding." Since then, I can list several bastardizations that have been created by people who love (or once did) me, that I think are more severe than someone even being named Noel or Russell:

Brettus Maximus
Brettisimus Maximus (which I suppose ranks most highly among this and the previous two)
Bre++y (ex-girlfriend, who shall remain nameless [though she has at least one], once said upon receiving water from my Brit@ filter, "Where'd you get good water, Bre++y?" I don't know why that has stuck with me.)
Breast (a personal favorite... you think I am kidding)
Breast BallsCum
Bawc (after which my younger brother was named "ReBawc")
Brettskers (stop)
Uncle Brett

I have also received a few other nicknames, unrelated to my actual name.

Buddy (if you are a male, and you use this, I will kill your favorite pet, or disconnect your cable, whichever is easiest)
Tiger (a no-no)
Champ (an absolute no-no, unless you are on deck to birth my children, in which case I might let it slide)
Chief (that's now my father)
El Pus
Kirb (which could just as easily have been "Curb")
Tos+ito Man
Little Buddy (I will deal with the grand jury in whatever way is necessary if you use this)

So there. I like nicknames, but I think I have enough.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mmmmmmk, Molly. Here you go.

Random: You are the first Molly I have ever known.
Song(s): 3x5 and Rocksteady
Jello: I'll bet you like the taste of green jello, but have a hard time getting over the color (afraid it will taste minty or of fiber)
Inside joke: Think professor's eating habits on studio trips
First Memory: Passing you as I walked from the back to the office while you were in Jazz Band your freshman year. Clearest: Your facial expression at the beginning of the "rescue" at Acrophobia.
Animal: An owl.
Wondered: (Oh, come on.) What you are thinking... like all of the time?

Enjoy, and use none of this against me.

If you weren't aware that this was true...

... come on back from the cave. But just in case, you need to see this brief and absolutely true profile of the third string quarterback for the Vawlz. This is the official website. I swear on the arm of D.J. Shockley that this is true.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Due to a contractual obligation into which I entered by commenting on Molly's blog, I am hereby required to post the questions and answers of a recent, sort of survey/therapy session/self-validation exercise to which she was a party. The words below do not necessarily represent the views of Blogger, the University of Ge0rgia, or your's truly.


Molly's Categories of Enlightenment

1. I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
3. I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle with you in****
4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.
5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you.
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. I'll ask you something that I've always wondered about you.
8. If I do this for you, you must post this on your journal. You MUST. It is written.

Molly's Specific Response

1. Random: Your baby picture on facebook cracks me up
2. Song/movie: Country music reminds me of you!
3. Jello: i bet you have an opinion on jello
4. Inside joke: asdfl;kj (word verification)... that still cracks me up
5. First/clearest memory: my first memory of you is great- "No no no, like this: I'm so happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy... That you love meeee..... Doobee doobee doowahhh, doo doo, dahhhhhhhh. DAT DAT." I remember being really amused.
6. Animal: A GEORGIA BULLDAWG. even though you seem to like those mah-zou-rah people.
7. ?: ARE YOU GOING TO CHINA!??!?! :)


I hope that you are enlightened. You may be excused now.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Some kids never make it that close

Here is a pic of my old friend, taking his son M@son onto the field to give the drumline the go-ahead at pregame before the B0ise St. game. Beautiful.


Special thanks to ln for the pic.

Monday, October 03, 2005

"We were young and we were improving" - John Cougar Mellencamp

I have returned to the Patch after a killer weekend in C0lumbia with MDK and the Mizz0u Band. I will first offer some statistics and then a brief recap of the activities.

Total number of miles traveled from Nashville to Columbia and back: 936
Number of those miles traveling approximately 10 mph behind a tractor in rural Illinois: 2.5
Driving time from Nashville to Columbia: 8 hours 10 minutes
Driving time from Columbia to Nashville: 7 hours 54 minutes
Total travel time if the phrase “I’ll be there in two seconds” were true: ≈4 seconds
Number of seconds I listened to the radio on the return trip: 0
Number of Eisenhower Interstate Highways traveled: 5 (65, 24, 57, 64, 70)
Number of significant rivers crossed: 5 (Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri)
Number of times I said “At the end of the day” after resolving to stop saying that: 13
Number of nights in Columbia: 3
Number of nights we had drinks and dinner at the Heide|berg: 3
Final score of the UT-MU game if the teams had been reversed: MU 51, UT 20
Seconds I had visual contact with MDK upon arrival in Columbia before hearing the phrase “Yeah, man”: 0
Number of phone calls I made to friends as the MU Band was playing, in hopes they could hear the band playing my charts: 5
Number of Georgia-Vanderbilt games I will be attending this year, due to losing my judging gig in Atlanta: 1

Here are the details.

I left Nashville some five hours after I had planned to leave, due to some late night writing and recording and some early (ha!) morning errands. MDK sent directions, and I hadn’t looked at a map in weeks, so I simply followed his email. Up 65 through town, to 24 North through Paducah. I was looking very intently for I-57. I crossed a bridge and saw a sign that said “Welcome to Illinois.” Being somewhat deficient in my Midwestern geography, I reacted in a way that might best be classified as “violently horrible panic.” I pulled off at the nearest rest stop to find that I was indeed on the right path, and almost stopped and saw this in Metropolis, IL.

On I traipsed to I-64 West, and suddenly found myself in the middle of gigantic cornfields and flat land in rural southern Illinois. I had, of course, seen this on TV and from the air. But I had never driven through it. It’s real… I promise, and it’s amazing.

I approached St. Louis at sunset with plans to drive through the city regardless of traffic, just to see the sites. I got several amazing glimpses of the arch (the other arch), the old and new Busch Stadia, and several other cool landmarks. That is a really great drive. If you have the means, I highly recommend it.

I continued on I-70 to Columbia. Upon arrival I went with MDK to this place for drinks and dinner. He led me back to his house (he actually owns a house) which is very cool. His garage is all organized. He has an island in his kitchen, and there are no random items on the floor. It’s like a real house and stuff. Then it was time to call it a night, which oddly enough, it was.

I woke the next morning to a phone call explaining that a band for which I had written had entered the competition I was to judge in Atlanta on the 15th, so I was disqualified from judging. #$%^&*()#%. That was going to be a wonderful time to spend with one of the great human beings of this epoch, not to mention a chance to put a nice bit of change in my pocket. MDK then gave me the $10 tour of Columbia, which included a trip to eat lunch here for some of the best pizza I have had in years. We also went to the mall, where I purchased the 3rd pair of sunglasses I have bought in the last month.

After a quick trip “to the house,” we went to band. The band is wonderful. They learn quickly, play very musically, and march a lot of different styles very well. Some of the things that I wasn’t really sure would translate to a university band in a brief amount of rehearsal time were done better than I could have expected anyone to have performed them. Not to mention the fact that they are simply fun, hard-working university band students – my favorite kind of people. Incidentally, I got to hear MDK give one of the great all time bitch-out lines to the band in a moment of (their) brainfartedness: “I will not allow you to perform the signature moves of this band in that manner.” Nice.

After rehearsal, MDK and I joined this legend (read halfway down and MDK is mentioned by Br@ndt in this interview) and his son, yes, at the Berg for drinks and dinner. I have heard that voice on shows since I was 14 years old, and was thrilled to get the chance to sit and get to know him a bit. It was almost totally surreal and very cool.

Gameday. 7:00 am downbeat. Ugh.

We were first to the field. Once the students arrived and the section warm-ups began, I was tickled to see the tubas wake the inhabitants of a Tex@ss RV with their warm-up. I also enjoyed the “You’re late” exercise that the drumline performed for anyone who arrived after the published call time.

Rehearsal went well and we were off to the game. The only thing I will say about the game is that the band was wonderful. You can read the rest online. Well, and this. College football is the most fun when you have a team to root for. I felt bad for MU, and yes, took the defeat a bit personally. Not like I take a Georgia loss personally (ruins an entire month), but I felt like an MU fan. I think I am.

Amy joined us after the game. We caught a good bit of the AL-FL ars-whooping and the close ISU-NEB game. Then we were off to, yes, the Berg once again for dinner and drinks and drinks. I met more of MDK’s friends there, and they were strangely like people I would have expected to meet and befriend at Georgia.

A little SNL and we were out again. We rose at a decent hour and had breakfast and the newly opened (and first!) W@ffle H0use in Columbia.

Around noon, I headed back to the Patch with: at least one cup each from the Berg, Sh@kespeare’s, and the stadium; a shirt from the Berg; roughly $75 of Mizz0u gear; the first booty in the Great South-Midwest Beer Exchange of 2005; many many unforgettable memories; and the wish to go back soon.

There really is no place like home, and by that I mean home home (for me, Athens). But spending a bit of time in Columbia gave me a better understanding of why MDK loves it there so much. After watching the way that the TX people insisted that their way was the only way, then experiencing the joy and unique virtues of someone else’s home, I hope I have never insisted that mine was the only way. I felt very comfortable and welcome in Columbia, and I really do hope I get to go back sometime soon. And I have a little better understanding of what home is.

And of course, it was just perfect to get to see my old friend, and watching him do what he does best.

Miz-z0u-rah and Go Dawgs.