Thursday, September 29, 2005

There's something really cool happening back there. I'm not even close, but I catch a little glimpse of it now and then. The more I really, really, really listen to myself, I hear something that I didn't think I had. And I just did. No sharing right now. Just know that I'm starting to believe that there is nothing wrong with being alone. And if I treat it carefully and with a great deal of patience, that I might have a lot more to say than I once thought I did.

This is a painfully beautiful exercise. I hope you recognize me when I come to a stopping place. I hope that doesn't sound too dramatic. I know good and well that it does.

Now, I just need to find a consistently good way to get where I was ten minutes ago.
Heading to Columbia, MO to spend some time with Mike and the Miss0uri Band. Looking forward to a good trip. I'll be back in the Patch on Sunday most likely, and will begin preparations for a weekend that has been planned for a like time. Looking forward to that too.

In that regard, it occured to me that "Fulmer" must be defined in one of the following ways:

1. n. - One who fulms. ("If you have any questions about your free condominium weekend in Aruba, please contact the fulmer as you depart our presentation to view the property.")
2. adj. - comparative of fulm, ie. more fulm. ("The custodian at my elementary school was much fulmer than T0ny Danza.").

Lastly, here is an excerpt that seems to be particularly meaningful and worth considering right now. It's from a work that has been around the internet for years, but I like it:

"I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Baby steps.

Monday, September 26, 2005

This is a very confusing time. I suspect that this is just part of the process, and I am eternally grateful for a year ago when I began learning how to separate myself from my emotion. Thanks again, S. I will go no further.

I sincerely miss the days when country songs were this simple. At a workshop last Thursday, someone played a song by D0n Willi@ms. To me, his voice is the voice of country music - perhaps a shade behind Hank, Sr. but not by very much. I really appreciate this song of his tonight, and am truly going to try to write this simply tomorrow and hope someone gives a damn.

I am not normally one to post song lyrics, but I think these are just perfect. If you don't own this recording, do yourself and Don a favor and buy it. It will make a rainy night particularly valuable. It seems particularly valid right now, but I think it was and always will be valid. That's why I have loved it since I could walk.

I Believe in Y0u
(R0ger Cook/Sam Hogin)
Performed by Don Willi@ms

I don't believe in superstars
Organic food and foreign cars
I don't believe the price of gold
The certainty of growing old
That right is right and left is wrong
That north and south can't get along
That east is east and west is west
And being first is always best

But I believe in love
I believe in babies
I believe in Mom and Dad
And I believe in you

I don't believe that heaven waits
For only those who congregate
I like to think of God as love
He's down below, He's up above
He's watching people everywhere
He knows who does and doesn't care
And I'm an ordinary man
Sometimes I wonder who I am

But I believe in love
I believe in music
I believe in magic
And I believe in you

I know with all my certainty
What's going on with you and me
Is a good thing
It's true
I believe in you

I don't believe virginity
Is as common as it used to be
In working days and sleeping nights
That black is black and white is white
That Superman and Robin Hood
Are still alive in Hollywood
That gasoline's in short supply
The rising cost of getting by

But I believe in love
I believe in old folks
I believe in children
I believe in you

But I believe in love
I believe in babies
I believe in Mom and Dad
And I believe in you

PS (sorry) - Just sitting here reading this, fact-checking in my non-journalistic way, I read it again and said "Yeah. That's why I want to do this." And the town is telling me not to. That leads to confusion.

But damn, that's beautiful.
I'm very excited for an old friend. The man who played guitar on and recorded my first demo (in 1996!!!) just got a cut on this person's new album. I'm thrilled for him and his cowriter, who is no slouch.

In the meantime, what I wrote today sounded like a third-grader who had been huffing Easy-off. This truly is the life (*wink*).

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Two mo things

Two things:

Thing 1: I saw a woman running today, and she was patting her head and rubbing her stomach at the same time. I was immmm-presssed.

Thing B: According to ESPN ("the Eine"), the Georgia Dogs defeated the Michigan State Bluedogs, 32-01 in Skratvilee. Coach Richter was dissapointed with his team's performance, as they were 2-4 from the charity stripe. Gordon Elie-Kelso had a pretty good game as he scrimmed for over fitty metres. TJ Shockey hit Pope John Paul III for a touchdown, not to mention Geogria's first scoring strike to Daniella Where.

Thank you, Walt Disney. Thanks for nothing.

Boo freaking hoo

So, some of you who know me well know that I went to dinner with My Very Dear Friend at Five St@r D@y C@fe before the Athfest gig with the Funkles in July. Those of you who know me very well know that I had a moment of weepiness in the middle of dinner as J0hnny Cash played over the establishment’s hifi.

We had a discussion of the various sadnesses that tend (for me) to accompany the moving away from the loves of your life, the “Very Special” episodes of Every0ne L0ves Raym0nd, or the choice of new paint swatches at L0we’s. My Very Dear Friend knew me well… as I sat and all but choked on my meatloaf, she waited patiently until I could regain my composure and then changed the subject to something related to international politics or the future of radio, in a hope that I could act like a man until out of the public eye.

I have wondered ceaselessly until today what that song was,and why it hit me the way it did. Today, I decided to find the song, and in fact the exact moment in that song, which caused my occasion to emote excessively. I finally found it. It took me until now to realize that it was this song (track 15). I later realized that I had just watched Dr. Strangel0ve with Trina and Gunner not one week earlier, and that this song had played at the end of the film as the world was being destroyed.

Being the music nerd that I am, I decided to pinpoint the exact moment when I choked. I apologize to those who don’t read music or changes (or God forbid, lyrics), but this is when it happened (see example A). So, if you want me to get sappy, play this moment for me, especially after the chorus enters. Yet another killer moment in song. I’m such a sap, and I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And thanks, Sarah, for not getting embarrassed.


Friday, September 23, 2005

No hidden meanings...

... no cry for help. This is just what's on my mind. Two things.

1. When everything is not fine, I don't like listening to the pretense that it is. It probably means one is not looking hard enough. It's one thing to appreciate being where and when one is, to enjoy the moment of being there, and to acknowledge and choose to set aside the imperfections of a situation. It is a different thing entirely to ignore imperfections and pretend that everything is fine. Everything is not fine, and that fact is okay. It is not okay to lie and say everything is perfect.

2. Perfection breeds lifelessness. The neutral, grey, or safe is to me the most unforgivable condition. I love euphoria, and in fact crave it. I do not care for a passionless absence of flaws. I will always take the scarred, flat-chested, pimple-ridden, greasy, flaky, unsightly, assymetrical creature with an understanding of the fleeting nature of being over the complacent, clean, perfectly organized, bleached, saintly craft kept carefully between the lines with never a thought of venturing beyond the field of visibility. How boring and pointless. How completely pointless.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Oh, and I have been meaning to point out how depressingly perfect the lyrics to this song were... way back when.
I am there. I wish I had known it was this easy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Getaway day

It's been yet another great four days in the greater Athens area. I will do my best to update more later, but I think I am finally convinced that Athens indeed does exist when I am not here to witness it. I'm going in to hear the Wind Ens. for a couple of hours, probably followed by a trip downtown for some grub. Finally I will head to Gwinne++ for tonight's installment of the exhibition. Then I'll head through the soon-to-be chilly night air, up 75, out 24, back to the land of milk and honey.

Uh huh.

A little more motivated. A little more at peace with what is really true versus what I once made myself believe. A little more convinced not to create people in my head who aren't really there. A little calmer. And a little more ready to make enough to afford a place right here.

A quote for you:

We must picture Hell as a state where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment. - C.S. Lewis

Thursday, September 15, 2005


... my mind is racing tonight and I can't sleep. I'm supposed to be on the road to the ATL (etc) this morning at 8am E, and I don't see how that is going to happen at this point. If you happen to be up between 7 and 8am Eastern Time, give my cell a buzz and see if you can make it happen.

I have several disjunct and incoherent thoughts tonight, so don't think I've gotten into the meth or anything... it just happens.

1. I've been working on this tune tonight, and frequently find myself doing these menial everyday things while thinking about the place in a song in which I find myself. In my mind, I see the characters sitting still, waiting for me to tell them what to do or what to think. I literally will move clothes from the washer (or things even more menial which we just don't talk about in blogs, now do we?) to the dryer, and see the supposed face of the singer of the song staring at me waiting for the next move he's supposed to make. This is weird.

2. I just saw a mid-night rendezvous by way of away messages between two people that I know. It was sorta like sleeping in the den of an RV with an amorous couple in the master bedroom. I should have been born poor, British, and without genitalia. I quit.

3. I'm heading home to see my brother in the morning. He's in Orlando (the big "Oh!") in jet school for his new job, and is only in town for a few hours. Then I'm off to Athens until Monday, before the Gwinnett thingy on Monday night. I will be back in Nashville early Tuesday morning. If you read this and you know me, you know where to find me, and I would love to hear from you.

4. [Portion of post about one's perceived relevance removed due to whine factor. It will have to do to say that there is stupidity going on in portions of my existence.] Again, I quit. You can have my cards, just don't bend them.

5. I don't know my theology just yet. But I keep waiting for this great big reunion to happen, when everyone I ever cared about will be in one large venue with a keg and lots of sausage balls and celery and ranch dressing. A reality with any component of justice must include a reunion at the point when the house lights come up. I think that's what Heaven is supposed to be.

6. Never shower in water that has been soaked in human feces.

7. If you aren't listening to the Michael McDonald Motown album and Marc Broussard's "Carencro," then you are missing out on an essential part of life. Thank you Ken Simps0n.

8. I have found my local coffee shop in Nashville that makes coffee without putting it under the hood of a Peterbilt truck before brewing. When (not if) you come to see me, we will go to Caffeine and grab a cup. It will cure almost anything that ails you.

9. I agree with Paulwesterdawg. The only reasonably just outcome of the Fl-Tn game is a collision with a meteor.

10. Go Dawgs! Beat, um, Indians? Really?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I just heard these total hicks outside my apt yelling at this big old dog: "Come on, Lil' Bit. Get in the truck, Lil' Bit." I guess they named him that because that's what they're going to be back in a.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Quotes from the first trip home.

Back in Nashville, somewhat scarred, but alive and well.

I will allow Blog This to give you the details, as I can only give you a “second-hand” account of some of the “rockin’” events of this weekend. So, I will be somewhat cryptic.

“You scared me.” – Trina
“I’ve got the perfect job for you.” – FDR
“How’s Nashville?” – about 80 people, every one of which is appreciated and hereby thanked for wanting to know.
“It sucks. It’s a blast.” – Me
“Aaaaaaaaaaah!” – Sarah S.
“All that’s left is 1%.” - Gunner
“O” – Ln
“and if you think about it, he was vicariously [copulating with] me.” – Me
“Ok then, she was.” – Me
“Hello, my name is L#$%h S&#$h, and I will be your event coordinator.” - L#$%h S&#$h
“Dude.” – Cyper+
“Man.” – T0m W@ll@ce
“You know me, I’m a tree-hugging yellow-bellied liberal.” – Tony
“Shrett!” – Farrieb
“If you want to hear G0d laugh, tell him y0ur plans.” – song currently on the radio by unnamed group, but cited frequently by many
“They should run the ‘Win-the-game Play.’” - Molly
“Sorry, Dude!” – Blog This

There is much more philosophy back there, but I think I will just relax tonight and remember how much fun this weekend was.

May the building in which you sleep be sturdy.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

There's no place like home.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Yesterday was one of the most surreal experiences I ever remember.

I have always been very intrigued by the first time an expected event takes place. By that I mean the first performance of a new song by a veteran artist, the unveiling of a new model year’s automobiles, the return of a friend who has moved away, and yes the first football game. I love to see the new wrinkles in a game day, the new unexpected haircut (or God forbid tattoo) that your returning friend has assumed, and the weirdnesses of the new vehicle which initially look ever so weird but eventually become normal. I like that sort of new environment in which the tried and true becomes simply true.

I wisely took a cab downtown yesterday to view the return of the Dawgs with 40 of my newfound closest friends, who were just as homesick as I was. We were in a nice little restaurant just off of Music Row, and had a room reserved for our little delegation of the Bulldog Nation. The nausea to which I had referred on the night before was my typical pre-game pang of nerves, and was not induced by any sort of imbibed substance. That nausea got worse as kick-off approached. As I banged my sandal-clad feet against the hardwood floor of the restaurant, no one looked at me like I was weird… they were doing the same thing.

When the opening shot of the broadcast appeared, the perfect sun of a virtually cloudless evening in the Classic City was more stunning than I ever remembered seeing it on television. I realized quickly that I was watching the game in high definition. The clarity was amazing, and the homesickness was exacerbated by the feeling that I was right there – almost.

As the new scoreboard and ribbon boards began their frantic flashing on screen for the first time, the new wrinkles became more apparent. As the band began playing Glory and the team continued to wait for the television officials to release them onto the field, I began screaming for the team to "go, go, now, go, go,” and realized that I was in no position to do anything. When the team finally entered and the new material of the uniforms became obvious, it was apparent that this was a new version of something very old and once completely familiar.

This was very uncomfortable for the next several minutes. This changed a bit as we intercepted the opponent’s opening pass. It became more ok as we scored our first touchdown, and even more acceptable when we intercepted the opponent’s second pass and scored our second touchdown. I gradually settled into the new order of my little corner of the world, and decided that it was finally time to accept the greatest tradition of all: “Things change.”

Nevertheless, I don’t look forward to watching another game there for a while. I can’t wait to get back home next week and enjoy the company of my best friends and the surroundings of a place that I hope always feels like home, in spite of the fact that it too will change. And when I do, I hope you like my new haircut and tattoo.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I have become nauseous.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Man, you just can't find anyone to take care of you in this country.
Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! Kick-off should be right now!

And I should be there.

The Streak Ends

You may have figured out by now that I will not be at the Georgia game this Saturday. It absolutely breaks my heart, but I know it’s necessary for me and them.

Along with missing this game, a streak comes to an end. So, I thought I would first offer some statistics on Georgia football since I have been a regular attendee:

Total number of games attended to date (not counting the 1981 Georgia vs. Vanderbilt game I think I attended in Nashville as a child): 149
Composite record of the Dawgs since I started attending games: 101-47-1
Last game I missed: Georgia at Kentucky, October 24, 1998
Consecutive games attended since: 76
Record in that time: 58-18

I can’t believe it’s ending, but I’m ready to start a consecutive home-games-attended streak next week. In the mean time, I would like to share a letter I wrote to the Redcoat alumni, which will appear in their newsletter next week. This note, which I wrote the night before camp began, is just my little way of remembering and smiling. I hope you enjoy what I remember.

Dear Alumni Redc0ats,

As you have probably already heard, I stepped down from my position as Assistant Direct0r of B@nds at UG@ as of June 30, 2005. Many of you may know of the songwriting bug that bit me at age 17. The effects never really went away, and in spite of my love for my alma mater, and specifically the Redc0ats, the time had finally come to move to Nashville and take care of business.

Rebecca asked me to offer a few of my favorite memories from my
thirteen-year trip from rank code I-2 to past-director. I can think of
hundreds, but will have to choose for the sake of space.

I don't think any wind or percussion player ever forgets their "firsts." My jaw dropped just as low as anyone's did the first time we gathered in the old Fine Arts Auditorium and played the first note. For the record, that feeling never went away as each year's first rehearsal rolled around. The first time entering Sanford Stadium was also awfully special. No one forgets the way the dark of the Northeast Tunnel gives way to that vision of the sun-drenched mother church of Dawgdom (excuse me while I clear this lump from my throat) with the Chant echoing in perfect accompaniment. I also remember being speechless on our first road trip, exiting onto a cloverleaf and seeing the other eight of nine buses barreling toward the game site. I was on bus six.

Seems as though there were some football games in there somewhere. I remember Georgia sitting on the ball in 1992 at Auburn and the "what just happened" loss to Vandy in '94. I remember pure joy as the Dawgs came back to take the lead late in the '95 Peach, only to watch the Cavaliers run the kick-off back. I remember my body shaking worse with each passing overtime against Auburn in '96. I remember stopping LSU in 1998 down there, and laughing with the Derbies on the bus as we listened to the Tiger Network radio call-in show on the way back to the hotel. I remember the comeback at the Outback in 2000, and I will never forget the Angel Tag after the game. I remember Tennessee in 2001. I asked someone with a radio on their ears what Munson was
saying moments after Haynes caught that pass. "He said something about a 'hob-nailed boot'" Now I know what that is. I remember eleven losses to Florida, and one very sweet victory (I wasn't in Florida in '97.).

There were also those idiosyncrasies, the "no way that just happened" moments that resulted from the uniqueness of my fellow Redcoats and the unique circumstances under which we found ourselves. I remember Mark Bull0ck's interpretive reading of a Harlequin Romance novel over the speaker system on bus 6. I haven't laughed that hard since. I remember working successfully with then-Props Chief Jim C0x to convince a Redcoat (who shall remain nameless) that Williams-Brice Stadium was "portable," and that Gamecock fans helped erect the stadium at the beginning of the season and take it apart at the end. She figured it out by the third quarter. I remember the time at Auburn that a car had parked directly behind the properties truck in such a way that the crew couldn't load the truck. We didn't call the cops because the car had a UGA donor sticker on it. The swagger of the participating Redcoats walking back into Jordan-Hare was priceless as they told me, "We moved it." They did… by hand.

Most important, though, were the people. I won't name any specific
names, as about 2000 Redcoats entered and left the program while I was there. I remember the smiles at the rehearsals before we left for St. Augustine. I remember the tears after Tech in a few non-bowl years. I remember the stupid jokes that are very funny years after they were told. I remember break-ups between perfect couples, and engagements between the unlikeliest of soul mates. I remember my Redcoat friends saying, "If you ever need anything, call me," and I remember learning that they meant what they said.

As I write you now from Twangtown, the Redcoats are preparing for
tomorrow's first full band rehearsal of the 2005 season. I know that
many of you join me in raising my juice-box in a toast to many more memories, for many more current and future Redcoats, for many more years. May they have as much to remember fondly as we do.

Most of the friends I will know until I'm gone were made through the Redcoat Band. Every time I hear from one, it reminds me of how blessed I was to be a part of something so singularly wonderful. And then I remember that old phrase, and remind myself that I will always be blessed to be a part of it.

"Once a Dawg, always a Dawg. How sweet it is!" As I told the band in my farewell letter, it really, really is.

See you at Homecoming,


I hope those of you in Athens this weekend have the time of your lives. If you listen carefully, 265 miles to the northwest, you will hear at least one guy barking at the top of his lungs.