December 19, 21:15
Another long day at the office. In bed at 1 last night, and back up at 6 this morning. Get the kid to school and make my way to the park for the day watch. It’s cold and crisp, and business was relatively slow. Off to a meeting, off on an errand, back to the park, then off to the office for my real shift.
December 21, 14:13
I’m hoping this is the end of an era. I’m going to attempt a little self-control, and attempt to make this the last time I voluntarily put on my uniform when I’m scheduled off. There are no guarantees in my line of work. As the saying goes, “shit happens.” But with that being said, I’m taking my off days back for these few remaining months.
Driving around the park has given me a chance to dive into vintage King Crimson, no doubt a byproduct of reading Sid’s book. A confession is in order: I gained new appreciation for both In the Wake of Poseidon and Islands, records that never truly reached me before. Much like my experiences with Bitches Brew, it has taken some time for the music to sink in.
Do I now hold said music in the same high regard as other parts of the KC catalog? No. But perhaps the current incarnation of the band has given me a little more appreciation for the music they are drawing from. I’m still infinitely more excited about the Double Duo/ProjeKct X era, but I just may be able to visit that ’70-’72 era with a little less trepidation. That’s better than nothing.
Of course someone will say, “Now you have to go see the current band to fully get it.” Meh. I was considering going anyway, since they’re scheduled to tour North America again next year. But it will be more out of a sense of closure than anything else. And something tells me I’m going to be more than a little angry with how Adrian’s departure will be handled in the book. Time will tell.
Frank Zappa would have been 79 today.
Resolutions have never been my thing. That being said, I know I have to clean up my act in a HUGE way as I enter my career’s home stretch. There’s so much to do, and I can only get it all done if I have a decent sense of order.
The more I think on it, the more it all comes down to three words: time, will, and energy. Time management is not my strongest suit. Frankly, I’m amazed I get as much done as I do! But the coming transition is HUGE. And the only way to properly execute the changes is by making the time to do it right.
Calling my day-to-day schedule chaotic is quite charitable. I’m asking myself to work my regular workweek, plus at least 20 hours of overtime a week. I also want to publish between two and five album reviews a week, I want to assemble one interview for publication, write one essay, and attend one or two gigs.
Somewhere in there, I need to prepare and eat healthy meals and get some exercise. All this on top of all the other things expected of me on a daily basis. I’d whine about this, but I have no doubt there are plenty of people who keep these plates spinning every day.
December 23, 20:17
I should be at work, but I’ve had a blinding headache most of the day. Such a drag. I hoped to get a few things done. Instead, I’ve spent most of the day on the couch. Not exactly productive.
Today is Adrian Belew’s birthday. My musical hero is 70. He says he believes he’s only 30. You know what? I’ll give it to him. There are times when I’m quite certain I’ve lapped him a couple of times on the age track.
I posted a tiny tribute on my Facebook page, featuring the times we’ve been photographed together. It was more than I thought. Among other things, I referred to him as my friend. I based it on recognition and a couple of conversations we’ve had over the years. I sent him an email and made a joke. In no time flat I got a reply. It was an ROFL emoji, followed by, “Thank you, my friend.”
Now, Ade and I have exchanged emails before. I always got, “Thanks, Ced” or “Cheers.” Always wonderful. Today was … something else. It meant the world. I have no idea if he saw my post. It doesn’t matter. This was a great moment, regardless of how small.
I celebrated his special day in the only way that made sense.
December 24, 17:52
I’m sitting in my car behind a woman who’s front tire came off her car in front of a Firestone tire shop! Oh, irony … you can be a cruel mistress.
It’s Christmas Eve. Just another workday from where I sit. I’d be happier at home, playing jazz and/or watching Charlie Brown. Guess I’ll save that for later tonight.
Business is a bit more brisk than o would prefer. I’m sure the weather has something to do with it. The vast majority of last week’s snow is gone. It’s actually pretty nice out. Which gives Stupid a chance to flourish. Admittedly, the calls have been more annoying than anything else so far.
Musically, I’m all over the place. King Crimson gave way to Primus, which has given way to Prince. I wasn’t really planning on hearing from 3rdEyeGirl today, but Ed put them in my head today, giving them credit for being a better backing band than he remembered. Thus far, I can’t argue that.
I always enjoyed Prince when he had a band playing behind him. I respected his ability to do everything himself, but I didn’t think it was always necessary. The Revolution, The New Power Generation, this band … yeah, Prince could flourish when he had people behind him taking care of the basics. There’s a reason The Gold Experience ranks among my favorite albums.
I’ve decided to let my hair grow out on top for the first time in … well, a very long time. Call it a transition into my forthcoming retirement. It’s nice to see hair up there again, and I’m certainly gonna let it get longer. But I can’t help but be a little shocked by how gray I’m becoming! I knew it was there, but … damn! Still, I have no interest in coloring my hair. It is what it is. If that makes me look older, well that’s just the way it goes.
December 27, 16:06
Christmas has come and gone. My mirth was fairly minimal. My daughter had the flu, I was trying to catch a cold, my sister had other plans, and I had to work. Meh … that’s the way it goes.
The shift itself was relatively uneventful. Given the warm temperatures (we got to the low 60’s), things could have been a whole lot worse. I’ve often said my favorite Christmas Day came in 1988, while I was stationed in South Carolina. It was 76 degrees that day, and I played tennis for three hours. Then I went to a friend’s for dinner. Today’s weather reminded me of that, even if I don’t play tennis any more.
My daughter, being aware if my love for Star Wars, thought a BB-8 coffee mug full of candy would make for a good present. She was right. It’s quite cute.
Most of my attention had gone toward my day job this week. I’m finding myself in a mentor position more and more often. I don’t mind that much. Teaching these kids how to do the job right may wind up being my legacy. I can live with that.
January 5, 19:54
It was fairly warm today. More fall than winter. No major complaints from me, other than the warm days and chilly nights make for tough jacket choices. I call it “tweener” weather.
It’s my least favorite two-day period, which we call the “short change.” I work until 11, then return at 7 tomorrow morning. I don’t know who came up with this idea, but I’d better not catch him in an alley.
You’d think I’d be used to doing this kind of thing after almost 25 years. But it never really becomes “normal.” I’m told medical studies have shown constant shift changes cause brain damage. So I have that to look forward to.
The New Year has come and gone, from a celebration standpoint. I spent a little time with a friend and his family, but I was still home before 9. I wound up watching movies, and very nearly missed it when midnight struck. That’s not a first.
I’ve never been big on New Years resolutions. It always seemed to be another way to disappoint myself. But this year is different. This year is, for lack of a better word, transformational. It seemed appropriate to write down my goal for the year.
There are so many moving parts associated with this. I have to consider it on multiple levels. But it means everything to me, so it must get done, period.
I’ve taken a few days away from this and other musical activity in order to contemplate the future. In the interim, I’ve been hired on as a staff writer for Sonic Perspectives, which means my words will be found on four different web sites, including this one. The platform grows. I can only hope it will put me that much closer to the right pair of eyes.
Sacrifices will have to be made in order to achieve my goals. It looks like the first casualty will be my television. I see a future with a full DVR and one day a week to clear it out. I’m gonna be behind on more than a couple of shows. Such is life.
You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (cirdecsongs)
My book, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This: A Lifetime of Music Through Eclectic Ears, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine book dealers.
Would you like to have your album reviewed? Contact me at email@example.com