November 30, 21:51
The Sonic Sanctuary
Outside, cold, clammy, and windy. Snow is in the area, but it didn’t land here. I have no complaints. This is but a preview, no doubt, of what’s to come.
There was writing done today. The words are starting to flow again. I’m settling in to my new home. Structure approaches from the horizon. This was a not-too-bad day.
It began with a complete and total waste of time. After several days of being told by Amazon’s app that one of my orders was waiting for me at the post office, I finally decided to make my way there to pick it up. I don’t like this particular post office, which I knew from the moment I set foot in it the first time. It’s too crowded and there isn’t enough staff there to help out. Sure enough, I found myself standing in a line that literally went out the door.
As I neared the front, I heard one of the postal workers tell a woman having the same issue I was that her package and several others had finally gone back out for delivery. I decided to look at my app one more time. Sure enough, the package was waiting from me in the mail room at home. Back out into the cold for a 20-minute wait for the bus that would take me back home. The good news is the new coat I ordered (which arrived early) works just fine. The bad news is I have yet to invest in thermal underwear. If I’m gonna wait at bus stops, this is a MUST. My legs were starting to get chilly quickly!
Back home, where I made use of the other packages received today, including a Roomba I have named Gibson. Like my favorite St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, the Roomba is pretty aggressive when it comes to dealing with the opposition. In this case, dirt.placeholder://
The writing began at mid-afternoon, and continues to flow even now. Reviews were finished, think-pieces were sketched and fleshed out, and now this. A friend suggested that I had truly become comfortable in my new home. I live here now, and that enabled me to get back to my regular ways. It’s a good theory. I was even able to pick up a guitar and work through a few songs. The latest was Talking Heads “Psycho Killer.” No real reason. I just like that song.
More interview requests have gone out, and an offer has been accepted. It will work nicely in conjunction with the book, so why not? More on that another time.
Then the weekly online Happy Hour with Erik and the guys, which I have really come to enjoy. I’ve been rather busy on social media as well. Let’s face it: Facebook and Twitter are made for an outgoing introvert like me. I have the opportunity to engage with lots of people without actually having to deal with them in person. There are some people I’m looking forward to spending time with (like the Happy Hour gang), but I’m fine keeping the others at arm’s length. It’s nothing personal. I just need to be able to walk away without it becoming a Thing.
I put an interesting question in the field as research for a forthcoming piece. The results have been quite interesting and remarkably on point. If only every post flowed this way. Oh, well. I’ve already bitched about that.
I still feel like writing. Can’t let that pass.
December 4, 18:41
The Reverberation Station
It seems so much later. Like so many others, this time of year drives me nuts.
It’s been a day of false starts, or so it seems. Three major things needed to get done. None of them were. Not from a lack of effort. It just seemed like I was running head-first into one brick wall after another. Screw it … we’ll try to reboot things Monday.
Frank Zappa and King Crimson are trying to help me feel better. Seems to be working.
Lots to review. Lots to read.
And while “Chicago style” pizza is deemed for tourists, I couldn’t help myself. There’s a Giordano’s nearby. I’ve enjoyed it both times I had it on road trips. Why not order one now, when I can actually heat up the leftovers?
“No matter how bad it seems, sleep on it. It’ll look better tomorrow.” Colin Powell said that. And he’s almost always right. I’ll shake today off. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I think.
December 5, 16:13
The Reverberation Station
Doing some of the most productive listening and writing I’ve done in some time. Today is better than yesterday. I guess I’ve pushed through.
Today’s highlight: a box of tasty wonders from my real estate guy:
It’s nice to be thought of after the fact.
Slowly starting to assemble a list of musicians I’d like to interview to kick off next year. Suppose that means I should wrap up the chats I had this year. Seems prudent. The good news is I’m finally of a mind where I actually feel like doing these things. 2020 has been … rough. It’s hard to carry forth the same thought processes we had this time last year. And it’s not over yet. I’ve just found better ways to live with it. That’s a start.
December 6, 10:57
Outside, it’s cold and grey. Light grey. I don’t claim to be a meteorologist, but it feels like snow is looming in that distance.
Off to a slow start, no doubt due to said weather. The choice between reading and enduring my weekly dose of massive frustration — courtesy of the Chicago Bears — is also nearly at hand. Of course, there’s always Formula 1.
The writing pace continues to pick up, slowly and steadily. I’ll spend a little to pursuing that as well.
But first, opera. And brunch.
December 9, 17:27
The Reverberation Station
The sun was out today. It was supposedly warmer, but I never made it outside. Luckily, it’s because I’ve been rather busy.
The writing bug has finally bitten again, and I’m off and running with it. Without realizing it, I believe I’m on my way to stockpiling material again, enabling me to work on the book without worrying about having material for the web. Hard work at this over the course of the week should yield a nice stack.
I’ve also just had my heart CRUSHED. I fell in love with a piece of art that would’ve been a absolutely PERFECT for my living room, only to find it’s about seven times more expensive than I could possibly afford. I can feel the loss in my soul. Well, best to get past it. Can’t do anything about it.
December 10, 20:57
The Sonic Sanctuary
A perfect day outside today. Temperatures in the low 50’s with lots of sun. Not at all what should be happening in Chicago in December. I’ll take it. No doubt, things will change any time now. At least I was able to get a quick walk in while handling everything else.
Bummers of the Day: a musician I admire died today. Trouble is, I didn’t realize who he was. Sean Malone was a bassist and Chapman Stick player best known for his work in a band called Cynic. That went right past me, as I’ve never heard the band. On the other hand, Gordian Knot is one of my all-time favorite progressive rock “supergroups.” Well, guess who the band’s founder was?
And now I feel the loss.
It didn’t help that he was only 50 years old. And while this isn’t about me, it’s hard not to feel a bit more in touch with my mortality, as I am four years older. Tomorrow is a gift.
Bummer #2: I’m quite certain my car battery is dying. Turning the key in the ignition has not been met with what I would call an abundance of automotive enthusiasm. Splendid.
And now for the Chicago Dilemma: do I start the car and drive it to an auto parts store for a new battery (and probably a jump box for really cold days)? Because if I do that, there’s about a 99 percent chance I’ll lose my primo parking spot. Or do I rely on the kindness of my friend, who most likely will give me a lift to the shop and back, where I can replace the battery where the car currently rests? I am truly leaning toward the latter.
I’ve been trying to catch up on reviews. I was recently taught the true benefit of brevity where these things are concerned. I’ve already aimed to cut them from 500 to 200 words. Now I’m being told I can probably get away with writing even less. On one hand, it feels lazy, like I’m not putting forth the maximum effort. On the other hand, I’ll be able to get a LOT more reviews done, and the potential listener can decide whether or not the musical trek is worth taking. I’ll save the longer reviews for the deluxe boxes and such.
And a way through has been created.
December 11, 15:42
I haven’t seen much of Downtown today. Rain falls lightly. It’s a sharp contrast from yesterday. But it is December, and sometimes you just have to roll with these things. There’s no real need to go outside anyway.
From inside, the train continues forward. The thoughts on brevity have actually begun to excite and motivate me. Two conversations have opened the possibility of expanding my journalistic presence and given me another possible opening for Bernie Worrell research. It seems to be strange to declare great progress without writing a word. Yet here we are.
I’ve also come to embrace the value of the Zoom chat. No doubt many are sick of these by now, and I don’t blame them. But I think I’ve found a way to make them extremely useful, and I need to explore this Avenue. I also need to get into a deeper study of algorithms, and maybe learn more about Twitch.
Busy times, indeed.
December 12, 21:37
The Reverberation Station
Elvis Costello is keeping me company by way of My Aim is True. A bona fide classic. Earlier, I was being pleasantly surprised by his new album Hey Clockface, a remarkably eclectic mix of sounds. More on that later.
Today’s big accomplishment: creating my own Facebook group. One of many steps geared toward expanding readership. Whether or not it’ll work remains anyone’s guess. The process from deciding to create the page to having it online took about 90 minutes. One minute I’m in the elevator trying to figure out how to get my words further out there. The next …
So there’s that.
Anticipating the arrival of a couple of classic box sets. The waiting is truly made annoying because the post office is slowing to a glacial pace. And this right before Christmas. Perfect.
But at least my sister’s present for me arrived with no issues.
When I told her it was I wanted, she laughed hysterically and said, “That is so YOU!” How well she knows me.
Yes, I opened it early. And she did the same thing with the gift I sent her. We’re practical people, and want to make use of our practical gifts. The whole Santa Claus/Christmas surprise thing? Eh. That’s for the kids. And even mine is too old for that now. And so, Lord Vader has a home in my kitchen and has been put to work.
Once again, I am stunned by what the upgraded sound system is doing to records I’ve heard a thousand times before. A thunderous bass erupted from “(The Angels Want to Wear My) Red Shoes that was, to date, completely unknown. Every record is a new experience. How can one not enjoy that?
Another piece is calling me. Time to work on it.
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. I’m currently working on my next book, The Wizard of WOO: The Life and Music of Bernie Worrell
Would you like to have your album reviewed? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org