January 16, 21:53
The sun has been trying to shine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still winter out there.
How did half a month slip past me? I’ve done a poor job with keeping up with this particular feature. Luckily, it’s not because I’ve been under a cloud. Rather, I have been incredibly busy.
Building the brand remains as exciting as it was when it popped into my head. It’s gonna be a LOT of work, but that’s not really surprising. And it’s work worth doing.
Clarity of the future is forcing the further discharge of the past, which is perfectly fine with me. Clarity brings focus. Focus brings determination. Determination brings results. Simple math, really.
Good things are trying to happen on multiple levels. The introduction and first couple of chapters of the book were might with great enthusiasm by the party who matters most. Moments like that definitely increase the drive. Time has been spent on research, trying to learn what I can about recording sessions. Progress.
Reviews are being written, playlists are being assembled, interviews are being conducted. I am gradually but steadily becoming the kind of busy I hoped to be. The trick is keeping things in order, with all energy going to the right place at the right time. It’s not always easy, but it can be done. Earlier to bed would certainly help.
The saga that is my back seems to be taking a positive turn. The last round of injections seems to have taken hold. The nerves have been burned and the pain has been reduced, even if the weakness remains. I still can’t walk heel-toe and my balance is still a little off, particularly when I get out of bed.
Still, the disc problem remains. I feel like a child trying to cover a broken vase by covering said vase with a towel. Nobody can see it, but it’s still there. From where I sit, FIXING the problem remains preferable to simply masking the problem. I’ll be talking to a surgeon soon. If that’s where I’m headed, I’d like to get that and rehab done before golf season.
For the first time in quite some time, music has begun to formulate in my head. The themes aren’t clear, but it was enough to get me to remove a guitar from the wall and start learning how my delay pedal works. What fun to see a setting that allows me to create backwards riffs! Of course, those riffs remain but a dream until I practice enough for my guitar to feel like a guitar, as opposed to a plank of wood with wires on it.
I saw a YouTube video of a man extolling the virtues of a cheap Yamaha keyboard that made interesting sounds. I was intrigued. Seventy or so dollars later, it sits in my living room.
It’s already paying dividends. After encouraging a friend to design a label for CirdecSongs, I thought it would be nice to have a 10-12 second intro theme for future videos. Well, Anthony planted the idea in my head anyway. Regardless, I knew where I wanted the theme to go before picking up the keyboard. Fifteen minutes later, I had it. A good sign.
An eight-track recorder also found its way into the house. More than enough to record any ideas that my crop up with room for future augmentation.
I’ll treat it as a little reward for a decent day’s work for now. But first, I have to learn how to use it.
January 17, 16:48
Outside, a gray day. Inside, getting a schedule together while watching the Bulls. I think I’m having a better day than they are.
Managed to get a couple of interviews scheduled with thoughts of a new YouTube channel in mind. I haven’t been to the office yet, but I will shortly. Much to learn about video editing and web page design. I truly have entered a brand new world.
Here’s something I haven’t said in quite some time: my back feels fine. There’s a little discomfort as we go down, but walking is possible and relatively comfortable. Progress.
I get tired of swallowing a small pharmacy every day. But the pills seem to be working, so I guess I’ll keep on this path.
January 24, 14:06
The Reverberation Station
Absorbing new music from Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann, and Gizmodrome for enjoyment and review purposes. Lots of quality notes to be found.
Winter finally decided to make its presence known. It’s cold, and it will only get colder. Welcome to Chicago.
Woke up to this over the weekend.
But where once was annoyance, there is now merely indifference. That’s the way it goes. I guess I’ve adapted. Too many other things to concern myself with.
I had to take a couple of steps back from brand-building to restore order to the ambitious chaos in my head. Where once I worried that there was no blood going to my efforts, I now must deal with the opposite problem. Blood is going everywhere, often all at once.
What am I trying to do here? How do all the parts fit together? Once assembled, where do those parts belong? It can be a lot. Initial thoughts of a gentle semi-retired life of casual six-hour workdays are going right out the window. The next several months are going to be quite labor intensive. But I remind myself of that great nugget of wisdom: “The man who loves what he does never works a day in his life.” There is truth to be found there.
Still, it’s funny — and frightening — to think that about 90 percent of the skills I learned over the course of my former career are now all but useless. And therein may lie part of the problem. Where to begin? Wisdom says, at the beginning. So, off I go.
January 27, 23:15
I swore I was done with the statues and toys. But Darth Vader was too cool to pass up. And now he sits on my desk, reminding me of the importance of getting things done.
It was a gray day turned black by frustration, but the clouds lifted with a little help. Learning a new skill set is challenging enough. Trying to learn with a 55-year-old brain doesn’t make it any easier. There’s nothing worse than putting forth an effort and getting nowhere. Mercifully, a friend helped me get out of the tall grass. Progress was made.
Good news from the Back Chronicles: no surgery is in my future. My orthopedist, his resident, and I talked for several minutes after I got a fresh set of x-rays. The weight loss and injections have me headed in the right direction. I’ve been cleared to go back to the gym. Now it’s a question of getting my back and core stronger. It will be a process.
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.
Want to have your record reviewed? Contact me at email@example.com
Good to hear things are on the up, at last.
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