Vote Blue 2020

Vote Blue 2020

Monday, January 31, 2011


This Egyptian unraveling is fascinating. How does a society change? Really, fundamentally change? We all live in societies, it's the collective energy of the people, their thoughts, their dreams, their actions, their interactions that make society.

Suddenly there is a spontaneous eruption - people actually take to the streets. A revolution, or evolution, or just a slight disruption? And where does it lead? Does the Dictator, the Strongman, the Authoritarian Ruler step down? And who replaces him? How do the voices of the protesters get channeled into something new?

Or is it like that Who song, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." This leads to questions about our own society. It seems the politicians are always the last to know. And our society morphs sometimes so slowly and sometimes so quickly. And where exactly are we going?

There's the need for freedom and safety, and human rights, and the ability to live a happy life. And there's lots of contention and opposition to any premise that's floated in the ether. And we clunk along. And then years go by, and we think things are so different, and then we again we think things are just the same as always too.

We have our cell phone, our laptop, our Google, and still there are all those human foibles and follies to contend with. We create love and joy and mayhem too. That's our social network - our lovely aquarium. And really is change like the rain? Or fog? Or lightening?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Center Can't Hold

Sometimes it feels like you are the center of the universe, and in some sense you are, and so is everyone else. Which actually means there is no center. Not everyone can be the center of the universe. So your feeling of being and holding the center is an illusion. And maybe an ego stroke too.

The center can't hold, because it is a fiction, a figment of your imagination. Still, you are important. At least to you. And you play a part in the universe, but it's not exactly of universal, earth-shaking importance, except to you. It's kind of hard to tell what and who is really all that important with so much matter and anti-matter, and people and things. Maybe importance isn't so important.

So below, so above. The cosmologists know that there is no center in the universe, there is just a great expanding. And we are in it, of it, expanding too...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hair - The Long and Short of It!

I'm at Kat Palace, contemplating a haircut. First there's the contemplation, then the action, although, maybe I don't actually pull the trigger, maybe I just end up wearing a hat.

As that famous Irish singer with the funny name (Bono) once remarked, I don't have bad hair days, I have bad hair decades. Still I've been told by people (women) that my hair is "nice," and "super-fine."

I think maybe since I can't change my eyes, my ears, my nose, (although of course with the right plastic surgeon anything is possible - think King of Pop! Or then again, maybe bad example.); since I can't change the ravages of age, can't hide the scars, changing hair styles is a fallback. But when it comes down to it, my hair comes in two modes, messy, and not as messy.

As a wee lad I had a traumatic hair experience - a drastic crew-cut, which made me decidedly un-hip when the world was trying really hard to be hip. At the time, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. That was the last barber visit for nearly a decade and half.

I have gotten a lot more sanguine about hair. Now I can enter a barbershop or a hair salon, hop on a chair and declare, "Do what you like!" This is not as dangerous as it sounds. As they say, the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is about 2 weeks.

Sometimes I have been counseled to bring a photo to sort of guide the cutter. I find this mildly amusing. Does anyone ever bring in a photo of someone older, fatter, shorter, and less appealing than the person bringing the photo? Probably not.

The best instruction I have found: make me look younger, smarter, taller and more dashing. Works every time. Not.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Channeling Lombardi

It seems President Obama is now channeling the Ghost of Vince Lombardi, telling us it's all about winning!

Somehow in the flush of success 2 years ago, I was thinking he'd be a combo of Gandhi, MLK, JFK, and the Dali Lama.

Maybe it was kind of an elevated expectation level on my part. So I guess if he wants to be America's Coach, Lombardi is not a bad role model. Run to daylight Obama!

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Just don't make me run through those tires please!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January Limbo

We have entered a January Limbo. My muse, the Lovely Carla, remarked that there was no horizon yesterday; just one continuous smudge of gray. It's a Limbo where we know there is a Sun, but we can't see him, there is warmth in the world, but we can't feel it.

So we trudge through the grayness, kind of like trudging through a not quite light, and not quite dark, cloud. It's the "not quite-ness" that adds to the Limbo-ness of the moment. Makes one want to shake the day and demand some kind of statement, other than surrender, or no not surrender - gray ambivalence.

But the gray is overwhelming. And underwhelming too. And a statement of it's own kind.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Feeling Universe

Feeling sad and down. You look around and find lots of reasons to be sad and down.

Feeling happy and up. You look around and find lots of reasons to be happy and up.

Same universe, same you.

It seems that feeling comes before reason. We feel it. And then we tell ourselves a story...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sound of Silences

How to defeat the craziness? Silence my friend. Or maybe it's just human silence. Turn off the Babel Channel.

Listen to the trees. Listen to the waves crashing on the rocks. Listen to the wind whistling past your ear. Listen to the dogs barking and the cats purring.

Turn off the internal monologue for awhile. There's peace in the spaces between the words, between the thoughts.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's a Life

There's a rush of energy and then the crash. It's kind of like a wave pattern. Except in this case, it's a life...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good Hair Day!

Put on a show rock and roll show at a hair salon last night. Never thought I'd ever type that sentence. It all went well. Another long cavalcade of acts. Everything seemed to roll out fine.

I was the sound guy, which was not a promising idea, but it turns out the acoustics were good and my little tweaks at the sound board seemed to work pretty well.

Also got to play some music with the Telepaths and WhiteWolfSonicPrincess. I thought we did a good job on both fronts. First the Telepaths brought the mayhem, and then well, WhiteWolfSonicPrincess (with special guests) brought some mayhem too. Our special guest vocalist did a War Pigs/Helter Skelter/Suffragette City medley that brought the house down!

Someone said "best rock & roll medley ever." Not bad!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Human Dichotomy

No sense in going into all the details, let's just say, I've been running a parallel existence. Living in two worlds (at least) simultaneously. The trick is not to lose one's self, but it's not really hard, a "self" is made up of all kinds of masks, some complimentary, some contradictory...

There are lots of personalities one can wear...

So yesterday was a day of contrasts. Hours trudging through bone-chillingness. Skating on ice. Nearly killing myself numerous times doing drudge work.

And then... well the freaking lap of luxury. Exquisite food, lots of warmth and light, hours with a good book and a hot jacuzzi experience.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Healing Cloud of Energy

We're preparing for a show on Saturday. It's gonna be all cover songs. We are collaborating with some people we've never collaborated with before and we're doing some songs we've never done before.

Earlier rehearsals were kind of painful. Clunking along through the verses and choruses. Lots of false starts and missteps.

But last night, we got everyone in the room and after a few run-throughs we were pretty much on the same page.

We have quite the group - 5 singers, drums, percussion, bass, guitar. You get all that energy going in the same direction and it seems like we could blow a hole in the ozone layer. Although it would be much better if we could send a healing cloud of energy to fix that thing!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sometimes this blog seems (even to me) like one long, very disconnected and rambling monolgue

So yeah, there's the "doing" the flurry of activity, the running from place to place, the crescendo, and then...

Well, then there's the thinking, the stewing, the wondering, the second guessing, the worrying, etc...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Doing

Well there's the thinking, and the worrying, and the fretting, and the hoping and the planning, and the re-thinking, and the doubting, and the confusion, and the indecision, and the back-biting, and back-pedaling, and spinning, and the stewing, and the brewing and...

Then there's the doing. I don't recommend the doing without some of the thinking. But I'm so glad to get past the thinking cap part and getting to the doing part!

Monday, January 17, 2011

We have to learn to like challenges...

Yes, so in order to be a happy, healthy, human being we have to believe...

It's not so much what we believe, although, of course the "what" is important too, but we must make the concerted effort to believe.

Against the odds, sometimes against the evidence. Against the wishes or thoughts of others, or even ourselves.

This believing is a sort of vision. Whether it's a mirage or hallucination or illusion, doesn't really matter. This vision must drive us.

And what is this vision? It has something to do with meaning and purpose and the idea that the future is better. This act of "believing" provides no certainties, or guarantees, it's simply a friend, a guide, a challenge.

We have to learn to like challenges...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A World of Will

So yeah, I deeply immersed myself into another world. I went from dogs and birds, to cats. It's a much quieter land. It purrs.

I've looked into silent inscrutable eyes. And I've gotten lost.

I've spent many hours in the contemplative mode. Reading, listening. It's a world of clocks and clouds. A world of will and imagination. It's a world to believe in.

I put on new clothes. Looked into new mirrors. Everything has changed. The food I eat was purchased and stored by someone else. I have slipped into another reality.

I am unsettled. Off kilter. But of course it's on the margins, the place where chaos and order converge, where the new emerges...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sounds of Hope

Shorter Dr. King -- from a Jangling Discord to a Symphony of Brotherhood...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Voice of Reason

I do think we are lucky to have a major Public Servant in our midst who is smart, articulate, pragmatic, reasonable, upbeat, cool-headed, adult, optimistic, and inspiring.

In so many ways he is so counter to the discourse; he is an antidote, to our toxic political culture. He is a shining beacon in the night of the dark onslaught of Hate Radio, and Hate TV and Hate Inter-Tubes.

So much of our national conversation is dominated by Pernicious Clowns! I actually think the Toxic Clowns get louder and more obnoxious as it becomes more and more apparent that they are losers. Their ideas, their ideology of selfishness and greed only leads to a militant dead end.

The Hollowness of the Militant Right is deafening... into the void, a voice of reason resonates.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Humble Fool

So yeah, we live in a Universe of Reason and Unreason, of Order and Chaos, of Logic and Magic. We are outfitted with these things we call Brains, which somehow emerged from the soup of creation. And with these brains we try to navigate through this multitudinous Universe.

Somehow our brains must also encompass reason and unreason, order and chaos, logic and magic. And as one of our dimmer Presidents once said, "It's hard work!"

We sometimes want to simplify the Universe, to make it more understandable, more agreeable to our little brains. But it's a fool's task. The Universe has more in store, more up it's sleeve in which to bewilder us.

So yeah, we must expand our brains, or expand our conception of the Universe to encompass everything. It isn't an easy task. It isn't always understandable, or agreeable, and it's probably a good first step to say, I am just a Humble Fool. Here for a brief time. Trying not to be an asshole...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reason & Emotion

So yeah, in these bodies of ours, we are stranded between the islands of reason and unreason. Logic and illogic. Reason and emotion.

We know there are limits to reason. And we know that the strongest emotions - love and hate, are unreasonable.

There are those who appeal to our reason, and there are those who appeal to our emotions.

Reason and emotion - they are both double-edged swords. We can reason ourselves down a blind alley. We can ride our emotions over a cliff.

There's a delicate balance required in each and every one of us. Then of course we all bump up against each other. And everyone of us is going through the same struggle of maintaining a balance!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Crazy Mask

It's true rationality is just one of the masks we wear. If you ever get to know someone, one of the first things they usually will tell you, "I'm crazier than you think."

Rationality is just one mask. We have a whole closet full of masks. There's the happy one, the sad one, the mad one. And everything in between.

Just when you think you know what crazy is, someone will pop up and surprise you by doing some even crazier shit. You can't put a limiter on the craziness.

Add in a dose of hate, lots of stupidity, and serious weaponry, and well, the crazy can just get horrifying...

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Our band WhiteWolfSonicPrincess lucked into a Saturday night show at the Elbo Room last night. It was totally exhilarating. One of our best shows ever! The sound was superb. The Elbo Room is one of the premier rock clubs in Chicago. Maybe the country?

Everything clicked. The club was buzzing. Full of folks ready for a full night of great music. We were the openers. We had the full band with us and I must say we totally rocked. Our sound filled the room. We had the light show, the smoke machine. And we were tight. We could all hear each other. What a joyful noise. What a joyous experience!

We opened for a band called August Son. They were really good. They brought in a big crowd and their crowd was very receptive to our sound. August Son does sort of an alt-country thing, shades of Wilco. A perfect compliment to our sound. We definitely won some new fans.

We got lots of great feedback. The four of us were riding on a cloud of joy!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

I Guess...

I guess a long chain of accidents could actually look like a certain destiny...

Friday, January 07, 2011


Here is our poster for the January 22nd show. We've put a few up around the neighborhood. It has definitely gotten some attention!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Beats Between the Words

We're working on a show for later in January, it's billed as "Honey Gimmee the Covers!" It will be a bunch of solo artists and bands doing cover songs. We're running through the universal songbook trying to come up with some interesting cover songs to do.

I always fall back on some of my old standbys... I've been working on "Cortez the Killer" by Neil Young, "Knocking on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" the Rolling Stones, and maybe "One Step Closer" by U2.

These songs have a special resonance for me. You could probably print out the lyrics, string them together and tell some kind of story. I think my life is in the margins or in the beats between the words...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

House of Cards

WikiLeaks has been demonized. But it's kind of funny, the last month or so, I have read many front page stories in the New York Times that were inspired/engendered by the WikiLeaks document dump.

Lots of really interesting news.

Most of the diplomatic stories show that really the only ones who are being lied to by American diplomats and American politicians is Americans. Obviously, WikiLeaks should be covered by "freedom of the press," even if they don't own a press. I think WikiLeaks is providing a valuable service.

Unfortunately the lesson is that yes, the powers that be, whether in business or government, lie all the time. They act as if it is their right to keep the truth secret. It's a sign of their power. Anything that exposes that mind-set is good. We still pretend we live in a free democracy. Lots of secrets, lots of lies, undermine our freedom and call into question our "democracy."

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

WikiLeaks vs. Bank of America?

This was the best little news item I read yesterday...

Julian Assange tells us that he is gonna "take down" a major American bank. Go Julian, go! I just hope he's able to get the information out soon. The bank doesn't want you to know what they do behind closed doors, what they think of their clients, what they do as a matter of day to day "business."

Let the truth see the light of day!

UPDATE: What's kind of funny in a not funny way, the article makes it clear that if the world really knew what Bank of America was doing, how they conduct business, how they treat Customers, what they did in the mortgage fiasco, etc. they would be in real trouble. They are lawyering up now, expecting lawsuits and public condemnation. So they are acting guilty, like they are running a criminal enterprise, but all is cool, as long as they hide it behind closed doors. That's American banking in a nutshell.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Sunday, January 02, 2011


We did our year-end ritual at Invision yesterday. Glad to bury 2010. It was a year of "disruption." Lots of good stuff mixed in with lots of bad stuff. Did our best to clear it all away.

Walked in feeling clear and gnarly, walked out feeling clear and clear. That's probably an improvement.

Then we cashed in our gift certificate that we won at a raffle and enjoyed a free meal at IHOP. It wasn't fancy, but it was filling. The big thing? It was FREE!

Then watched one of our favorite movies, The Darjeerling Limited. Drop the baggage. Move forward feeling clear.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

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