Sunday, November 16, 2003

I have no free time lately. Between work, family, my Father being sick and all the useless crap that occupies my brain, I come out with no time for creative thoughts. Jake appears unable to sit alone and occupy himself for five minutes. He's always throwing a ball at my head. I appreciate the attention, but today I asked Natalie, "When does that whole, only child invents imaginary friends to fill his day thing start?" We're both waiting. I guess this is why people have more than one kid - they need cheap, local playmates.

Last night, I awoke and found my brain swirling with thoughts of work, projects half-completed and ways to raise money in the face of a state that cuts school budgets while enrolling more students. I could not clear my head. I made one mental list after another, but nothing helped. When I played music, that brain time would have been occupied by thoughts of gigs and set lists and songwriting and the possibilities of what all that might bring. Now I seem consumed with accomplishing an endless assortment of tasks. Necessary, yes. But most of the creativity comes in figuring out how to get the financing and where to find the time to do it myself (my staff of one is useless and yet, can't be fired or transferred - welcome to state employment).

I need to figure out how to bring creativity back into my life. But would I enjoy it? I watched a Ricki Lee Jones concert on TV tonight. What struck me more than anything was the thought that her band - most in their 40s - still found reasons to be interested in music. I've been there and I know - a musician's world is totally another planet. How hard it must be to have kids and wives and endless lists of things to do and still remember the bass lines for a Ricki Lee Jones set. I envy them. I envy their ability to say this music thing is important. Yes, it's art and art is critical. But playing in Ricki Lee Jones' band must be akin to being the guy who holds the ball for the placekicker in football. You're crucial, but nobody know who you are and you can be replaced like that. You're a cog in the wheel of music, so you better enjoy your contribution because that enjoyment is probably all you get.

Because Gov Bush has hacked our school budgets, I found myself working video projection at a wedding this weekend (don't ask). The bride was lovely and it was a power event of Orlando's young elite - filled with local TV newscasters, real estate moguls, lawyers, ex-cheerleaders, bankers and more like them. Although I've dealt with these people often, I felt terribly out of place - particularly since I was there as the guy who set up the video screen. Adding to embarrassment, my white dress shirt was too small and I couldn't close the top button. Instead, I just ripped it off and forced my tie to hold everything together. Ugh.

Want a feel for the crowd attending? The bride assembled a giveaway CD of favorite songs. It included More Than A Feeling (Boston), Lady (The Little River Band) and Can't Stop Loving You (Van Halen). Many folks raved about the selection of fine tunes on the disc.

Happily, my friend Grey was in attendance and we chatted throughout. While everyone was very nice, events like these remind me of my Long Island, government worker Dad, blue collar roots. You can be an artist and get away with interaction on this level. But that day, I was just the video guy, helping myself a bit too much to the free drinks and sushi platter. Hope they didn't mind.

Longtime readers (are there any left?) might have noticed my recent posts don't mention politics much. Sorry if that's a disappointment, but I wholeheartedly don't care at the moment. GWB is raping this country, sending young men and women to their deaths for a variety of reasons that mostly have to do with sucking up to big business and stupid politics.
His administration is gutting 75 years of good policies from past presidents in an effort to clear laws that might in any way be considered unfriendly to corporations/donors and in three short years he has transformed the US into one of the most disliked countries on the planet - supported only by the English and flyspeck nations who seek our financial largesse.

So why don't I care? Hey, it's a democracy, you get what you deserve. You wanted this asshole, you got him. And ultimately, he's just priming the pump for a swing back in the other direction. He might even be the catalyst for a different sort of liberal wing - one that doesn't argue PC bullshit, but instead offers a cogent and opposing worldview. So I'm willing to wait him out. I've got a long view. It might be a year, it might be five years. But soon enough, he'll be gone and we'll all be better for it.

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