Friday, July 30, 2004

The First Time I Saw Her...

Went to a fabulous party tonight celebrating the launch of a friends new shoe line. thirtieth floor of a posh tower on Brickel with the most amazing view of the ocean on one side and the city on the other. Reminded me of why we like Miami so much sometimes. There was this girl there. she was great. We got on well immediately. It was like a movie. We’re getting married on Monday. A few girls there who were vehement readers of the transcendence diaries. “Hiiiii Fiiiishy,” holding out their hands. “We love your diaries.” “thanks.” “I have to log on every Monday at work to see what's going on.” “To see what crazy thing you're going to say next...” “Fishy. Is all that stuff true that you write about?” “Yep. It sure is. Except for the parts I make up...” they look at me kind of funny.

Great talk with the stallion today. good kid. gave me some good advice on moving to nyc. Thinking of just heading up to sublet for a while. find a place easier. Although we were once a non-couple, or something; never quite sure what we were, we are now finding a common ground based on our mutual admiration for one another and becoming friends. Its cool.

the irony of our situation does not escape us. we met at a black tie affair for the arts. Were seated straight across from one another. I found her to be so beautiful the first time that I laid eyes on her that I could not look at her in the eye. Have you ever had that happen before? I was just too blown away by her physical beauty. She didn't look at me much either. I bonded with her boyfriend and did my best to be a gentleman and not stare at her. or at least not get caught staring at her. later I learned she did the same thing. Six months later we met again on the Internet and fell madly in love only discovering later that we were one and the same people from the party. Serendipity at its most sublime. Although we had the best sexual experiences I had ever had when we were together ---the stallion is a true goddess. Something other worldly about her sexual prowess. She could give lessons in it. But that would be too low for her. she could be worshiped for it. Like a deity of sex. She's that sensual, that skilled, that passionate. ---anyway, there were a few things that prevented us from carrying our brief obsession any further. For one thing, she drank instant coffee in the morning. Which I found terribly distasteful. She didn't like to wear perfume which I found terribly unromantic. And she used the word dildo. Which I found terribly nauseating. When I protested and politely asked her to refrain from such language in my presence, as any person does who is guided by a sincere set of shallow double standards that he was obviously raised with and just never bothered to take a look at or acknowledge as a grown adult in the world, she came at me protesting herself that she enjoyed using the word dildo and that she in fact thought it was a cute word. She then uttered the word ‘cock’ and asked if I was next going to ask her not to use that word either. At which point I immediately made my way to the door, never to see her again. Yes my friends, call me a fool. But I've done worse.

There was the story of Little Havana. We met one fine day when she interviewed to be my new personal assistant. I fell for her immediately as I do with all women who interview with me, but felt like she was definitely not in the running to be my new assistant. She made some comment like “so what? I'm like the person who does all the shit that you don't want to do?” so she didn't get the job. But she was sexy as hell. I thought of her often. I was advised my the Ferret and the Tortoise both being upstanding attorneys who were only looking out for my best interest that I should indeed never call on her socially for fear of being sued for some strange sexual harassment twist.. who knew what could happen. better to play it safe they advised me. so I never called.

A few weeks later we met again coincidentally at a concert I was giving.. coincidence? Who knows... but as soon as I got off stage I showed her a piece of paper I still carried in my pocket with her name and number on it over a month later. I told her we must go out. she agreed and invited me to her apartment that evening. actually she told me over a few shots of tequila later that evening that ‘I'm not going to fuck you.” which I later learned in ‘Latin girl talk’ means that ‘I want to fuck you. I'm going to fuck you. and if I do you better not think I'm a slut because I've already told you that I'm not going to fuck you. So if we do end up fucking, its not something I normally ever do because I'm a good girl but I just got caught up in the moment...’ something like that anyway. I'm still learning the ways of the Latin girls. Very different than the American girls who usually just grab you and start making out with you and don't say anything at all. or the Italian girls who just grab your crotch and jam their tongue down your throat. But that's a different story.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I am in my usual Cuban bar. Having just recently moved here to sobe, this is the place that comes the closest to home. Smoking a Cuban, writing, and drinking a mojito. When I first showed up here a few weeks ago, whipped out my laptop, threw it up on the table, ordered a drink, and started madly pounding away, stogies dangling out of my mouth, I don't think the Latinos knew what to make of this strange gringo who sits in the corner by himself. What the hell is he doing with that computer? Is he like a spy or something? they once charged me $25 for a cappuccino. I thought perhaps to frighten me away. This was about two weeks ago. I politely approached the manager, in Spanish of course, ‘hey what's up guys? Great cappuccino and all but I was wondering why it was $25? Isn't that a lot for a cappuccino? Perhaps it was a mistake?’ they assured me that it was indeed the right amount, surprisingly enough, but that they would spot me a few drinks on the house for the inconvenience. And remarkably I haven't been charged for a drink since, and I come here every night. Go figure. Only in Miami. 

I have my own table now. In the corner. I'm greeted like an old friend. I sit for hours and smoke and write and drink. Bands come on and off the stage. Various patrons come and go. and no one notices me in the corner. The place is packed tonight. A truly sick afro Cuban band plays salsa and meringue and standards; drums congas bass and piano. There are a few couples dancing around the room like crazy. and up on TV is John Kerry delivering his acceptance speech to the democratic convention. Or as the TV actually reads here in this club in Miami: DISCURSO DE ACCEPTION DE John Kerry. Of course his speech is actually being dubbed in Spanish. And I am thinking to myself, ‘what a crazy place. where else can you sit in a public place and type on your laptop, smoking a cigar, drinking mojitos, while a live Cuban band plays meringue, couples are dancing salsa, and John Kerry is on TV giving a speech dubbed in Spanish? Man this is one crazy place. it is truly a world unto itself.

Current spin: brmc. Great album. Really cool. reminds me of Jesus and Mary chain, love and rockets, the stooges. But its still new and cool. a lot of comparisons to this from critics regarding the sleep with you album. Coming from the same schools with that one I guess. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

To Vote or Not To Vote?

Watching the democratic national convention every day on the Internet. Caught up a bit tonight till about 4 in the morning actually, watching everyone deliver their speeches. Dare I say I almost feel hopeful? I guess compared to what we have now, even the democrats seem inspiring.

Later in the day, I'm in the office and everyone is abuzz about the speeches the last few days. Al Sharpton and Bill Clinton and of course jimmy carter are the speeches that are the most brought up. People cannot stop talking about them. the republicans may have stolen the white house, but they don't have many current heroes to speak of unfortunately. Except John mccain, who of course is a hero and should be joining up anyday. Hehe. Old guard. Old tricks. Old hat. No one that people look up to in their party anymore now that Reagan passed on. but the democrats on the other hand.... if you're a young idealist patriotic American or even just a ultra-concerned-liberal citizen of the world, the democratic party offers so many heroic visionaries and leaders. Bill and Hillary are basically rock stars now, for better or worse. All the guys in the office were on the Internet researching to see if Clinton could serve again. They were actually on the Internet researching the constitution. [we looked it up: he cannot run again for president. Congress passed an amendment in the fifties limiting it to two terms max because of FDR getting elected four times consecutively. BUT Zeke reminds me that he CAN run for VP under someone else just to grab another eight years if he or we wanted him to. Let us hope it never comes to that. [as we well remember, even though I volunteered for his election campaign as a bright-eyed young college kid, the minute he got on TV and lied I was one of the first to jump on the ‘o.k. impeach that fucker’ band wagon. I have no tolerance for liars, unless perhaps we’re talking about matters of national security. Other than that, get the hell out of dodge pal.] I think there are probably plenty of guys who can do just as good of a job or even better. But boy what a speech he delivered. It was spellbindingly to the point and coherent and intelligent and just a wee bit smarmy.] This guy says to me ‘man I don't know why we can’t just get bill back for a while. at least till things smooth out a bit. Just another four years.

But its true. the dems now, they have Al Gore, Jimmy carter, Ted Kennedy has always voted for the people, so he's a true liberal hero. Al Sharpton? Forget it. that guy was awesome. Jesse is always good. he's like ‘take it for granted kind of good;’ that's how good of a speechmaker he is. John Edwards is like the wunderkind of the party; the future Clinton. But hopefully he’ll keep it in his pants, or at least do it somewhere other than the oval office. They even have Ronald Reagan’s son Ron. Basically a rock concert of bright idealistic heart on their sleeve liberals. I can’t say I'm not against any of it. [I mean, lets try to forget that they killed 180 innocent Americans in Waco, Texas under Clintons watch and no one did shit about that. so because of that, McVeigh retaliated at Oklahoma city. yes times are changing. People are fighting back now. And I'm not going to bring up all the rumors of them selling military secrets to China...] But at least the dems have heroes. Real American heroes. People like us. I'm not saying these people are any less shifty than the other lot of slimy script reading hand shaking short-hairs. I mean cheese is cheese. Occasionally cheese can be good; like brie or Roquefort or feta or mozzarella. Yum! But of course American cheese just sucks. And both parties are super American-cheesy. No taste and filled with artificial shit and preservatives. Hence to belong to either party at this point is choosing hamburger over steak. But man, where is the fucking steak? That's probably what a lot of Americans are wondering. Well perhaps in Kerry we have a bit of steak. We’ll just have to wait and see.

But you get the feeling that the repubs are those people in school who were just full of shit and didn't understand anything about life. they were the sheep who drank their milk and watched their TV and spoke their lies when they had to. just to keep face and keep the money in the right hands. Whereas with the dems, you find this kind of idealism.... this underdog fight for the rights of your fellow man kind of thing that I can relate to a lot more readily. Normal people that you can talk to and talk about issues with. People that care about other people. .. and of course they have all the actors and singers and writers too. I couldn’t imagine being an entertainer and being a republican. i guess you just have to keep it a secret so you're not embarrassed.... imagine if they ask you to speak at their convention and you're like ‘uh well yeah I mean that's a great idea but uh yeah I'm uh going to be out of the country that week. gosh I'm really sorry guys....’ . I can not imagine being up there at the republican convention and trying to come up with good things to say about this current administration. You would just have to throw truth to the wind and just say fuck it and come up with a bunch of bullshit platitudes and hollow words about values and strength and courage and all that other empty crap.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I was on the roof. My secret haunting ground lately since the move. My mind is constantly feeling as though it is going crazy. I cannot recall with much accuracy how many times I have thought about jumping off the roof of a tall building or shooting myself in the head in the last three weeks. This is what happens when nothing is going on...’ I think to myself. ‘this is what happens when it feels like there is no solid ground beneath your feet. [the king screams at me over the phone from la, ‘dude you sold a house that you love, you sold a car that you loved even more, all so you could move to a city you love... so what the fuck are you doing living in a tiny one room apartment in a city that you hate with everything you own in storage?! I would have blown my brains out a month ago if I were you living like that. Pack your fucking bags, book a ticket, and get to New York! Live at a hotel if you have to until you find an apartment, but carry this thing through to the finish line man!’]

I think about eating. But as always, I'm not hungry. I have lost ten pounds in the last month. Funny. I know people who would do anything to lose ten pounds. But I just can’t eat when I get stressed out like this. my stomach always feels like it is in knots. Not upset. Just full all the time. can’t complain about it. it’s a good look. I feel like I haven't slept in months. Maybe years now. circles under my eyes. again, a good look. Can’t complain. The vampire look is always in fashion. But I pause to think about how fast I am aging like this. stress, anxiety, panic, pain, general unhappiness cannot be good for you. I look like I've aged ten years in the last six months. I think about heading off to morocco for a while. why I'm not sure. It keeps coming up for me all the time. Maybe that trip to Paris for six months after all. i remember that French is the last of the romance languages left for me. [although recently a chick from Romania told me that Romanian is also considered a romance language. I'm still not going to learn it though.] Gotta learn French; seems impossible. So fucking UNphonetic! But why not do it now. I taste the idea for a few seconds. Great; I'm just going to sit in some strange school again for six months and travel about another city aimlessly as if I've got no life and nothing to come home to. Nah. I may not have a home now it is true, but I have a life.

Mom says your home is you and wherever you are. Mom is right. I thought about calling Beav just to shoot the shit, maybe mom, or Madelyn, or the Little Tree, or the King. But instead I opened up my laptop and started viewing those movies of Giovanna that I took in Rome last summer. I hadn't heard from Giovanna in about six months now. we were supposed to get together this august for a week or two. Thought I'd watch her in the videos for a while. but that just made me remember why I hadn't called. Smart, sweet, sexy. Great body. But not the one. for some reason I can’t go there anymore. Not even in the moment. you'd think I could at least fake it. Being faithful to the love of your life is hard enough when you are together. but when you haven't met yet, its even harder. But somehow it isn't even a choice now. I think to myself sometimes, ‘I wonder what she's doing? Is she getting some?’ But somehow I have found it rather difficult to even fake it in the moment, even to get some. Bas says I should shut the fuck up. that I've gotten more than any man should be allowed in one lifetime. Yes my friend you are probably right. but my mind flashes to an image of me in a hotel room with a whip, some chocolate, a case of Champaign, a video camera, and ten naked Swedish eighteen year olds... so if I'm so ready to meet the ONE, what the hell is all of that? I wonder if thoughts like that ever go away for us men? Maybe we’re just stuck with them forever.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

The Orgin of "Ambassador"

I was in the elevator and a terribly gay man began speaking with me. I certainly don't mean that it is terrible that he is gay; nor that we were speaking. better a terribly gay man than a wickedly ugly woman or an totally boring straight man. Straight men do tend to be more boring than gay men, don't they? I just mean that he was terribly gay. Or perhaps he was fantastically gay. Yes; better. He was indeed a fantastically gay man. If I were a gay man, I would want to be as fantastic as he was. Tight jean shorts. Tight short sleeve crew shirt. and of course he was carrying a picnic basket. Now if we weren't in South Beach, another man could get freaked out by that. but we are on South beach. So I'm past my getting freaked out phase. We had a nice chat and I watched him the whole time; as always the two of me: the reluctant participator and the eager observer. [forgive me if you’ve noticed; I am in love with the semi-colon as of late. I never understood the semi-colon before recently; now I cannot help but use it every chance I get.] 

So yes I'm watching this guy and we’re talking. and he's holding that picnic basket like he's little red riding hood. I notice up close for the first time in a while that gay mean speak differently. You can tell they are gay, or at least have a proclivity towards it, just from the way that they speak. Also from their hand gestures and the way they walk. and often from the way they stand and the looks they make with their faces. Gay men are notorious for that bitchy ‘don't bother me, I'm hot, this service sucks, and I'm tired’ look on their face, whereas straight men are more known for their ‘yo what's up ladies, God its fucking hot, dude you think that chick was looking at me?’ look on their faces. I love gay men because you get all that wonderful inspiring feminine energy without all the games. Not that gay men don't play games; from what I hear, they're the worst. But I'm not attracted to them in the least so I could give a shit about their games. If a gay guy starts playing games with you, and you’re straight, you just tell him to fuck off. Now if a woman starts playing games with you, and you're straight, forget about it, you're in trouble. Next thing you know, you're rolled up in the fetal position, or you're questioning the very meaning of life itself, or you end up in prison or something. Women can snare us into any number of games just from looking at us in a weird way.

Pause for a commercial break...

[this reminds me of this one Avatar course I was on in the deep north woods. There were about a thousand Wizards that had gathered for ten days to process and create the world a better place. at one point about five days into it, two of my closest straight friends were in huge creations about being gay; all of a sudden they just decided that they “might be gay” and it was something they needed to really look into. the king approaches me in an emotional panic... “your majesty, what is troubling you good sir?” I asked. “Good ambassador...” he paused, “Dude,” “yes?” “Dude I need to talk to you. for real. Without the code names...” “Without the code names?” I exclaimed, “O.k. I will try. you are upset aren’t you?” “Dude hear me out. I think I'm gay...” “What man?! Whatchou talkin’ ‘bout Willis?!” “Dude I'm serious. I've thought a lot about it and I think I might be gay... you think that's weird?” “No dude. I think its normal. But if you want to fuck me up the bum I'm going to think that's weird.” “Dude. I’m serious. I really need to explore this...” “Fine. How can I help?” “I don't know. I just need time to explore this and really see what's up for me...” “O.k. fine but this doesn’t mean that you’re going to have butt sex with the Court Jester; because that's really gross... I hear he's thinking he’s gay also. I don't know what got into you guys...” [for the record, since its asked so much, this is how I officially got the name the Ambassador. There’s a big group of us who live all over the world and we call ourselves ‘the tribe.’ We get together whenever we can, usually through Avatar courses or some other feel-good, new-age function. One year we all got together to walk on hot coals with Anthony Robbins. Things like that. Anyway, we all have these codenames. There’s the King. He's how we all know each other. Through him. So that's why we call him the King. There's the Queen, his wife of course. There's his Mistress. A long story. The Mayor. The Court jester. The Bard. The Spy. Etc. I've always been the social coordinator of our group, go figure, and so I was endowed with the codename of the Ambassador. So that should put a final end to that question.]  Anyway, so the king continued: “I just need to feel into this more bro...” “Dude feel into this... look over at Serena there...” I pointed to Serena who was standing in the corner talking to someone... “ she was wearing a tight fitting flowered skirt. “Now dude, look at Serena's ass. tell me when you see it. when you really see it.” “I see it.” “Now dude. What are you thinking while you're looking at her ass?” He laughs sheepishly... “I'm thinking how her ass would look naked or in her panties.” I smiled. “anything else?” “Yeah. I'm thinking about bending her over and doing her..” “Damn right you are bro. as well you should. Who wouldn’t be? you see? You're not gay.” “How do you know?” “Dude. I roomed with three gay guys in college for a year. me and three gay guys for a whole year. trust me. you're not gay. Gay guys don't think about bending over and doing every girl they see. We do. Trust me. you're not gay.” We high-fived and that was that.]

And now return to our regularly scheduled program  


Friday, July 23, 2004

In the bath this morning I found myself in deep meditation with God. it has been a very stressful time lately and morning meditations help bring things back into focus. communion with God is sacred to me. but it’s a tricky subject. I picture God as kind of sitting back snickering at me a bit, waiting for me to just accept it, while I ponder till the cows come home. I thought about Beaver and the last talk we had over he and Rat ‘discovering religion’ once they had kids. we were all home for the holidays. Beav and I were outside drinking cognac and smoking after dinner.
“yeah so mom told me you guys are members of your local church now....” I began.
“don't start Fishy. I already knew you were going to say something. don't.”
‘but dude. C'mon. the church? The catholic church? How could you?
‘I have my reasons man.’
‘and what are those? What are you thinking?”
‘I'm thinking I don't want my girls to grow up without God and the kind of community that a local church can give them.’
‘fine. Granted. I can dig that. but the catholic church? The most evil empire in all of civilization?! And you become a member? How could you do this to me?’
‘its not about you man. Its about my family.’
‘what about all my preaching? what about my reputation. What if this leaks out?’
He just gave me this look and dragged on his cigarette...
‘Fine. Dude. I dig it. I see where you're coming from. I really do. you know, just between you and me, I still take in a church now and then. I have to go incognito of course. They'd fucking burn me at the stakes if they ever caught me in a church...
‘They're going to burn you at the stakes either way bro....  accept it. mom says she can’t sleep at night because she's afraid that one night she is going to wake up to a call from the police that you have been murdered because of that crazy shit you write in your diaries.’
‘Yeah I know. I’ve been lucky so far. who knows? maybe the stuff I'm writing isn't so crazy.”
“Sure, keep telling yourself that. maybe one day you’ll believe it. I think you're crazy. According to you, anyone who is republican or democrat or religious or who watches TV or reads the paper or who listens to the radio is an idiot.”
“So?”
“So? Dude there are three hundred million people in this country and you're basically talking about every single one of them, including me and mom. You're asking for it. you're an anarchist. You’ve always been an anarchist.”
“Yeah I know. But you're wrong. not everyone is like that. people are changing.”
“You suffer me bro. your life scares the shit out of me. I don't know how you live like that. so out there away from the mainstream.”
“I always have. But I'm always home for Christmas. Don't let it worry you.”
“Can’t help it. you’re my bro. I want to grow old with you. I don't want to see you on TV strung up dead on some fence by a bunch of rednecks.’
‘just my luck man. Those fucking bastards. Remember what they did to that kid just because he was gay?”
‘Yes. that's what I'm talking about.”
“well I'm not gay man. At least not yet.”
“Not yet? dude you are so fucked up you fag.” Laughs.
“Dude can’t you guys join another church? A regular Christian church? I dig what you're saying about needing that sense of comfort and security.”
‘that's what I'm saying. I wanted my girls to have that as a foundation.’
‘but what about all the lies and the untruths that they are being fed now? and then when they get older they're going to start realizing just like we did that they were totally brainwashed and hate you for it.’
‘maybe. Maybe not,’ he dragged from his cigarette. ‘maybe they’ll like it and stay with it.’
‘great. Just what we fucking need in this family. More religious people. like mom isn’t bad enough. And just what we need in the world. more brainwashed religious walking around spouting lies and placing their unfounded judgments on everyone. Great.’
‘Fishy.’ he looked me in the eye. ‘I know what you mean. O.k.? but I'm not raising my kids alone. You know what I mean? There's two of us. it’s a family. There are two of us making the decisions here. you know? it’s a compromise.’
‘well when I have kids my kids are going to make fun of your kids...’ I laughed. ‘they're going to KNOW the truth, and your kids are going to be blind zombies thinking that God created Adam and eve in the year 4000 BC and they're going to feel awfully confused when they start learning about evolution and all that. its not going to be pretty.’
‘No. I'll take care of that.’
‘how?’
‘because man. Give me more credit. I'll teach my girls what's up. I'm not going to let them take away all that. I'm going to teach them the truth. But the church is going to give them a sense of values and morals and a foundation that they can build off....’
‘like the same kind of values and morals we learned going to catholic school all our lives? Dude. You and I both know how horrible that was. There weren't any values or morals in those schools. It was pure hell.’
‘I agree with you bro. I really do. my girls aren't going to get that. but hopefully they’ll get a good sense of community that we just can’t get without church right now.’
‘I know what you mean man. But I just can’t help but believe that we can still get that good warm sense of comfort and community without a church. At least not the normal American Christian churches. I just don't believe in it anymore... too much damage has been done over the centuries...’
‘I agree with you man. But like I said, there's two of us now making the decisions. We’re cool. don't worry about it.’
‘easy for you to say. I just don't like the idea of more people coming into the world thinking that the church is the right way and all the other ways are the wrong way. I don't like this idea that those people carry around that think that there's one God and all the other ones are false gods...’
‘I know dude. But isn't that what you do anyway? In your own way?’ I thought about what he said.
‘o.k. yeah. I'll give you that. I'm guilty of the same thing in a way. but I don't have any labels or identities or rules attached to my God man. IT just is. You know?’
‘as well it should be. I know that man. And my girls will be the same way. just as I am. And you are.’
‘yeah man. That's the fucked up part about religions right now on the earth. They all think they're the right one and everyone else is wrong. its fucked up. it causes too much pain for everyone. All their rules and dogmas... its always about who’s right and who’s wrong. and next thing you know, someone's getting murdered or locked in prison or blown up. its horrible. Always has been... I just thought that our family was different...’
‘we are different Fishy. trust me on this one. I know what I'm doing.’
‘I trust you bro. its cool. I just had to say my peace.’
‘cool man. Thanks for understanding. Now please don't become a fag.’ Big laughs.

I sat there in the lukewarm water of the bath. I bowed my head. “God help me to find within myself a deep and meaningful spirituality that fulfills me completely but that is honest and real. I won't have any of the manmade stuff. you and I both know it. But we both also know that I cannot continue to live without something. show me who you are. If you are. I'm here and I'm waiting. Show me God.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Passion for Songs

The other day at brunch zeke says, ‘I hear you guys are in the studio again recording another album...’ ‘another album?!’ exclaims his girl, ‘don't you guys have a new album coming out next month? What about the one zeke just finished mixing?’ ‘Didn't you guys just release an album like last month or something? Sleep with you?’ asks guided by voices fanatic and resident scenester photographer Cindy Semen. ‘Actually we’re recording two,’ I answer. ‘o.k. well at least you aren't hurting for songs!’ Zeke says and laughs.

I am a songwriter now. after twenty years, it just is. its not something you think about. its not even conscious anymore. As G2 looks at the world through the eyes of a graphic designer, judging how beautiful or symmetrical or pleasing to the eye everything he sees is. I don't even know if its something you are supposed to think about when you're born to something like that. I think its just something that's there. you wake up one day and realize that you are that. Its not like I wake up and pick up the guitar and think oh lets a write a song.  For me actually it’s the opposite. I avoid picking up the guitar, or sitting at the piano, as much as I can because I know that if I do then I will inevitably and uncontrollably write a song. And the truth is that so much goes into it, so much time and energy and attention, that a lot of times I just don't feel like dealing with it. so I'm at a stage now where I just try to avoid it as much as I can. I only do it if one pops into my head that I can’t shake no matter what I do. So we joked about this at the brunch table and everyone laughed and commented that there were certainly worse things to have as a problem than being afraid that you will write another song, since a lot of songwriters find it a real struggle. Poor me. haha.

But it isn't all fun and games. It is a huge responsibility that at times is agonizing and inconvenient, and often times boring and tedious. To be born into it. to be told, ‘o.k. for the next eighty or so years you are going to be the vehicle and the caretaker of this very large cannon of songs. Thousands and thousands of songs will be in your custody. They can and will come at any time and it is you and only you who will be responsible for them. You will flush them out into the real world from the cosmos, record them as you work on them so they are not forgotten, write them down, and then make sure they get professionally recorded either by yourself or someone else. you will make sure that the initial recordings and the original manuscripts are kept safe throughout your life—that means making second and third copies, no fires, floods, wars, or anything else can be allowed to destroy the body of work; you will also make sure that the professional recordings are then commercially released. This is your mission whether you accept it or not.’ ‘and if I don't accept it?’ ‘if you don't accept it the songs will play endlessly in your head till you go insane and you will be filled with a nonstop and unspeakable feeling of dread and guilt that you are squandering your life.’ ‘good enough. I'll take the mission.’ And that was that.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Federal Reserve, or is it?

There is a rooftop where I live that is accessible by a very long staircase. It is only four stories high but it allows me a quiet place to come where I can be all alone late at night and write and take in the night sky. There are two clocks on towers that I can see from up here. one is a digital clock whose numbers flash for miles around the sleeping city. another is several miles away and yet I can still see it from here. it is an old analogue style clock with an hour and minute hand. It is always running about ten minutes or more behind the real time as analogue clocks tend to do.

Tonight for some reason I was reminded of one Christmas when Beav and I were both given digital watches as gifts. This was the first year that digital watches came out. can you imagine. Something so passé and taken for granted now. but it is true. I remember the flurry of anticipation for these new wonders as each boy in the neighborhood received their first one that year. I never took to the whole watch idea. not that I won't one day. we are always changing. For all I know I may one day become obsessed with them and own hundreds of them. who knows. but I never understood the need to wear the time on our bodies when it is all around us. now give me a camera or a phone or a computer or an MP3 player or a video camera or a pda that I can wear on my wrist and I might be mildly enthused, but the time? You see all the mainstreamers walking around with their ten thousand dollar watches and you have to question that. I mean, unless you’re stranded on a desert island and have no other way to tell what time it is, why bother? And in that case who needs to know what time it is anyway? Unless that thing can facilitate time travel or something I just don’t get it. You ever notice that people that wear watches tend to look at them all the time? Its crazy. Its like it becomes a nervous habit for them or something. Like they cant just look up and see the time. Who needs to see the time every few minutes anyway?  Ok enough about watches.

It rains a lot in Miami. everyday it rains. I can walk out of my apartment after a thunderstorm and all around me can be soaked with giant puddles of water. I climb the steps to my special sitting place on the rooftop and I see large puddles of water on all the rooftops as far as my eyes can see. and even on my own rooftop there are large puddles all around me. but for some reason this mysterious table and chair that were there before I moved in, like they were placed there by god himself for fishy to sit in to write in every night, always remain dry as a bone. I am always amazed by this. There can be puddles of water on all sides of me up on the rooftop, my feet can be sitting in them beneath the table, and yet the table and the chair that I sit in every night are always dry as if it never rained at all. There is a God, or perhaps intelligence to the universe, or perhaps, we are just infinitely more powerful and capable than we as of yet give ourselves credit for. Id hope for all three but be happy to find out that even one of those assumptions were true.

Current Read:  this website:
http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/NWO/Federal_Reserve_McFadden.htm  

Crazy things in here. plenty of unsubstantiated hoopla for conspiracy types, but a lot of unfortunate facts as well. If you are a ‘behind the scenes, under the rug, between the lines, what's REALLY going on’ kind of person, then you are going to love this website. Though a lot of it is pretty common knowledge if you study this stuff (that's probably the scariest part --- that I already knew almost everything on here! talk about a freak. But actually I think a lot of people might these days.)

If not anything else, read the speech about the Federal Reserve from the 1930s.

Also read this:
http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/FRS-Adams.htm

[not to insult the reader’s intelligence by stating the obvious, so for the young ones in the house lets say, we learn that the federal reserve, better known as the fed, is not federal at all, but in fact a conglomerate of private bankers that came here from Europe who basically took control of the entire country through controlling the economy under the pretense of being a governmental agency. Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson and many of the founding fathers warned vehemently against this ‘selling out’ of America, but we finally succumbed in 1913. [Well, ‘we’ didn’t actually. but a few greedy and slimy politicians including the then president Woodrow Wilson did (On Christmas eve just to make sure that no one was paying attention. Ever wonder why he is peculiarly on the face of the one hundred thousand dollar bill? (no of course you hadn’t. Neither had I. that’s because we never even knew there was a one hundred thousand dollar bill, let alone might have ever seen one.] The Federal Reserve is an absolutely brilliant scam, the biggest one going in America, and made even more brilliant by the fact that most Americans don’t know anything about it. They think its just part of the government. I’m still learning myself. It’s an insane world we live in indeed. I received an email this morning from a contact of mine at the New York Times. I told her how I was researching the Federal Reserve and how crazy it is. She sent me this last night:

Monday, July 19, 2004

Today the coolest thing happened. I was walking with the Indian Princess and I was going off about business and how obsessed and passionate one can be about business and being an entrepreneur in America. How challenging and yet easy it can be to make it big and become successful here. one minute you can just have this idea, and in the next you can just hit it big. She would have none of it. just wasn't interested in it. she hates talking about money. just wants to talk about art and love. And that's cool. that's her thing. so we diverge on that. I being rather obsessed with it myself, but still being into art and love as well, but just understanding that art and love are a lot more enjoyable when you are rolling in money. Anyway, right as I'm telling her all of this, we’re walking down the street and we run into the Salamander. I hadn't seen him in years. And there he was. And two minutes before I was talking about him. Using him as an example of the classic American dream.

The Salamander makes many appearances in the early years of The Adventures of Fishy. he was always a fixture at the Shattered concerts. And he was always dirt poor. Millions of brilliant ideas, but just never hit it big. And he was like probably forty or fifty when the Toad and I were still teenagers. But he went to all of our shows and was always a big supporter. And none of our friends wanted him around because they probably felt like he was too poor or whatever. it probably just brought up their own fears of being poor or being a struggling genius with lots of ideas and no money. But me and Toad liked having him around. He was cool and smart and a good conversationalist.

A few years ago I remembered him getting this idea about making these little plastic covers that go over canned beverages. They make the can sanitary to drink from right from the factory. And you could advertise on them to third parties as well. a brilliant idea. and guess what? Yep. He did it. in fact, we’re starting to see them pop up on cans all over the country. soft drinks and beers and whatever. and it was his idea. and so I see him and I yell to him, ‘hey Salamander, what's up man?! How the hell are you? how's the new business?!” And wouldn’t you know it, he's driving around in a brand new jaguar and he lives in this posh apartment on the fiftieth floor overlooking the ocean now. His business took off and now he's just totally fucking rich and successful. How awesome. That's America.

What is it about deceiving others? Even when we tell ourselves that we are being totally honest with the other person and telling them exactly how we feel... we can still feel like we are in the wrong in some way. meditating on it last night I realized that when we deceive ourselves we are still deceiving others in a way. when we aren't totally in the right with how we are being or what we are doing. Just by us being deceptive with ourselves. That's the worse crime we can commit in a way. deceiving ourselves. You can really feel it. sometimes we don't recognize what it is, but we can tell that something is there. in our space that isn't quite right. [I think that is part of what is wrong with our nation right now, with our collective conscience, is the whole Bush thing, how he got in, and how uncomfortable many of us feel by the whole thing. way down deep inside we can just feel that something is not quite right with everything that is going on, but we endure it anyway. And it makes us all feel a bit shifty and insecure inside.]

Sunday, July 18, 2004

In the studio today with the poet. first session for the two new albums. Recorded four songs for the Girls album, Summer says, Verena, Kathy, Indian Princess. And one song for the Cinematique album, which has no name yet; maybe After tomorrow. the rest of the songs we’ll do with Infinito. Me and Bloopy talking tonight on the phone. Transcendence is turning into something very cool. the whole way we have all these different players, like this core group of players that make it what it is. I would love to tour with like all eight guys at once. That would be awesome for all of us and for the fans.

The Girls album is something that so far only I seem to like the idea of. Bas says I am going to slammed for. He's like, ‘you can do it man. Just don't do it. it’s a bad idea. A whole album about girls? With girls names? Horrible! It will be the end of your career.’ ‘Bro, I don't have much of a career yet. I can pretty much do whatever I want to at this point. Hehe.’ In the short term it may at first come off kind of pretentious or contrived, but the idea actually came from a talk with Bloopy about putting out a girls compilation CD of all the songs from our various CDs that have girls names. Which is a still a good idea, but then I started leafing through all the song notebooks and realizing that there were still tons of songs I had already written with girls names that hadn't been recorded yet. and that would make a cool album all on its own. more than an albums worth actually. So its not contrived at all, but just conceptual. Its not like we’re sitting around writing a bunch of songs about girls. These are just the orphan songs that never made it to albums. So its cool. and the cool thing, although I'll probably be the only one who thinks this is cool, is that all the songs are from different periods of my life so each song is a totally different style. I'll love it. But I may be the only one. anyway, as much as the other guys don't like it, I am hoping I can get them to humor me long enough to get it recorded. Just a bunch of one off songs. Just honoring what's there. I love songs and I love songwriting. It is the ultimate indulgence.

-------------------------------------
It’s this nagging loneliness that is always looming there in the back of your mind.... its like a feeling of emptiness, or not-wholeness... I wonder if it is real—is it instinctivelyinstinctually there? Or is it trained? Just something that is ingrained in us since we were young. Either way, I feel it. Everyone seems to.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Today is Juliet’s birthday. Happy birthday.
This evening, I saw one of the strangest things I have ever seen. But I was right there in it. so I can’t say that I just saw it. I was a part of it. I was there in it. this twilight zone of a town, where the tides have to be slightly tainted by some foreign matter that creates the strangest people you could ever meet. In America, but not of America, this land of people that time forgot. In the world, but not of the world. about 2 am.

I'm walking jazz to her car and she asks ‘do you know Elvis?’ ‘yeah. Of course. His new CD is fucking awesome. Have you heard it?’ ‘No, I mean Dean, father Bloopy’s friend. he's right over there...’ and she points to this guy leaning against a telephone pole. ‘you mean the parking lot attendant guy?’ I ask. ‘yeah, but everyone calls him Elvis because he’s an Elvis impersonator when he's not being a parking lot attendant.’ ‘No way. for real?’ ‘yeah.’ We get up to the guy. they talk a bit. ‘will you sing us a song?’ he’s got a guitar there with him. on this busy street corner in front of this giant parking lot, in the middle of a busy Friday night on South beach. And he starts playing blue suede shoes. But he’s fucking great. That's the thing. he sounds just like Elvis. But not cheesy and hamming it up. but like really good. authentic. Getting into it with his eyes closed. And we’re standing there watching and listening and all these cars are going in and out of the lot and he's standing there with his eyes closed singing blue suede shoes and two o'clock in the morning on this street corner dressed up like a parking attendant. And then some of their friends from high school walk over and just casually listen and every now and then talk to jazz like this is no big deal. Then he goes into suspicious minds. And some guy comments that ‘this is the fourth time he's played this tonight...’ I feel like I'm in a time warp. Like I'm in one of those movies or TV shows and I've hit the wrong button and ended up in some strange mysterious world and I can’t figure anything out. Where the hell am i? People grew up here. they were born here and they grew up here. on these streets. and in this town. and this is the product of that. what I'm seeing here tonight. when we travel the country we are reminded that the country exists. but here there is none of that. there is nothing of the real world here in Miami. it is a country all its own. gay boys in sleeveless shirts and sandals are everywhere, and the most beautiful exotic women who cannot take their sunglasses off or talk to you about anything except the latest DJ or dance club or designer drug or drink or fashion show, which are plenty. And yes, the occasional Elvis impersonator who moonlights as a parking lot attendant. I walk around in my usual all black and people ask me ‘where are you from?’ I have to pause for a second to think about it. ‘where am I from? where am I now? how did I get here?’

To Cleo: “...don't get defensive. I'm your biggest fan and supporter. You know that. I will never turn against you. Even when I'm against you, I'm not really against you. Ok?”

Later that night, I was in bed, unable to sleep, as every night since I sold my house and moved to this temporary little rat trap in the ghetto known as South Beach, thinking, praying, freaking out, talking to God.... “God, its me again.” “I know.” “I know I don't have a disease and I'm not dying or anything. Mom’s o.k. Beav’s o.k. Madelynne’s o.k. I'm o.k. But you know, I'm still freaking out here. I'm not sure how far I'm supposed to take this music thing... I'm not getting a lot of money. I think we’re getting kind of close to the breaking point aren't we? Shouldn’t I be getting a break sometime soon?” “You're getting a break soon. In the last six months you have made a lot of progress...” “But the last six months have been filled with rejection and hopelessness...” “Don't worry. You can worry now. But you don't have to. Or you can choose not to worry. You are on the right path...” “God how do I know I'm on the right path?” “You know. You feel it. You see it. You trust it...” I listened...

Friday, July 16, 2004

[from rob Breszny]
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Your life has brought you many maddeningly inconclusive adventures. On occasion, you've probably been tempted to invest what was left of your battered faith in the doctrine proclaimed by Gertrude Stein: "There ain't no answer. There ain't going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer." But now the time has come for you to suspend your belief in Stein's theory and others like it. During the next five months, I predict that you will be given more precise, definitive answers than you've ever had before.

So yes it is true, I certainly would be more inclined as of late to concur with Ms. Stein about the nature of it all. Life is a dream where there are no answers except the ones we try desperately to talk ourselves into in each moment in our attempt to hang on for yet another day. every now and then a bit of relevance or sense may pop in just to keep us going. but overall... this world is just pure random madness.

We’ll see if the old sage is right, or if perhaps the new prophet has found some truth in this world of madness and mayhem.

I'll tell you what always comes up for me... its how short life is and how short life is going to seem for us when we get older. That's what it is for me. And... by the grace of God or anything that remotely resembles IT, will we ever get any big-picture-meaning out of it?

In other news, I am sometimes overwhelmed lately with a feeling of how blessed I am with so many good friends. Bas tells me, ‘you have more friends than anyone I've ever known.” I joke to him, “My brother I believe you may be right. I just may the most friended guy in the world. and thank God. Because I'm lonely as fucking hell.” We laugh.  “It takes a lot of time to have all those friends. You're never off that fucking phone. I could never be that way.” But I like it. A lot. Especially now. Good feeling. It is as if God or the universe if trying to tell me something lately. Like giving me this gift. These little reminders...

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Stuck inside Miami with the Europe blues again

Oh boy are we like ghosts floating through the desert now children. Not supposed to be here in Miami. not supposed to be here in America. And yet here we are. The poet and I get together everyday and rehearse new songs for new albums because that is all I can think of to do to keep us inspired during this the greatest of all calamities, the tour that never was.

Our spirits are low and our poverty rate is high. (forgive me, I had to). we have no way to earn for the next few weeks because we didn't book any shows, since we thought we were going to be on tour already. Obviously. We roam the streets wondering if we are dreaming. Mouths hanging open. Perspiration pouring from our brows. Is this Amsterdam? Is this a dream? What the hell is going on? Dude I think we’re still in Miami. what? You mean this isn't Madrid? No dude, I really think we’re still in Miami. but dude, weren't we supposed to be in Barcelona or something by now? yeah. I think so. But this looks like Miami. man I need a drink. Me too.

In good news of course the song Superhero girl was released to commercial radio this week and is doing well. as well as non-commercial music on non-commercial record labels with non-commercial bands can do on commercial radio. We are in a different age now. clear channel owns the airwaves. And ticket master owns the box office. music isn't played by DJs anymore. Its programmed via satellite from one main office. oh if I ever shared with you dear diary the comments from DJs and program directors in our daily reports. How not-into music they are, and how they are just looking for the band with the next big story or the big pocket book behind them regardless of what the band actually sounds like. it is indeed a sorry state. But in all these little pockets all over America are still these raging raving pioneer DJs out there playing music because they like it. we found one in Gainesville and another one in Tallahassee, and a few others in places like Richmond and Omaha. They are out there still. if you are lucky enough to live in one of those areas where you have a maverick DJ and a REAL radio station. They just say fuck what's hot or cool or in or out, and they play it if they like it. good for them. Thanks guys.

I am noticing a feeling overtaking me---ah hah! I have finally crossed the border into the world of “I am not creating it; “its” creating for me!”---in spite of that realization intellectually, its still hard to do anything about it. a good lesson in learning tolerance for others!! ah hah! Anyway, yes this sinking drowning terrifying feeling that all is not well. wow. Its been a long time. welcome home feeling. Its been a long time since this feeling has occupied the space I call myself.

[By the way, before I forget, and before it mysteriously vanishes,
Check out this great speech by Bono at the University of Pennsylvania. 

You can watch Bono delivering his address - from the 1:56 mark - by clicking here]
It vanished. Go to their website. Its good.


A crazy week. this publicist rainmaker publicity up in Boston has fucked us. took our money, won't do any work, and won't take any of the labels or the managers calls. if you google them, which we should have done, you will see that she did this to hundreds of bands all over America. O.k. so we’re idiots. We never even bothered to check... just loved her personality. So now its going to court. And everyone spends truckloads of money to battle it out. it is a real waste of time and energy, all just because someone doesn’t want to earn their keep in the world in a legitimate fashion. I told our attorney in Massachusetts, ‘I don't care what it costs, just crush her.’ So she can’t do this to any more bands. I really cannot believe that people like this exist. I think back on all the times over the last ten years since I have been in business, when someone has screwed us over just because they knew they could. Sometimes people do it whether they think they can or not. Its like they're socipathic or something. and then when you sue them they scream and holler and kick and scream like maniacs like they don't even know why this is happening to them. its really weird and disturbing. Because you can tell that they really don't know what's happening. They get caught in their own deceptive devices as much as their innocent victims.

Between this and the whole tour fiasco, its been a crazy time to be alive in our skin. To make matters worse, I woke up to this radio promoter screaming curse words at me. actually he told me to go fuck myself. We’ll call him Masseratti. Masseratti has a reputation for being a good old boy in the biz. Doesn’t have any big name acts and works the small markets, but generally known as a nice guy. he sends our record label a blaring email because we decided to release superhero girl to alt-rock radio before we released Veronica to adult radio even though we had told them we were going to do veronica pretty soon. it wasn't that we weren't going to release veronica; but too many consultants came in with superhero girl as the first horse out of the gate. So there it was. So he was pissed that he wasn't getting the business. And he sends this pissy email. and on and on. And I question his audacity to come after us who are this obviously very small label and very small band who don't have a pot to piss in and if we’re going to spend twenty or thirty thousand dollars of our own personal money on a chance and a dream like radio then we better make sure it’s the right one. and besides, if they wanted the deal later, shouldn’t he be a bit nicer and cooler? Wasn't it worth it if in the future he was going to land a twenty thousand dollar deal for our second single? But all he could do was start screaming fuck off like some lunatic. Totally unbusinesslike and very ungentlemanly. and yes even in this twisted cursed business that the music business has turned into, I was still slightly taken aback. All I could do in return was send him an email that read: Dear Masseratti, You are a big baby and you should be ashamed of yourself. Love, Fishy

Its just been one of those weeks. What can you say.

So we’re playing with some bigger fish now, swimming in the big kids pool. And it hasn’t been easy. Everywhere you turn when you're a struggling artist there are people who are ready to pounce on you with a big smile and take what they can get from you. the poet tells me ‘man, dude, I hope you're writing all this down so if you ever do this pull this miracle of yours off then you can help other bands do it too...’ I'm like, ‘dude, if I did start writing all this shit down, about what its like in the music business for real, no one would believe me. and if they did, they wouldn’t want any part of it.’ Publicists and video directors, managers and radio promoters, who take the money and run, booking agents who book whole tours that mysteriously don't exist, record company executives who don't want to hear what you sound like but only want to ‘see the numbers,’ radio DJs who will only play your song if the guy next door is playing it or if you give them a thousand bucks a spin, video music channels who will only play your video if they're getting huge money to do so, entertainment attorneys who promise you a record contract if you give them five thousand dollars and then after your check is cleared they don't remember who you are... “what was the name of the band again?” and every time you check your email some company you’ve never heard of is promising you and every other struggling artist on the planet super-stardom for a one time payment of only $89.99. its fucking insane. And I wouldn’t believe it myself if I hadn't experienced personally over the last five years. there's this “consultant” in New York who I've known for years who rents himself out to artists for a ‘consultant fee’ that starts at fifteen hundred dollars, but he’ll never tell you what he's actually going to do for you. he just off handedly mentions a bunch of different things that might happen if things worked out. and this is how he makes his living. He mentions a few big name acts he has or hasn’t worked with and he takes the artists’ money and who knows what the hell happens. I've known him for ten years now and never heard of anything big coming out of it for anyone. Like I said, its fucking unbelievable. But that's the business.

But still, I told myself as I was driving home tonight with the wind blowing through my hair and Cyndi lauper belting out some old standards on her new CD, I still believe in this. I still believe in rock and roll. I still believe in that feeling I got when I first heard the Strokes or the Thrills or the Vines or Rufus. I still believe in it when I walk into the house and Bas has his new Ours CD cranked up to 11. or when we went to see U2 in three different cities on their last tour because it was so fucking amazing and life affirming. Somehow, in some miraculous way, some good music still manages to seep through to us. and that's the only thing that keeps me going these days. it’s the music.

Current Spin: the carter family singers, Best of. Going all the way back to the thirties and forties this does. Real Americana music. in our never ending attempt to explore every album ever made we find ourselves knee deep in the heartland on this surprisingly enjoyable 20 song collection of yee haw I've got a broken heart music. but in all seriousness, I love it. especially now after researching the fam and discovering that our American roots go so far back. this is very true true true music. much simpler times.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

There was this bug that flew onto my laptop screen for a moment. And in an instant I blew it off with my breath. How easy that was I thought. How this clueless bugs life is so easily manipulated by me. I bet he doesn’t even know who I am or what I am. He just knows that he got blown off the bright white screen against his will.

When bad things happen to us I wonder who is the big powerful force that is so easily manipulating us as we do to all the little bugs around us all the time? As we get tossed about in this life, what the hell is that force that is just blowing us around?

In one of our philosophy classes in college we had to write a paper on our view of God. now because we were in college we all had a pretty disturbing view of God at the time. I am sure those views have changed over the years. I don't remember what I wrote but I am sure it was some existential or atheistic paper on the utter meaninglessness of life and of the idea of God. but Slim, he wrote this elaborate piece about how we were all these little pawns being subtly controlled and manipulated by ‘the Gods.’ How these mysterious and more powerful beings that we couldn’t see or hear but we somehow knew existed, because we could see the effects of their being all around us, controlled us in so many ways. At the time I didn't see much use in his paper, although our professor at the time loved the paper and rejoiced in its wit and irreverence. I'm still friends with Slim. And sometimes when I look back at that, I wonder if there wasn’t more truth to his exercise than any of us were giving it credit at the time. we were all a pretty cynical bunch of cigarette smoking intellectuals back then. Maybe there are beings more powerful than we are, so much so that we can’t even see them. just huge monstrous beings that only exist in the fourth dimension. Or in another dimension that we can’t see or measure yet... 

In other news, not entirely unrelated, our summer tour of Europe has mysteriously vanished. The material losses that each member has suffered have been devastating. The poet and I stayed drunk pretty much for five days straight trying to talk our minds into the fact that we weren't going to be leaving any day now. today will be my first day sober. Trying to put the pieces back together. our agent has offered no compensation and very few answers. They say that ‘that's just the world of rock and roll.’ Somehow that doesn’t make us feel much better.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

New York was incredible as always. Lost my cell phone in a cab as always. Looked at a million apts for sale. New York living is a strange crazy dream like state that people in the rest of the country would never understand. Kitchens are pretty lame if you even have a kitchen in your apartment. A real kitchen would cost you well over a half million dollars. Closet space is pretty limited. You may store your clothes in three different small closets scattered throughout your small studio, and store your shoes under the bed or under the sink. All of this is pretty normal. Since for three to four hundred thousand dollars you aren't going to get an actual bedroom, but just a one room studio apartment, your bed is right in the middle of your living room. Or maybe a better way to look at it is that people walk right into your bedroom and you don't have a living room. Your bathroom could be right next to your kitchen and could be smaller than a broom closet.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Morning. Dreams were insane last night. just woke up. room service brings me coffee and orange juice in bed every morning. I don't even have to get up. I just yell ‘come in!’ and they walk in and set down a tray on the desk. Awesome. Must become wealthy so this becomes my full time life again. Try to get the dreams down before I forget them.

There was Laura again. This is the third time I have dreamed of Laura that I can remember in the dream [but in waking state I do not know who this is.] In the dream I watched as the characters played the story and the retelling of the story out in front of me while I directed. As I watched, I remembered already writing this scene in the diaries before. Laura tells her father that she is a courtesan or geisha to me as his mistress is to him. the father is enraged. In fact this is the first now that I am awake that I have ever heard of this story and now don’t understand the significance.

The story of Laura I remember tearfully telling her mother or an older woman friend of ours. Laura was depressed. Laura would slowly get into this kind of deep depression and life would be unbearable for her. I would do everything to help her. this was the third lifetime I have spent with Laura trying different things I told the older woman, and still it doesn’t appear to get any better. All of a sudden I could see all three lifetimes. I took this for granted and yet I was amazed by it at the same time. as if wow isn't that strange that I can see all three lifetimes so clearly now in this one lifetime. I continued to tell the woman, The first time Laura and I killed ourselves together. she killed herself and then I did right afterwards. Then in the next lifetime Laura killed herself alone. That didn't seem to help either. And in this lifetime we had something else planned. I do not remember what. She would probably die again from her depression.

The insanity escalated as we tried to ward off this evil force that was trying to control or take over Laura. It was I and Laura’s father who were trying to fight it. huge clouds of fire bursting out all over the place as this dark force screamed at us in this deep voice. He said that we could escape if we could sing a song that had nothing to do with him.... I sang and was immediately lifted up into the air away from the scene. I tried not to think about what was going on below but I kept going back to the scene with my mind and therefore I kept bouncing back into the scene. I would sing and up I would float, and then back to the scene.

I had many visions of an ongoing war that had begun on the earth. Punks were gathering and doing battle. Thousands of people getting slaughtered in the streets. and thousands of aliens also. Lots of smoke and ships hovering overhead. I watched. As if it was on TV. The world was at war with aliens it seems.

Later I prepared my car to go to the war. I had to drive to California—who was the girl this time?—she was older. I was not into her. why was I with her? I was packing my car with stuff. I was filling it with fuel. Beaver was helping me get ready. I was dreading the trip cross country. I was driving a huge RV.

There was a war with the middle east. We were marching down one of their streets. I saw the people in the different fields fighting. The streets were littered with debris and bodies. I talked with my fellow soldiers and we spoke about just blowing them all up at once. How easy it would be. we recited German poems about doing it. We were in a store buying supplies. You could buy these little mini-fans, that we used as propellers of some kind to launch bombs. I told the men behind the counter that we were considering blowing them all up, and he said look at all the progress we have made there. we would have to rebuild all of it again. I told him that I was just there in the battle field and trust me there is nothing to rebuild. It is just a bunch of shit right now. they are attacking us from everywhere right now. we need to blow them all up and start over.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

In New York for three days looking at apartments. Hanging with the Chap and Rockaway. The average price per square foot in America right now is $91 per square foot. That is considered very high. In Manhattan the average price is $900 per square foot. Just for perspective. Its unreal. Ten times the national average. People are standing in line around the block to buy a 400 square foot studio apartment with no bedroom for $400,000. It is fucking hilarious. Made even more hilarious by the fact that I am seriously considering the same thing. but nothing is like New York. It is the everywhere and the everything. the girls are so nice and friendly. Everyone is really. This isn't the New York of our parents generation. Everyone walks around on cloud nine. Happily grumpy so to speak. Or perhaps grumpily happy. for as exciting and wonderful as it is, life in New York still has its challenges. As a cabbie yesterday eagerly explained to me about the virtues of Miami, “Why would you want to move from paradise to this? Look at all this traffic man! And the weather! Look at this rain!” He was right. New York had been soggy and gloomy for two days now. dark and dreary. But somehow that didn't seem to affect people too much.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Spent three hours last night researching. Started by finishing the articles on the federal reserve. From there found a multitude of websites on similar topics. Watched a documentary on the Carlyle group. then a bit or two of the Nicholas berg beheading. Then a bunch of orgs that are claiming that the berg beheading was faked. That it never happened. Then on to a million websites that claim that a plane never crashed into the pentagon on Sept 11th. this is known as the ‘pentagon missile theory.’ A lot of the stuff comes off like half baked conspiracy theory bunk. But some not. Spent an hour scouring through the reams of websites claiming that sept 11th was a huge conspiracy in and of itself. That yes it happened, but not the way we were told it happened. The evidence is hard to squash and harder to forget. The truth is unfortunately that we the people never saw the plane that crashed into the pentagon, never saw any wreckage, and that the twelve foot hole in the side of the building couldn’t have been caused by a jet with a one hundred and twenty five wingspan. But again, who knows. shit, we’re still living in a country where the official story of the jfk murder is that lee Harvey Oswald did it, but you can’t find anyone in the country who really believes it anymore; not even people in the middle States. my mind spinning from all of the new information, I fell asleep thinking about the last time I spoke with Sam from the New York Times.
She asked me ‘now that you’ve opened my eyes to this whole federal reserve thing... what do you expect me to do?’
‘you mean now that you’ve taken the red pill?’ I joked.
“seriously Fishy. what are you expecting?’
‘I'm not expecting anything. You'll do what you do. I was just showing you something... that's all.’ ‘well I have a life Fishy. I'm not going to go underground and start fighting the good fight like all those activist friends of yours. I have a life.’
‘o.k. fine. I love you no matter what you do. but you'll do the right thing eventually.’
‘what about your family? And your future? Don't you think about that?”
‘yes. all the time. that's what they want you to think about. That's what they're planning on. That you'll forget about this. Or that you'll move on and start focusing on your life and your job and your family.... That's why these things are called conspiracies. Because they're going on right in front of our noses but very few of us know about it... and those of us who do know about it know damn well that we can’t do a thing about it... that's the setup.’
‘So lets say that this is a conspiracy... what can we do about it?’
‘I don't know.’ I paused for a good minute or more. dead silence on the phone. listening to her breathe. Waiting for me to respond. ‘probably nothing Sam. What can we really do? Educate and inform our friends and family. Take the risk of being labeled freaks and radicals.’
‘you’ve been studying this stuff for ten years. what are you doing? Why should I do something?’
‘Look, you know what I'm doing. Its no secret. I have transcendent television. Our website. I spend close to a thousand bucks a month of my own money on the people that work on that website. Constantly uploading information to the site, just to get the information out there to people. I do my best to inform people, to use the public attention I have to turn people on... if I read about it and think it’s something important, or even interesting, then I post it. That's my part. But you Sam, you can do a lot more. you're big time. you have a huge audience. the biggest audience in the world.’
‘I'm not doing it Fishy. its too risky. I have my family to consider. I have my career.’
‘I used to feel the same way. I know. you'll take what I gave you and file it somewhere. And you won't think about it for a few months. Or a few years even. And then you'll read something that reminds you... some little bit of truth that speaks so loudly to you that the whole damn reality of this will come crashing back into your mind again and your conscience will force you to start researching again and you'll get even more into it... if you have a heart and a conscious, which I know that you do, you won't be able to help it....’
‘I hate you. you know that? I wish you never would have told me about any of this.’
‘I know. I wish I didn't know anything about it either. I'm sorry for that.’
‘I liked it a lot better when our relationship was purely sexual.... I think that you were just using me because of this. because you wanted an in with major media.’
‘that's funny.’ I laughed. ‘Because I have a lot of ‘ins’ with major media in case you forgot. You just happen to be one of the few that I sleep with, and besides, have I ever asked you to write a story about our band? or about me or anything that I do?’
‘No. you were saving me for this crap! For all this conspiracy theory crap. I wish you would have just asked me to write an article about your new CD or something.’
‘They're not theories Sam. There's nothing theoretical about it. This is a conspiracy. It’s happening. Its real. It’s the real deal. I promise you that I won't waste your time with any conspiracy theories. I don't have the time for them. they bore the shit out of me. I'm only interested in the things that are really happening. In fact, it’s the fucking crazy conspiracy theories that make it so hard for the real conspiracies to get any credit in the public eye. For all we know, the government is the one behind a lot of the kooky theories that are out there. good way to keep everyone skeptical.... and ignorant about what's really going on...’
‘you have a point... that would be funny.’ She laughs.
‘yeah. Real funny. Make fun of our country being taken over by giant evil multi-national corporations...’
‘what else are we supposed to do? Fishy. lighten up. I can’t talk about this anymore. My heart is beating so fast. lets have sex over the phone.... tell me what you would do to me if you were here...’
‘Sam. I'm sorry. You don't have to do anything. You know that. you just happened to have called at the wrong moment and I told you all this stuff. forget about it. I want you to just do your thing. just do your thing. your doing a good thing. don't stop what you're doing.’
‘and what about you? now I have to worry everyday that I am going to wake up and see on the news that you’ve mysteriously disappeared or that you’ve been murdered.... I think you should just be a singer and forget about all this...’
‘Sam, you know how they say that God never deals you anything that he doesn’t feel that you can handle?’
‘yeah. I've heard that. Philosophical new age mumbo jumbo. I don't think like that.’
‘Well maybe you want to start thinking like that... there's no going back now Sam.’
I didn't mention that fateful meeting with Black Coat a few years ago. Why mess her up even more? she had had enough. I believe I have already written about that meeting years ago... in the earlier diaries. I will check. Black Coat was a friend of ours from high school who now works for the FBI. We met a few years ago and he told me to cool it for a while with the diaries and the protests and the general revolutionary outbursts I was getting known for. “Let me put it this way my brother. If you take my advice, there will be no need for you to ever thank me. Because nothing will ever happen.” “And if I don't follow your advice?” “You're going to wish you had bro. that's why I looked you up.’ ‘What are you saying man?’ ‘We go way back Fishy. Be cool is all I'm saying. You're a singer. Remember that.”

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Drunk tonight. We went to a party for a friend’s birthday. The stress level is very high right now. our European tour has been postponed. My uncle is in the hospital, and I am living in a tiny rental apartment in a neighborhood that I can only describe as the ghetto. It is true after all what they say about stress or being upset and the appetite. I always thought it was a cliché. ‘can’t eat, can’t sleep.’ In fact two days ago the Stallion told me the same thing because of her broken heart... But you know, its totally fucking true. I am down to less than one meal a day now. i can’t even get a full meal down splitting it up into lots of little meals throughout the day. have no appetite. It is one am, I am about to go to bed after a long day, and I have yet to make it through an omelet all day. yesterday I managed to eat one half of one sandwich in the entire day, but it took me three separate sittings to do so. Some people eat a lot when they get upset. Man I can’t eat a fucking thing. if we don't get a break soon, I am going to fucking jump off a tall building and thoroughly enjoy watching innocent passersby stare horrified at my mutilated body on the street while I float up to infinity.

---break---

If you were on the outside of Miami looking in, as I have found myself lately, you would notice a strangeness here like nothing we have in America. Miami, in general, the whole area, South beach included, is still a Podunk town. a wannabe town with not much going on. American big industry and corporate headquarters have all moved away. South beach is like the lost city. Filled with tank-topped gay guys walking around with these tiny little dogs, stray cats (I'm not kidding---there are millions of them all over town) and slutty looking halter-topped girls who don't have money but want money real bad so they dress real slutty and act real bitchy; on the occasion, you may meet your average normal well mannered American white girl, but this is not very often. If you are ‘old money’ which I am not, you are easily offended by ‘new money’, which I am not either. But this is a given. if you live in Miami you are in a constant state of offense because no one here even knows what ‘old money’ is. They are still trying to get to ‘new money.’ so the pretense is very high, as it always is around people with no money who want to act like they have money. They have fake two hundred dollar sunglasses but they still rent. That type of thing. it is quite nauseating. I have been here a little more than a week and the only way to describe the feelings that are surfacing within me is “shock and awe.” What's left of the population here is what in America we would commonly refer to as “Guido type.” If you remember that song and video called “rico suave” then that is what I'm talking about. Even though in the rest of America that was the epitome of cheese, that is the norm here. The only music they have here besides the more traditional old school Cuban musics is hip hop or dance music---what is often referred to as ‘house.’ what is remarkable is that every single store plays the same mix of the same track of the same style of music pumping out of their store speakers --- from pizzerias to clothing stores to large clubs to cafes. Its uncanny. Some friends and I have conjectured that the only way to explain this strange coincidence is that every time a business owner goes to renew their business license, they are given a copy of this same horrid song and forced to sign a contract guaranteeing they will play it and nothing else during regular business hours.

Cool bands like U2 or Coldplay are called “gringo music” here---meaning “music for the uncool white people who don't know how to dance and therefore don't need music that you can dance to.” How bad is it? to put it in perspective, Miami is the only P1 (population of 1 million or more) city in America that doesn’t have a rock radio station. the rock station here (she103 --- a really famous rock station back in the day) got turned into a hip hop station in the early nineties when the last of the Americans moved out. The classical music station here got turned into a dance music station in 2002. The dial is filled with rap, dance, Spanish, or hip hop music. This is crazy to fathom, I know, but this is the truth. Pop and rock stars do not play in Miami when they tour. they go as far as west palm beach usually, which is a little over an hour from here, or sometimes to fort Lauderhell. But never to Miami, because no one will show up if they come to Miami, because no one who lives in Miami knows who they are.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Uncle is in the hospital. Already had quadruple bypass surgery a few years ago. He's only 65 years young. Crazy. I spoke with him today on the phone. He tells me that he knows that I am a freak and don't believe in heaven and hell and all that, but that three times now he has had visions of the black hooded creatures mumbling gibberish coming to get him. I told him that I believed sincerely that if that's what he believes that then that is exactly what he will experience and invited him to change his beliefs and maybe he would like to create something a little bit more pleasing or appealing for his near future... he said with all due respect that I was crazy and that reality was reality. That we can’t change it, no matter what we believe. Which of course is exactly what he will experience, since that's what he believes. So in the end, he’s right. and so am I.

Hard for him to breathe due to severe chest pain. But he tells me, “listen Fishy, I know you're going to be leaving soon for your tour. If I should die, while you're gone, I don't want you to feel like you have to come back... I don't want you to mess up what you’ve worked so hard for your entire life just to come to my funeral. No matter what anyone else says. You hear me? I'm proud of you son.” I didn't know what to say. I just played it cool. “Well I don't think we have to worry about that uncle. Lets just see what happens tomorrow.” I said.

If that weren't enough for the shit of all days, little did he know that just a few hours later we were told by our booking agent that the European tour is being pushed back more. More waiting. The usual crap. may not leave for another month or more. I didn't have the heart to tell uncle. If he is going to die, then let him die thinking I'm out there successful. Let him go out with a smile on his face. I just couldn’t tell him.

Current Read: studying morocco still. what's great about it is that as you begin studying one country and one time in history, you are soon learning about a lot of other countries and eras too; just keep cross checking and skipping around throughout history, playing catch up to references they make to one country or another. So everything begins to tie together more. all the pieces coming together hour by hour. Words that were once nameless faceless random and mysterious now make sense: carthage, the berbers, the semites, Byzantine empire, the crusades of course, Constantinople, Phoenicia (our modern alphabet comes from them.) fascinating. It goes on and on. History has become an obsession.

One cannot help but think of the current American political scene from an historical viewpoint while studying the history of so many other countries. After watching the recent Fahrenheit 911 film, and now knowing what we know, after the horror and shock subsides a bit, the question is, what do we do about it now? what can we do as a people to bring things back a bit to a fair playing field?

In the good news department, Kerry chose Edwards as his running mate. So we may have a chance. [and again, I say this not as a democrat, which I'm not; but just as an American.] let the solemn reluctant hero, call him the heavy bear, and the happy go lucky farm-boy in there for a while. hope is on their side. At least you get the feeling they're honest folk. 
Received a call from the Italian stallion today. very nice to hear from her. she is hurting. this weekend I go to nyc to look around a bit more. hopefully I will see her. and cheer her up.

Still in shock over the tour dates being moved. The band is in a depression. Walking around in a daze. Something has to give somewhere. This is maddening. What I feel is trapped. What I hear whispered in my ear when I am quiet tells me something different. But how do we know?

On the simpler front, we have gotten really into Internet chess. Don't know where or when this came about. But you just hit a button and you are playing chess with someone somewhere in the world. its all anonymous but one minute you are playing a French or Italian or English or American person. we've become quite addicted. Late at night. as a way of distraction. Up to the expert level now. getting our asses kicked. Probably by ten year olds sitting in their bedroom. Great fun. welcome to the future.
Walking into the elevator tonight, and there was this girl in there. rather overweight but pretty. Plump. Now of course the first thing that goes through my mind is the fact that she is a girl, I am a guy, and that “overweight rather plump girl” is on my list of conquests to achieve before I get married along with “hotel room housekeeper,” “hot airline stewardess,” and “college football cheerleading squad.” Now its not as if I haven't already achieved “overweight rather plump girl.” I mean, lets be honest, like most guys, well lets just say that we all have our skeletons in the closet and a man will do some crazy things in the name of sex. I often found in high school and college that the overweight girls, for lack of a better term, were always the first to have sex back then. They never held back in that department. I don't know why that is, but I have my theories.

Recently read an interview with Jeff tweedy from wilco. He is suffering from these panic attacks where sometimes he has to go to the hospital. I wanted to reach through the magazine and tell him what to do about them. I had them some time ago. They really are as horrifying as people say. One minute everything is fine and the next minute you feel like you are about to die and you don't know why. you just know about you're about to die. its quite insane and no matter how many times you tell yourself that its all in your mind (which its not) it doesn’t seem to help. [in fact it isn't in your mind at all – more like all over your skin --- a feeling of pure terror is the best way to describe it.] You still feel as though you are about to die and you have to get outside into the open and sometimes you feel like you just have to get to a hospital to ‘feel safe.’ I couldn’t even go in elevators or movie theatres for a while. so I can totally relate to how Jeff is feeling.

Crazy Liz had them a long time ago. I remember back in the day we always used to have to drive her to the hospital because she was freaking out over it. too many pills I thought. She was a pill freak and that can definitely mess you up if you don't know how to ride it. Eventually she went on prescription meds for it. more pills. I never liked the idea of trying to cure illnesses through drugs once I started studying drugs and the like. A lot of times they lead to worse problems than you started off with. I always took a nutritional approach to anything that I ever got. Whenever I get sick I just start fasting. I know that sounds crazy but for me it works. the first step. I might stop eating entirely for three to fourteen days and just let my body get back to its most natural place. I haven't fasted now since oct of 2002. so maybe its about time again. But I feel great so who knows. but its just a good thing to do in general for your health and for keeping a good weight as well.

anyway, when I got the panic attack thing I went to a lot of doctors and they recommended tons of pills and medicines. None of which I took. I asked for blood work and they wouldn’t even prescribe blood work, insisting that it was mental and not physical. Idiots of course. Mental is still physical. Since the brain is in the body and the nervous system, of which this is an ailment of, is also in the body, but don't go trying to tell the average doctor this. anyway I'm sure I've written about this before so I'll chill on the details. But suffice it to say that I did rid myself of the panic attacks or whatever they were on my own without any medicines or drugs. And the way I did it was through eating only whole foods, tons of green foods, and massive doses of B vitamins. I was taking four b 50s per day at one point and as long as I kept that high does in my system, I was free from them. if I tapered my dose down the panic attacks would come back a little. So I knew I needed to get the levels of b vits back up in my system. eventually my nerve endings grew back again and were healthy and I could stop taking the b vitamins. This was years ago and I've never had them again.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Many sexual exploits the last few weeks, which I cannot go into in the diaries. One recently involving the Moroccan girl was extraordinarily memorable. I will throw it into the future so as never to lose it in my library of recollections.

With this said, for the record of the time, I still feel lonely as hell in general, a deep sad loneliness inside of me. the kind that says ‘I don't care what kind of experiences you are having... if it isn't the purest deepest most connected magical thing ever, then forget about it.’ Longing to meet the one who owns my heart already. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. Except for one thing. And that would be to meet HER. I'm a lucky guy and I know it. And I am filled with appreciation for how lucky I am to have these experiences. But I still cannot help but look into the eyes of every girl I meet everyday and wonder...

I fell asleep soon after this wild and spontaneous experience last night with the Moroccan girl lying next to me; I awoke to the craziest dream a few hours later. There was this girl praying to God; she was kneeling down in this giant white room. Soon I realized that it was actually me. But I was a girl. I was a Christian girl. And I was praying to the Christian God. on my knees. In deep prayer. God hovered out in front of and high above me.

In the next moment God whispered something to me about who he was. It was as if a curtain had been lifted. Many of them. and all of a sudden the white room I was in was no longer white. But instead, hundreds upon hundreds of little rooms, just like the one I was kneeling in, were appeared all around me. and hundreds and hundreds of other people on their knees praying to the same God. I saw all kinds of people below me, next to me, above me, and across from me. Everywhere, as far as I could see. it was like this giant three-dimensional labyrinth. And I was just one of thousands of people all looking toward the center. Toward this godlike light radiating out to all of us. everyone was praying at once, and in all these different languages.

Current Read: studying ancestry.com. trying to find my last 25%. trying to research where my father’s father’s family is from. I have them traced back six generations. Florida to Ohio to Indiana to Virginia to Iowa to Kentucky [in reverse order]. But still no mention of what country they originated from. I seriously had no idea that my American roots went so far back. And I certainly didn't know it was from such ... middle American states. mostly farmers. So one could say I'm 25% farmer. They were all born ‘at home’ and each wife had like six to eight children before they died at a rather young age. I think having all those kids at such young ages with no medical facilities took its tool on women back then. The research I find exciting and humbling. I just had no idea I was so American. So I really am, at least partly, a full on American in my blood. Searching the census reports is very cool. but I'm about as far back as I can go now, and cannot find any of the names of my great great grandfathers parents. So now I'm at a loss to know what to do next. No birth certificates because of the home births so they're just showing up on census reports here and there. and at the time census reports weren't asking for parent’s names. Tricky. The story has always been that they were from Ireland Scotland Wales or England. Depending on who you ask. So who knows. it would be nice to know though since I have the rest of my family traced back now. the great ‘who am I and how did I get to be who I am’ game.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Current Spin: the band Adom. They are from America, but in England now. good band. still boring though. Songwriting structure is still primitive and predictable. The poet, while playing Internet checkers, tells me as I relay this idea to him, that music needs to repeat in order for the listener to grasp it. interesting. ‘I will make a note that you said that,’ I tell him, ‘but I don't know if I agree with you.’ most songwriting works like this: start the theme, sing a verse, repeat it a few times, and then move on to your chorus or refrain and repeat it a few times, and then do it all again. Not all songs go that way. most have bridges. Which are usually a slightly different variant of the verses repeated a few times that climax into the chorus which will repeat twice as long this time until the song ends—we call that the outro, unless of course, it goes back to a third verse, this time though most instruments will drop out and it will just be vocals and bass and drums, which will then explode into the final chorus which will repeat twice. Nirvana exploited this format and perfected it. Personally I can’t down any of this. Because I've written hundreds of songs that follow this format, and so have all of my favorite artists throughout time immemorial. That's just the way that we are all used to developing as songwriters. That's the craft.

But every now and then someone will break the mold and of course that's when we all go bonkers because its so different and gutsy. Think of abbey road or the wall or diamond dogs. Think of almost any album by jethro tull. Think of Sigur Ross. (now that I think of it—I'm cheating actually because it’s the next morning—think of mbv, or the beastie boys or Beck) Radiohead used to write standard songs which were good but still boring and predictable most of the time, but then once they hit kid a they just threw it all out there and turned music upside down. I know that's when they lost a lot of fans but that's when I became a fanatic. My boys in U2 or Muse or Remy Zero or the Oils or Travis or Coldplay still write VERY predictably structured and standard songs—not breaking any boundaries in their structure because you can tell that’s not their aim as much as commercial accessibility—but somehow they pull it off. The songs are still great. Metallica on the other hand manages to break all the structural rules and still maintains its commercial appeal. I'm not a huge metallica fan mainly because I've never been into that kind of music but they're actually a great example of guys who just really broke all the rules structurally. They are an amazing band. the older I get the more I like them. the grateful dead were another group of guys who really broke away from it entirely. they have these mammoth verses that seem to take forever to resolve. You have to listen to the song twenty times to ‘get it.’ great music for stoners. That's why their only hits were their really simple cheesy songs. Not their best. their best songs were the ones that just went on forever, always charting new territory which each new musical passage. Brilliant songwriting in the Dead’s large library.

I spent so many years during the Shattered years trying to stray away from that kind of structure. I hit a stage where I just refused to write a standard song. I also was extremely unsuccessful commercially and as the story goes struggled at below poverty level for longer than should be allowed for my unwillingness to give in to the commercial powers that be. all my friends and family would beg me to drop all the artistic nonsense for a while just so I could make some money and not have to struggle so much. But you do what you do when you're doing it. that's what I was into at the time. you can still hear remnants of that on the acoustic in new York album—that was the apex, the swan song, of that period for me. The six to ten minute long songs that were trying to break structure boundaries. Between me and this old beat up laptop alone, I will admit that my best examples of that from that era were never recorded. The songs were too complex to work out with a band with the limited money and resources I had at the time. There is a song called ‘Friends’ that is my favorite. About ten minutes long. It just went on forever. All these little parts. Nothing repeated. I will record it one day if I can ever remember how it goes. The relearning process will be a bitch.

My last three albums were all about just trying to master the simple standard normal songwriting structure. Like when we were kids. Because it had been so long since I had written songs like those. It was fun again to be doing it like that. but now I'm bored with it again. A song like superhero girl. You don't get much more standard than that. [but I think about the song ‘the journey---which is just a bunch of little pieces of songs all put together, rather than standard structure—would have been even better if I wouldn’t have had two verses the same like that----that's what I mean—we do it just because its expected—but why do it at all? Repeat verses like that....] I have three more albums I want and need to make that will be pretty standard in the song structure. The songs are already written. The challenge is always getting the money and resources and the musicians together to record them. man I don't even think of the success of them or the commercial potential, I just need to get them out. after that, I would really like to explore more---where nothing repeats or resolves. break all the rules and just say fuck all to the whole structure thing.

Ps---I am up on the rooftop of our apartment in the ghetto smoking and writing. Bas yells up to me as he leaves for the night that I have really lost my mind and I need to make a move FAST. I think he's right. poor me is all I can say. My cynicism level has reached all time highs. Even for me he reminds me. once he mentioned it, I could see what he was saying. lost in a sea of uncertainty. I don't do well in uncertainty. That much I am certain of. Has it been worth it for me to chance it all on this music of mine and throw all caution and logic to the wind, even at the risk of going back to being a penniless pauper again, just so I could keep doing what my heart of hearts wants and enjoys most out of life? at this point, I can only reply that I don't know. I just don't know anymore. I just don't know if I have it in me to do anything else. that's the truth of it. its been said many times and indeed is as clichéd as your average number one song, but I'll say it again. Artists are not made. They are born. If there is any one thing that has kept me alive in the last three years it has only been that hunger to create more music. its like the same thing surfers or skydivers have. its just this unbridled lust for the next rush. In this case the rush is achieved from hearing that new music you just laid down coming through the speakers.