Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Leaving for nyc again tomorrow to find a place and take part in the protests and marches around the city in defense of America against the inane tyrants. Something like that anyway. It is so amazing, but friends of mine from all over the country are emailing me from nyc who are already there and who have been there for weeks some of them. working for free, living however they can some of them the ones who aren't wealthy, but all of them, wealthy or not, are up there volunteering their time and energy for free in support of one of the 750 different groups who are protesting the republican national convention. Unbelievable solidarity the country is experiencing at this time in politics to try to defeat Bush and his merry henchmen.

Signed up for cell phone text messages from various activist groups. Any minute you may receive a text message that will read: “jail solidarity protest Wednesday at 10 am...” or “rnc area hot from 27th and park to 28th .. police coming. Be careful...”

Matrix anyone? Yes totally. a small battle is being waged between the corporate run government attack-dogs, and the American people. only, many of the American people don't even know about it yet. in the office today I met a real life republican. an older woman. hadn't actually met one in a long time. thought they all lived in the middle states. it was a surreal moment. She was gaga over the mayor Giuliani speech. Hey nothing wrong with rudi. But then she was going on about bush and his fighting terror and so I just casually mentioned how remarkable it was that so many people from all over the spectrum of American politics and entertainment were banding together to beat Bush and how unprecedented it was in our history. And she just went ballistic saying they were all idiots. I mentioned various criminal and nefarious activities of the current administration, including postponing the Kyoto agreement, defying the world war crimes commission or nato or the UN, abu graib prison abuse, occupation of Iraq, health care, same sex marriage, logging our forests, drilling in Alaska, on and on, and her answer? “Who cares about any of that stuff when our safety and freedom is at stake? None of that stuff is important compared to his war on terror.” I swear to God I'm not making this up. it was totally crazy. we could drop a bomb on the entire region of the middle east and kill millions of people and you get the feeling that there is this small Neanderthal like group out there that wouldn’t care as long as it was in the name of freedom and democracy.

When I told her that I was not a democrat and in fact was the grandson of a republican congressman, she had this look of shock on her face. She didn't expect that. said I should be ashamed of myself. What she doesn’t understand is that my grandfather was a republican during a different administration and he was an American patriot at heart, not simply a republican. life is not that simple. Mam, I sure wish it was. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Don't join any clubs.

Dictionary.com of course is marvelous invention. No reason to ever read a word in print and NOT look it up. you can just go there and in less than a minute you know what the word means. Today I learned the meaning for the twenty millionth time of sybarite – a wonderful word, or rather, definition, if I do say so myself – intrepid, beguile, a few others. Funny how we tend to forget the meaning of words all the time. I wonder how many we can actually hang onto... if there is there a limit. I read once that the average vocabulary consists of approximately 5000 words. wonder if there is any truth to this. the Ferret has an amazing grasp of English vocabulary. I don't think that there's a word in English that he doesn’t know the meaning of. Of course that's just English. And that's where it gets tricky. Because you realize that there are a lot of languages out there. so having a good vocabulary in one language isn't necessarily the most important thing. I think in the bigger picture it might be better to know five thousand words in five languages than to know ten thousand in just one. your ability to communicate with more people in the world increases, and perhaps through that your ability to understand the world around us is amplified.

fate and the universe... learning or rather the universe seems to be trying to teach me, that just because we see signs of things, coincidences or synchronistic events that in the new age state of mind we are all too quick to look for meaning in, may not mean as much as we take them to in each moment. Could it be that these synchronistic events only hold as much meaning to us as we decide in the moment? Could it be that God or the universe throws them all out there randomly but its up to us to really decide what to do with them? 

Monday, August 30, 2004

Monday 6pm
‘yo dude, what's up?’
“just wondering what's going on tonight.’
‘not much man. I just am trying to get to sleep before the show tonight. what are you doing?’
‘oh nothing man. I'm just having breakfast.
‘you just woke up?’
‘yeah man. So what time are we playing tonight?’
“I think like midnight. Or maybe one. So I'm going to try to go to bed now and get some sleep. I think we’re rehearsing at nine.’
“oh yeah. Did you talk to the other guys?’
“yeah rockaway is asleep now. and I think Infinito just crashed. He's picking me up later, when he wakes up.’
“Yeah. o.k. cool.’

Tuesday morning 4:32 am

We played this show at a local club on South beach called jazid which we had never played before. hadn't played much locally much lately. it was an acoustic show and maybe it was just that we were on acoustics I don't know. but we were just awesome tonight. it was so electric. We were swarmed at the end by people blown away and we were all so excited by it because you don't get that in Miami when you're a rock band. the people down here that's just not their thing. but we’re learning that there are still these little pockets of cool people here who are still into rock like in the rest of the country. at the party the other night the guys from jet were talking about how Miami is the only city right now where they can walk down the street and not worry about anyone bothering them or even knowing who they are. But Christina Aguilera, forget about it. or Gloria Estefan. Artists like that are huge here. but for a brief moment tonight, for that one hour, it was fucking stellar. The room was all ours and it was an amazingly magical moment for everyone.

We rehearsed twice for this show which we all learned is important for us. we have to do that. we’re much better when we rehearse. At this level you spend so much time questioning your validity as an artist. Always wondering if you're good or not. But after nights like tonight, really after our last ten shows or so, they’ve all been so good, you just start to feel bad for the labels who aren't going to sign you. because they're just going to look back and feel like idiots if we keep going like we’re going now. we just have to get out of this town. that's it. we just need to play the rest of the country and we’re going to do fine. We’re there now. for the last few months I have had this overwhelming feeling, this intuitive knowing, that we’re there now. we finally are where we always wanted to be as a group, where we always knew we could be if we kept at it.

Popping valium like candy to try to come down from the rush of it or else wed be up for three days straight.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I am writing the song Solaris. I love it. it is smooth, cool, mysterious, sexy sounding. it is about Juliet. Inspired by her in some way. as if it was she in that film. Floating out there in space. Something like this. Reconnecting only to find that you will need to reconnect again in another lifetime. This is the theme. I have known Juliet before. in other lifetimes. I see it in her eyes. I don't know what it is or what its supposed to be. I don't think its that important to know as much as just to honor what I do feel. Its those eyes. since the first moment I saw her eyes I felt as if she was looking at me, time stops and she is talking to me with those eyes. I will never tell her that. I ask myself, “what is it?” so I write a few songs about it and move on. The new songs for the new new new album are just beginning to become solidified between the four of us. Vancouver hasn’t been a part of the new songs yet. the album seems to have a very cinematic quality to it. thinking of calling it either revolution in me or cinematique. It is as if I am composing a film with this one.

Manager called today. if the diaries were not over we could give him a name, but there is no need now. Anthony from universal called to say they are passing because he “doesn’t hear any hits” on sleep with you. What an idiot. No hits. Like Veronica is not a hit. What are you going to do but laugh? “No hooks,” he says. I was screaming, jumping up and down. Throwing the football against the wall. Loud thuds. You know, say what you fucking will about transcendence. we've been turned down for every reason in the book by these guys over the last few years. Say you don't like Fishy’s vocals. Or Infinito’s drumming is too Latin or experimental, or say that the overt sexuality on sleep with you bothers you... but don't fucking say you don't hear any hooks on a fucking Fishy album. Our manager says, ‘”Fishy honestly I didn't know what to say in response to the guy. What do you say to that? You guys write hooks better than almost any band I know of right now. Shit, I think that's your best quality, is the song writing. and the guitar. That's why we signed you. He could have just said that he didn't think that y’alls material was modern enough. At least then I would have hung up that phone with a little bit of respect for the guy. But he seriously sat there and told me that he didn't hear any hooks in your songs. I'm sorry pal. I don't know what to tell you. The guy is an idiot. Don’t worry about it. We’ll keep moving on. In the meantime, keep getting yourselves ready for these tours. And I'll keep you posted.” “roger that.”

Publicist calls a few hours later (gonna need to come up with a name for her...) (by the way I am starting to develop a serious crush on her—she is one vibrant babe. I guess that's why she gets paid the big bucks for publicizing people, because of her personality.) “Your manager called and told me what that idiot at Universal said. I'm sorry.” “Don't be. We don't want to get picked up by a bigger label on this one unless they fucking worship us. Fuck that. it wouldn’t work. I'm not even worried about it. We’ll stay on the smaller label who still has ears.” “But no hooks? He said he didn't hear any hooks? That’s retarded.” “Tell me about it. When rise and shine came out they told us it was too eclectic, too diverse. And now we get more fan mail about that album than we ever have... you would think it was the fucking Holy Grail or something.” “Its awesome Fishy.” “Well thanks. I like it too.” “Oh you do, do you?” she laughs. “Yeah, you know, I can still objectify... I hear it. Now that we’re getting all this attention for it two years later. it helps me appreciate it too now... you know?” “I'm glad.” “For a while there I wasn't hearing it. I was too busy listening to these guys at the large labels and their insistence that we make something more straight ahead...” “How do you deal with that?” “With what?” “You guys know you have amazing product. it isn't like you have to believe in yourself or anything cheesy like that. You guys know you have great product. You don't have to talk yourselves into it or anything. How do you deal with all this bullshit?” “I don't know. We just do. I've never known anything different. So I just keep doing what I do, you know?” “Well you're a tough cookie.” “Yeah I guess. Or I'm just really stupid. LOL.”

Somewhere between Fishy and Tobias Guess now. Floating between the two. Who am I now? I am me. I am starting to believe in me. It is a powerful feeling.
The MTV vmas tonight. we attended  the Eminem/D12 after party. So wasted that you can burn your fingers with matches and not even feel it. like that kind of wasted. insane party. Sex and drugs and drinking and music. not as much as last night at the Jet party, but damn close to it. back of a cab, getting home at sunrise and just being in a totally different world than the rest of humanity. Mumbling and drooling on yourself. rock and roll. Waking up with people in your bed that you don't even know. two nights in a row. crazy.

Tomorrow I have a photo shoot early in the morning for the new character the general and his anti-war message. And then tomorrow night a concert at this club on South beach which will be video-taped for a DVD release. Can’t wait. Haven't performed in over a month.

Tuesday I will fly to New York to attend a few protest marches against the Bushit campaign and the republican national convention. Over four hundred thousand of us marched today in protest to Bush and their fucked up war in Iraq. That's an unbelievable number when you think about it. this guy is history.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Peace Now / World We're Sorry

On my way to a café this morning a kid stopped me to donate to the Save the children foundation. I was so not interested that I tried to avoid him like the plague. I told him I already sponsored a kid in Brasil. But we started talking and he told me how it wasn't just other countries where we have problems with poverty, but he showed me this diagram illustrating counties in America that had child poverty rates of over 60%! Rural areas mostly. I had no idea. I ended up agreeing to sponsor one child with them, but in America this time. the truth is that we have the ability to sponsor a child for as little as $20 per month if we want to. so almost anyone can do it. its cheaper than Starbucks. The kid told me that earlier that day a guy signed up to sponsor ten children monthly. That's awesome. Here is the link: http://www.savethechildren.org/index2.asp

Tonight I did it. I unveiled The General. An alter-ego who dresses in a full army general uniform, including the boots, hat, jackets, medals, and even the aviator sunglasses. But he walks around carrying a PEACE NOW/WORLD WE’RE SORRY sign.
I marched up and down the busy and chaotic streets of South beach with all the millions of people in town for the MTV VMAs. Scared shitless when I first started out the door. Perspiring from head to foot. But response was good. getting the message out there. The General is a badass character. And people like his message. They think he is real. Tomorrow the VMAs. I noticed that as I walked around town whole crowds of people would part to let me by. Because of the way I was dressed. He has this presence. People think he is real. And that makes his message even stronger. They relate to it. some Germans asked me, ‘what do you mean by that sign?” I responded, “its kind of obvious isn't it? we’re not all in this together. some of us are terribly sorry for the last three years. and its important that the rest of the world knows it. we’re sorry for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. We’re sorry for the obvious deceit involved in the whole affair. And how insidious it must look to the rest of the civilized world. We’re sorry for the defiance of the UN and NATO. We’re sorry for our refusal to cooperate with the world war crimes commission. We’re sorry for our refusal to oblige our commitment to the Koyoto agreement. And so many more things... in general, we’re just fucking sorry for the last three years. World we’re sorry. We’re sorry for letting this happen to us.

For some reason I am more inclined to stay by myself working than go out and enjoy the numerous festivities going on all over town. I keep getting these calls, but not committing to anything. Weird. Obsessed with work lately, rather than social things.

Click here to watch a short video about the history of political conventions in America. Its cool. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/special/president/convention/rnc/viewer.guide/

Last screening: ripleys game. SEE IT. ITS GOOD. VERY GOOD. John is awesome.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Having the boldness to tell it like it is. To go for it all the way and not hold back. not as easy to do all the time as one would like, but you just have to keep trying.

Last screening: My bosses daughter!!! As with all ashton kutcher movies this one does not disappoint. One word: HILARIOUS!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2004


We received our first actual check from ASCAP this week. not for much, but a real honest to goodness check. For the last five years we usually just get a letter that says “no royalties were reported this quarter.” Between this and our selection at CMJ marathon and checks coming in from our distributors every month from CD sales, t-shirt sales, and iTunes download sales I am starting to see real progress with this endeavor. Granted, not enough to justify renting limos and staying at the waldorf, but we’re on our way. The dream life is starting to connect to the real life.

Thinking a lot about predictability patterns the last few days. someone falls, they immediately try to get up. reach out your hand to shake someone’s and they will automatically extend theirs in return. point up and most people will look up. touch someone's left shoulder they will look to their left. If you want to appear famous or important, wear sunglasses indoors. If you want people not to look at you, roll up in a wheelchair. Most people are either day showerers or night showerers. Most people have a set time frame that they are most comfortable going to sleep and waking up. Some people are night owls, and other people are what they call early risers. If you want to create controversy about something, simply tell others that it is ‘rather controversial at the moment’ whether it is or not, it will soon become so.

Pop culture has its patterns. Every generation is repulsed by the decade that preceded it. I assume from how it makes us feel old or worn out or yesterdays news. And then in turn, each generation is obsessed with the generation twenty to twenty five years before it. In the seventies, America was obsessed with the fifties (happy days and lavern and Shirley). In the eighties obsessed with the sixties (the height of the grateful dead mania and the brief return of the Woodstock hippie culture). In the nineties mainstream culture became obsessed with the seventies. All of a sudden disco was in again and the bee gees were cool again. In the two thousands we are just starting to see the resurgence of eighties culture returning to favor, whereas in the last fifteen years you couldn’t get a job if you had anything to do with New Wave or hair bands. Now new wave is making a grand return in bands such as Interpol and franze Ferdinand and modest mouse. Its cool again to sound like that. The Cure just hit the top ten at college radio again. And its going to keep going like this. Already 80’s clubs are becoming all the rage all over America. This will continue through till the late two-thousands when the nineties become the new flavor of the decade in the early twenty-teens.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Good news and views from an enlightened mind can be found here:
Now Age Interview
Progressive Views on the News 

In other not so good news check this out:

Hollywood man burns military vehicle after learning his son died in Iraq




Jazz just called me and told me the news. marines come to tell father that his son died in Iraq last night. the father goes into his house, gets a kerosene can and a torch, jumps in the marines jeep (how the hell did they let him do that?) and lights the jeep and himself on fire. Fucking crazy.
Jazz says,  God that is awful. This happened right around the corner from where I work. Do you think we are going to see more of that? I don't know. but I think so. I think people are really freaking out over this thing. its not like other wars. But didn't he understand his son was fighting a war? That's the risk. What are we going to do? the truth is we need these kids to go fight these wars. It sucks for the families but they're necessary. I disagree. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Washington DC

Ever wondered about Washington DC? Who hasn’t? what the hell is it? few know. try googling for it and it could take hours to wade past the “sponsored sites.”. But here's some info:

History: http://www.narpac.org/ITXDCHIS.HTM
Its name: Meaning of Place Name: District of Columbia
District of Columbia: So named in honor of Christopher Columbus. Applied through poetical justice to Columbus, and first used by Dr. Timothy Dwight in a popular song written by him which began; Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise, The queen of the world and the child of the skies." Now applied to the District containing the national capital, 

Monday, August 23, 2004

On the plane now. yesterday was glorious. Great weather all over the city. clear and breezy. Looked at many places. In the early morning bumped into Boo Boo Kitty by chance on the street. I thought she was still in Europe. she had just returned. She was just waking up and coming downstairs to get the paper. she came around with me all day looking at properties. We hired a car for a few hours and had him drive us through all these neighborhoods uptown that I had never seen. Morningside, Harlem, Washington heights, inwood, Bronx. It was fun and we learned a lot.

I may have found a place yesterday. Park avenue near grand central. I had this mantra going concerning my new apt: space light view elevator doorman roof deck. Say it fast three times. Well this place has it all except for the space. it can’t be more than 400 sq ft. but it has a 360 degree view of midtown Manhattan on the roof deck and everything else in my list. Huge windows with a southern view. Its good. both doorman and elevator man. BUT its small. About the size of a hotel room. and its midtown. What this means is that you don't get any of that old-school new York vibe that you crave when you go to new York. You get that new-school mid town vibe. All the fancy places, but none of the grungy places. You know I totally forgot to add neighborhood to my mantra. Now I realize I forgot something pretty important. Not that midtown park avenue is a bad address. Just not sure its right for me. will have to see.

But boy do I feel good there in that city.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Dreams were crazy. dreams being nothing more than symbols of our feelings desires hopes fears etc, I don't pay much attention to the facts or figures of dreams, just the underlying meaning. Last night we saw a boy in front of my supposed house, which at first I didn't even know, in the dream, was my house. he was loading a bunch of gear into a duffle bag. Whoever I was with, I don’t know him, yelled to me, look, he is stealing all of your stuff. I didn't pay any attention to this. we continue to talk. A few minutes later they tell me again. I realize maybe there is something to it. I chase the guy down. We run a few minutes. I catch him. it is true. he has this whole bag of my things. he starts pulling them out of the bag one by one. and what's weird he is doing it with total non-chalance, as if its no big deal that he was just stealing all of my things. in the dream, I was thinking, ‘this is so weird. This is just totally twilight zone.’ But when I awoke I knew what the dream was about. And I knew what I need to do about it. sometimes I think I allow too much lenience with people just to not rock the boat and keep things smooth. But you know, that's only one personality type. Other people are totally different than that. they are hardcore always looking out for number one types. I have to pay better attention to maintaining a good balance between the two.

Note to self: Breakfast in your room at the Waldorf Astoria costs a lot; don't eat it there. Breakfast was $36 in my room. and this was just coffee, carrot juice, and muffins. I still feel like I have to throw up from the shock. I have found it impossible to eat from my stomach being so upset. I think they call that sticker shock. I don't think I have ever had it, being as good as I am at over paying for things and not noticing, I am kind of an expert at it, so I never experienced sticker shock before, but this morning was different.

[last weekend Beav and I were discussing buying cars and he tells me how he went into the dealers and did all this negotiating till he got his last car for like 6,000 less than the list price. And I told him how I knew the sticker price and went in and just paid it, totally forgetting to negotiate price. I even knew the cost of each option because I had researched them and just added them all up and said o.k. this car should cost xxx, and paid them. The sales guy was shocked. Beav was like ‘you did what?! What are you crazy?!’ “Dude, I know it sounds crazy, but I totally forgot that we could bargain with those guys about the price. I just gave them what the sticker said on the window.” “Oh my God dude, you need help. Please don't do stuff like that on your own anymore without me or mom being there. please. fuckin A dude.”] 

Eating breakfast in the bathtub this morning, I turned over the silver fork and it says Waldorf Astoria on the back and then below that “made in Korea.” Now how the hell are we supposed to enjoy our meal if we see that on the back of the fork? Imagining all these people in these sweatshops churning out this cheap silver that they just stamp waldorf Astoria. I mean, what the hell does that even mean at this point? I mean why stamp your name on it at all? you obviously didn't make it. you had nothing to with it. its not fine sterling silver or anything you should even be proud of. Its not made in some meticulously hand crafted manner by respected artisans or anything that anyone would give a shit about. Its just a fork made in Korea. And that my friends is what's wrong with this whole outsourcing thing. I'm not expressing myself well here; not enunciating the exact problem with how distasteful the experience was... now granted, Hilton bought the waldorf, so it isn't even very waldorf anymore. Its more Hilton, which is bad enough, and probably why there was so much vacancy there that I was able to get two nights for next to nothing. The Plaza certainly feels like a finer hotel. But still, you expect a certain something there, and as much as I try to, I cannot force myself to enjoy eating on a fork that says made in Korea, if the establishment that is offering you the fork is attempting to put on the air of fineness and quality to everything it does. It just doesn’t click somehow.

Spent a few hours at the macanudo club on 63rd street. A very darkly lit, richly wood paneled library looking bar where mostly men go to smoke cigars and read and work and hang out. I read an excellent article by financial advisor John Maulden there explaining that the reason why self-investors almost always fail is because they grab at the right investments at the wrong time, when they’re on their way up, rather than at the bottom. Ran into liv tyler who was hanging with you know who.

Idiot Fuckheads: a recent ad from Toyota reads: Our blue sky: more US manufacturing jobs, cleaner US manufacturing plants. .... and then ...” Toyota’s US operations account for more than 190,000 jobs...” and then in tiny little barely-legible print at the very bottom of the page, there is this disclaimer. *Toyota components and vehicles are made using many US sourced parts. Direct US employment: 31,040 jobs as of 12/03. Why does everybody have to be a bastard?

Friday, August 20, 2004

More good news today for the band. we found out that we were chosen to perform at the CMJ Music Marathon 2004 in New York in October. I have wanted to play at this festival since I was a kid so I am so psyched. Then our manager the Big Man in Black called and said that two more major record labels called him today about the group. that's five labels in a week who have called us. we've waited for this for a long time.

Last screening: radio. Boring movie cause you keep waiting for something to happen and nothing ever does but the story is good. I feel asleep last night thinking, ‘what am I doing to help? What more can I do to help more people?’ really makes you think about that. what is this inner yearning we feel to help others? I wonder if it is innate or if it is something that we learn or come to on our own.

You ever notice that when great things happen that you cannot help but close your eyes and thank God? and when you're feeling blue or when bad things happen that you cannot help close your eyes and ask for gods help or some guidance. Instinctual? Or indoctrination? I wonder.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

August is already half over. I can write it but I can’t fathom it. work is the curse of life if you have to work. Death is its blessing. If you're lucky enough to not have to work then I would assume that death may be the curse rather than the blessing. But I've never been that lucky. so I just wait for death. Like bill Murray in groundhog day. on the plane, I think, oh I wonder if this will be it... perhaps we’ll crash and that will be that. or when I get a pain in my chest I think, maybe I'll get a heart attack right now and just keel over right here... pretty funny. I don't seem to possess any fear of death at all. in fact, the whole idea seems rather appetizing. You have to figure, if we get reincarnated, we can always come back. if there's a heaven then we can always chill up there with God and Allah and moses and all of that sort for eternity, and if there's nothing at all after we die, well then, we won't notice a thing at all. either way, it sounds like a win-win if you ask me.

I cannot shake the feelings of the sights and sounds I experienced at beavers house this past weekend. Two beautiful children. Sixteen months and four years old now. they have the perfect life. perfectly imperfect. But that's what makes it so perfect. its like an American TV show. Total Americana. I told Beav today, ‘man, you guys really have something special there. it really brought me home and reminded me of who I am and what I want out of life.’ watching him ride around on his new tractor riding lawn mower with his little girl on his lap, I was almost brought to tears. Five minutes later we heard our song superhero girl on their local radio station there in Oklahoma city. it was one of the most exciting moments of our lives as a family. Everyone was jumping up and down yelling turn it up. of course Beav was more laidback and cautious about it. I can tell he worries a lot now about how we will take it all the way and really find the means to see solid income come out of this. hearing your song on the radio is one thing. having money in the bank is another. I tell him, ‘I know man. I know.’

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Been back in Miami for three days now. I try not to think about it, but I can feel it coming on like a slow death, like the humidity here. Hot, wet, heavy, sticky, unfriendly and unfeeling, ominous, and never ending humidity.

I've been working all day and then into the evening, twelve to sixteen hour days in an office till nine and ten o'clock every night. on the phone and behind the computer screen. Working day and night at the record label trying to take the band to the next level; where we can actually make a living at this rather than just work day jobs and play the odd gig here and there like most bands. The fans make it easier. But it isn't enough yet. When the last person leaves the office every night I'm still sitting there, by myself, typing or talking away. someone asked me once, when it is going to be enough. ‘when I'm not having to sit here and do this anymore and other people are doing it. that's when. Or a Grammy would be nice.’ laughs. ‘I've written well over a thousand songs in my life. that's enough for a good hundred albums or so. I've only recorded six. So talk to me when I've recorded twenty or thirty. Maybe that's when it’s enough. I don't know.’

But running your own label and taking it to this level is a weird thing. its got its bonuses because you quickly grow out of your local scene. You watch yourself go from a local somebody to a national nobody. And that's a cool thing. sort of. But its got its drags like anything else. Most bands never get to this point. They pile into a van and tour their asses off for a few years and hope that something comes out of that. if nothing happens one by one they bail on the dream, get married, and start going back to school or getting day jobs. I've been there and seen it with a lot of guys.

The other choice is to get to work, make it a business, and take it from a different angle. You start selling more cds and merchandise than you ever imagined. But you wake up one day and you realize that you're spending most of your time in an office instead of on stages. That's a drag. A big time drag. And sometimes you gotta wonder if you're headed in the right direction.

Living your life with one big leap of faith after another, You keep waiting for that one break, for that one car company to buy your song, or for that one song to become a hit on the radio, or for that one booking agency to say sure we’ll take you on even though you're not with a major label, and of course there's that holy grail of the major label record deal that so many artists dream of but so few ever realize. They're yelling hits and you're yelling we've got great music! and they yell back we don't care. We need a fucking hit. Every now and then some good music hits the airwaves and that gives you hope. You think... well maybe...

So you keep going. the hardest part is trying to maintain that balance between the artist that you are innately, the man that you were born as since before time began, and the businessman that works his ass off trying to promote the artist so the both of you don't end up starving in a gutter somewhere.

Last screening: Dopamine. See it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

We are all very excited at the moment. More labels are calling. More radio stations are adding superhero girl to rotation around the country. And we may get a cover on a national music magazine. Word is that were getting a showcase at the CMJ music marathon. Since we've been turned down by every other festival around the country for the last five years this could be looked at as a good thing. if we’re so good, the universe has a strange way of showing it.

I was in a bar tonight to see some bands. A girl came up to me, she was all over me. she is an ex-girlfriend of a good friend of mine. She pressed her body to mine. She whispered in my ear. She made it difficult to think of anything else but her in the moment. I was polite and I escaped out the back door. I made my way to a local ‘men's club’ and drank the night away in the arms of women I will never see again to shake the raging hormones set off by my good friends ex-girl. A brother is a brother and you don't mess with your brother’s girl, even if she is an ex. I have learned this the hard way. 

Last screening: French film, Children of the century. The love affair between George Sand and Alfred de Musset. Dig it. there was a line that was subtle and brilliant. “You are driving your friends mad.” “I have no friends. Tattet’s the only person who ever told me the truth.” More than anything else perhaps this one thing may be what we prize the most from people we would choose to call our friends. Telling us the truth at all times. Whatever that truth is. I found a mild obsession with George Sand lately. 

Monday, August 16, 2004

Last screening: The barbarian invasions. French film. must see. Very good. one of the best I have seen in a long time.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

There are so many bugs here in Oklahoma. And lots of sounds of animals all around me as I sit out here and type away. crickets and frogs mostly. Dogs barking in the distance. And bugs hitting the windows. Its so peaceful here that I feel like I am opening up inside a little again. Living in South beach, which is so soulless that it could very well be the lobby of hell itself and we just don't know it, has really taken its toll on me the last few weeks. I have closed up so much lately, not really myself. Finding it again though very quickly. Remembering.

Being out here in this beautiful clear weather. Watching the sunset every night over the huge open fields that stretch from one end of the world to the other; hanging with the family doing nothing. I woke up today on the couch at about three in the afternoon from a little catnap to the sounds and smells of the Rat in the kitchen baking cookies, mom was on the floor playing with the nieces, and Beav was lying on the couch working on his computer. How lucky I felt in that moment to have such a wonderful family to come home to.

Oklahoma. We drive by a sign in front of a house that read “FOR SALE WITH OWNER.”

A few minutes later we drive by a sign in front of a holiday inn that reads ‘56K MODEM WITH YOUR ROOM FOR ONLY $19.95!”

This place is classic. The heart of America.

In 1991 I had a vision of some terrorists from the Middle East attacking us in the future. I've already written about it so I'll keep it brief. But I had this vision that there would come a time where we would always refer to before and after they attacked us. that they would attack our financial center. and it would be the beginning of a new era in our American history and in civilization. I wrote about it in one of my handwritten diaries of the time. When 9/11 happened I realized that I was seeing on TV what I had had the vision of ten years before. To be honest it was much less catastrophic than my vision. which leads me to believe that we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief or that as senator Gary hart recently warned that there will be more attacks. I cannot say for sure. But my gut instinct tells me that there will not be any more; even after our invasion of Iraq. 

A few years later, in an unrelated incident, I had read that there were other planets in our solar system that scientists had not yet discovered. I didn't know what to believe so did nothing but log the data into my memory and never thought about it again. Every now and then I thought to myself, I wonder if we’ll ever find those secret planets that are supposedly out there... Earlier this year scientists indeed found another planet in our solar system, sort of. Quaoar. No one is really sure yet if they are going to officially call it a planet or not. If they don't call it a planet, scientists say, then they will also take Pluto off the list of planets as well. so there will be eight instead of the nine we normally attribute are out there. weird. The times they are a changing.

Throughout the last ten years or so I have had an unshakable intuitive feeling that in our lifetimes that the existence of other intelligent life forms in the universe will make themselves known to us in some kind of very overt irrefutable manner. Whereas now it is still theory to most, that sometime in our lifetime it will become commonplace fact. I take note of it here so there is a record of it.

My feeling is that they are already visiting us, and continue to do so quite regularly. I have no personal experience of any kind that would make me say this. its just a feeling. It’s a knowing. I also have the feeling that it will not be necessarily a bad thing as many people fear. But their existence will rip open our current philosophical and theological views of the universe so wide that we will never be the same after it. Our current constructs of life and the universe will be forever changed. And I believe that after the initial shock we will be better for it.

I spent a considerable amount of time in 95 and 96 studying alien theories; a few years totally obsessed with current knowledge of the subjects. Some rational; some over the top crazy. everything from the theory that we humans were created as a slave race by aliens from Sirius B, which is actually a very popular and well known concept, to the theory that many of the world governments already know about alien life forms and are in constant communication with them, even the idea that many of our current military and technological advances come from this communication we have with alien life forms.

I am not sure what to believe honestly. I have no idea if our government already has this knowledge. A lot of people claim to know, but who knows really? For sure? All I do know is that I have a feeling that in our lifetimes we will see these alien life forms in the flesh. So to speak. Right on our very own TVs. For some reason the idea does not frighten me and I don't know why. 

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I'm in Oklahoma for the weekend visiting the family. Beav and his whole family were relocated out here a year ago and mom’s out here for a few weeks. I thought I'd come check it out. twelve hours in the arms of family and I feel better than I've felt in months. Its refreshing being in the warm confines of the family. The love that is here is exhilarating and relaxing at the same time. as Beav says, its palatable. But I think he meant palpable. I realize now that the last year or so I have been in the wrong place at the right time all along. Things aren't so bad. But where I've been living has been pretty bad. There's something to be said about family. And there's something to be said about America. And Americans. I miss America. And I miss Americans. I have to move back as soon as possible.

Beav’s next door neighbor walks up to us getting out of the car in his driveway and says ‘so this must be the famous Fishy that we’ve heard so much about. How ya doing?” turns out he's the pastor at their local church. Beav is the accountant at the church and his wife the Rat is the Sunday school teacher. God has a brilliant sense of humor.

Oklahoma. Wow. Wide open country as far as the eye can see. All the girls are blond and have skinny butts. Not like the Latin chicks back in Miami. All the men are big guys with crew cuts. Lotta guys walking around in army fatigues. Big open fields everywhere. all the men are out mowing their lawns on a Saturday. Or washing their cars. This is down home America. Beav is making a fence as I type. Making a fence for his dog with his bare hands, using power tools. Can you even imagine? Classic. This is not the city life I am used to. This was a well called and much needed get-away.

Both Epic and Geffen records calling our manager the last few weeks.

Later tonight the pastor and his wife came over for dinner. I'm spending half the night every night hunched over my laptop ranting and raving against organized religion, questioning the very existence of God, at the very least his purpose or motives, and these two founders of the towns only Presbyterian church and their two children are sitting at the dinner table. ‘So Fishy, what’s it like being a rock star,’ pastor Jim asks over barbeque ribs. “Preachers, politicians, and rock stars. We’re all in the same business,’ I answer. Beav gives me this look like ‘no dude please don't go there. These are my neighbors.’

Friday, August 13, 2004

The Success of New Religions

Besides being able to detect most genetic diseases before birth, so we can decide if we want to bring the child into the world [though most thinking people would argue that the being is already ‘in the world’] we can now choose the gender of our children. The Genetics and IVF institute in DC has a 90% accuracy rate for girls and a 75% accuracy rate for boys. That's amazing.

It has made me think more about the debate yesterday about God and religion that me and the boys were having. Someone had made a point that religion often times historically was nothing more than a tool for the ruling state. A way to control the masses by the governing class through rules and laws that had no basis or justification in reality --- so the fear of God or the customs of the religion of the day or God’s “law” could all be used as a way to control people, since often times logic couldn’t. (one can easily see that still in force today in the reasons people give for not allowing same sex marriage rights in the United States –- no logical rational or justification to it, so they are forced to use God and religion as the main arguing points against it; and remarkably it works for the most part. In Fridays paper I even saw a headline that read “Why same sex marriage will surely lead to polygamy. Seriously. that was the headline! Fucking crazy people out there. and they're not the ones you think they are. With articles such as those, it’s the puritan right-wingers that are the biggest threat to human civilization. Then again now that you mention it, ever since I first started condoning same sex marriage I have noticed a strange desire within to make love with sheep as of late. maybe there's something to these theories after all.)

Anyway, certainly this is a given, historically speaking, that this is one of the main purposes of man’s religions – to control the masses by the state. I don't think anyone would argue with that one. Most of the western world today call themselves Christians because one man, the roman Emperor Constantine, hallucinated in the desert that he saw a cross in the sky on his way to battle. He decided to start adopting Christianity into his belief system of the time which still consisted of worshiping many roman and Greek gods and goddesses. It wasn't that he suddenly abandoned all of the other gods and goddesses that he and the rest of western civilization believed in, but he certainly started finding an affinity within for this newcomer Jesus into the hierarchy of deities who were popular at the time once he was crowned victorious in the battle that ensued. What's fascinating to ponder is the possibility of Constantine not hopping on the Christian train and instead jumping on board some other religious ship that was in the harbor of the times. if he would have instead discovered Krishna for instance, we would all be Hindus today.

The reason most in the western world are Christian has not much to do with the veracity or the logical justifications for the religion itself, or even how well it works, if one can qualify such a thing, but more to do with the fact that it was the religion adopted by the ruling class of that time, the roman empire, just as before then, we all held the religious beliefs of worshiping the sun God and the goddess astarte and isis etc, precisely because that was the religion of the ruling government. And of course the same was true for the Jewish religion since time began. It was and still is something you are just born into. if you're Jewish, you're Jewish. Not hard to figure out. plenty of people were at the time, but then the government of that time then adopted Christianity, and slowly over the centuries the people then too adopted Christianity. That's how it works. but it’s a slow process. Not a process one can watch over the time span of a single lifetime, but in much broader scope. It is a process, like many evolutionary processes, that takes life times to observe. Its not as if one day everyone just wakes up and decides that they are Christian or what have you.

A few hundred years later, Mohamed gets jiggy with it by himself in a cave and proclaims a new religion based on the same God as the Christians and Jews were digging, but adds a few more misogynous twists here and there, like women always having to be covered in public, and men being allowed to have more than one wife if he could afford to do so, because after all, we know how horny God could get back then. This new religion of Islam was much like Christianity, even the God was the same, but just a more revved up and militant version. it was all about death and revenge. Namely, death and revenge to the white people who ruled the earth. convert or die was the credo, pretty much the same credo of the Christian religion, which at the time, was called the catholic religion, which was nothing more than a cover for the roman empire. Remarkably convenient for himself and many of his Arabian brothers and sisters, the new home of this new religion was right there in the middle east and God it turned out was very Arabian. Just as the Christian God looked very white and Anglo Saxon, and the Hindu God looked very Indian. All very convenient; and a damn good testament to how good God is at creating people in his own image as they all say.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Debate in the office today amongst a few of us about many things. started with this one guy saying that Christians have a moral responsibility to assure that Bush gets voted out of office because of how much he is misrepresenting the Christian faith, and in the bigger picture how anyone who is a good person or a moral or enlightened person has this same responsibility to do so because of how corrupt he is.

Another guy argued that good and bad are subjective terms and how some people might totally feel aligned with bush in some weird way.

I argued that as humans we have an innate knowing of the differences between good and bad. Others argued that we don't have this knowing. And that there truly is no difference between right and wrong or between good and evil. That as living beings, it is more dependent on our survival rather than some philosophical definition of good or bad. What may seem horrendous in a perfect world may seem perfectly justifiable in a moment of good old survival instincts kicking in. I say that if a woman ran into the room carrying her dead baby that we would all innately feel that that was a bad thing. another guy said not necessarily so; that if we hadn't eaten in three days and we saw the dead baby that we could look at it as a good thing, a gift from God even, and then we could eat the baby. Pretty crazy, but interesting stuff.

Great talk with Juliet tonight. I feel when I am speaking to her that it is very close to what it feels like communing with God; there is that kind of honesty and realness to it. no bs and no pretense. I am over my Juliet obsession phase, which is nice, but she is a soul mate. A kindred spirit. Which I like even more. I notice that as a single person that it is easy to fall victim to relating to others of the opposite sex through certain filters, rather than just seeing the person on the other side. We have to remember that the potential for that is there – to see them through this filter as the opposite sex – rather than just their inner person – and to breathe through it so we can get to the person on the other side and see them as they really are, rather than what we might want to believe is there or wish was there just because they are of the opposite sex and thus a potential mate, or bedmate at least. It’s not easy but we can do it. I am trying. I remember when I was very young I saw a very disturbing show on TV about a eunuch. This person was neither man nor woman. and she explained that she had no sexual urges whatsoever. None. She didn't relate to either sex as a potential mate. It disturbed me to end back then. I was too young to see it. it stayed with me till this day. the concept is helpful now though, looking back on the interview. One could see the benefit in that. in just seeing people as they are instead of wanting to shag every girl you see.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

To me just looking at places everyday in the ads and the listings and the pictures of New York, it seems like it could get really easy to feel totally isolated and alone there sometimes. Just because it’s so big. You know? I just looked at a place in the lower east side and I swear to God I got the shivers all over my body imagining living there. so far away from everything. I think I would have to be more midtown or uptown myself. Would feel more secure for some reason. Like the park is home base. And the farther you are away from the park, the more away from everything you will feel.

Searching on google for something, I happened upon the words ‘cider house rules.’ I couldn’t remember what it was about exactly but I knew it was a movie. It was a movie that I had seen once. That had won some awards. That starred that guy who is in over a million movies, Michael Caine. I just sat there staring at the words ‘cider house rules.’ I remembered that was one of those ‘won an academy award. Must see it’ movies at one point in our lives. I looked at the date. It said 1999. I thought to myself, ‘wow. So there is it. I saw this movie. I went out of my way to rent and watch this movie at some point in my past. And now looking back, did it mean anything? Does it mean anything to me now?’ I can’t even remember what the movie was about now. what is it about our collecting things like the experience of seeing a movie that seems so important to us in our moment to moment present? And what is it about us that later forgets the entire experience? Was it important at some point? It certainly doesn’t seem important now. so the question that is begging to be answered now is, how important are a lot of these things that we do day to day that we at one time consider important? And more, what is important? In the larger picture of our lives. What is important?

I opened up Outlook and looked at my current task list. 243 items still to do. what an insanely silly workaholic I am. Make sept 11th video, finish ttv website. Research Luxemburg. Research Christian Science. Study history of Colombia. Live in Paris, learn French. Take African safari... the list goes on forever. I thought to myself, how many of these items in the bigger picture are even important? It’s a tough call. I know people who say that once they have children that it becomes the most important thing in the world to them. and as much as I can understand that emotionally, I wonder, ‘so that's it?’ Having kids is it? that's the big rainbow at the end of the tunnel? That's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? For me personally, it has to be more.

When Cleopatra and I were together, for a time there, I thought that that was meaning enough for me; our house, our stuff, our relationship, our pet names for each other, our friends, our goals, our careers. When that ended I realized that there had to be more to it; because after all, there are plenty of single people in the world who don't have that kind of love in their life. so where is their meaning? Has to be more. and then from there you think about your family. Your parents and your brothers and sisters and all that. and as wonderful as all that is, that can’t be it either. Again, there are people who don't have any of that in their lives either. So there must be more. there has to be some deeper meaning to this life. But what it is I do not know yet.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Woke up early this morning to an amazing and horrifying dream. I was one of the people who had to jump off one of the twin towers in nyc. There was no way down so we were up there and we just had to jump. We could have waited but we were being engulfed by the smoke. We never once considered that we would survive the jump. It wasn't about that. it was more like having to make a choice in the moment between the fire that was about to surround us at any minute and just jumping to our deaths. I was at the ledge and there were a few others. I do not know who they were now. but in the dream they felt like real people to me; people that I knew very well. probably people from the office that I have now.

When I was just about to jump that is when I started to become cognizant that it was a dream. I told myself to try to stay in the dream for as long as I could. I have heard the theory that if you die in a dream that you will die in real life as well. right there in your bed. But I discreated that belief and I have died a few times in my dreams only to wake up from them panicking for a few minutes. So I knew that it is possible to die in one’s dreams and still survive in real life. what happens really is that you die for a brief moment and then you wake up and realize that you were only dreaming. Its traumatic indeed. But you do survive.

I stood on that ledge this morning in a complete panic but somehow in control still. In brief milliseconds I contemplated the outcome. I pictured the results of my jump. I laid there with my eyes closed trying my best to imagine what it would be like to just let go and jump off that ledge. There would be no turning back. how long would I remain conscious after jumping? Would I make it all the way to the bottom still conscious? I don't think we will ever know the answer to that question. I have heard the theories that when you jump like that, that you die of a heart attack before you land. I would hope that is true. so that is a belief that I would like to keep.

I scored a bottle of percs from Dina due to her recent surgery. She hates the way they make her feel she tells me. calls me and asks me if I want them. she was my personal assistant for a few years so she knows my affinity for them. one of the many insane duties in her charge was to try to procure them for me whenever I would get the inkling. Usually from the Internet or from doctors who would take a kickback for the script, or the occasional trip to the dentist. [there is so much to the world of rock and roll that cannot even be written about. Suffice it to say that; that for every insane or shocking thing I write about publicly, there are ten more that are totally unspeakable and truly unwritable. Put it that way.] “you know I'm always still looking out for you boss,” she sings to me over the phone after she tells me about the bottle. I love that. I just love how I manage to keep all the wonderful people in my life years and years after our paths cross and uncross.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Bas finally graduated from college. This was a huge achievement for him; and for Cleopatra and me. he had been working on it for about six or seven years. I felt a deep sense of pride and satisfaction from it, since I had been his main supporter along with Cleo for all of these years. this was my way of making up for the fact that I never had that same support from my own family by the time we hit the college years and thus I was never able to finish myself. So it was important to make sure that Bas finished no matter what. I was bit older than he was and was able to make it happen. it was a phenomenal feeling. Just can’t describe it. just an awesome feeling. Another achievement completed.   

I'm on the phone with a realtor in Tucson az talking about investing there. you cannot believe how cheap real estate is there. a three bedroom home for 100. in Miami that would cost 300. in New York it would cost a million.

Drinking a mojito at a café in the middle of the afternoon. Thank God for them. I think I'm starting to need alcohol. At this time. mojitos at least. It’s funny. I never much got into alcohol before. always been too much of a workaholic to be an alcoholic, so to speak. Never liked the way it slows you down the next few days. well that's not true entirely. I've gone through my stages of extreme alcoholism, back in college and on the road. I think that's mandatory, but somehow I always pull out with no problem. like my body is not prone to being addicted to it, which is made all the more strange because I come from a long line of alcoholics on my fathers side. But it never got to me. I can drink as much as I want to for a few weeks or months and then just wake up one day and stop drinking for years. I like how it calms me down these days. I can just sit and have a drink while I work. I am amazed by wireless technology now around American cities. I can walk around with this laptop and log onto the Internet anywhere I go just by opening her up. and with the cell phone, well, you can pretty much work a full day anywhere with just your briefcase and nothing more. we don't even need desks or offices anymore. 

In other news, we have nailed down a studio to record our new album. Up in the woods in Indiana. More later. But no national booking agency.

Thinking of going to Paris in sept. and then to parma, Italy to do more research.

It finally happened. After two years I found Calvin Klein slim-fit black jeans. Button fly, black label. The best fitting black jeans in the world. Seriously. as hard to believe as that is, they arrived today. two pairs. I found this dealer up in Brooklyn who found a way to order them. Discontinued forever, there are only one hundred pairs left in the entire world, at the Calvin Klein corporate factory. Once they're gone they're gone. They fit like a dream. Lena had been searching for years for me and was unsuccessful. I told her that one day I would find them and show her that anything is possible if you try hard enough. It took me two years. Well there it is.  

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Whereas before my thinking and feeling always revolved around melody and lyrics, now it is more about rhythms and song structure. Always been a good tunesmith. Could pull melodies out of thin air without ceasing. That's a gift. That has nothing to do with how good you are. You're just born with it. but good songwriting structure, being able to create sick music, that's something you work at. Bands like zep or metallica or rush or queen come to mind. Foo fighters, forget about it, Dave is a monster at it. he took Foo fighters where nirvana could have gone if Kurt wasn't so fucked up. the song structure itself. What it sounds like. How the rhythm works underneath the melody and backing instrumentation. This is new to me. it was always about plugging in and playing along to the song on your instrument. Alright, good take man. Now its about ‘plug in, and stay there till you write the sickest most unique part we've ever heard.

Bloopy explaining the other day how more and more bands are doing that now because songwriting-wise everyone is still writing the same songs over and over again. [not every one. we’re generalizing here. think of beck or the beasties. They're on a different plane entirely as far as how they write. Its from another planet and of course they aren't the only ones. They're lots of cats out there creating songs from a totally different place than the standard.] but for the most part, with rock and pop anyway, its still chords on a guitar or a piano. Think of all the power pop bands or all the alterna-rock bands or all the emo bands. Same old same old. But what has changed is the way the bands are creating the rhythms underneath it all. think of rage. Or think of mercury rev or mum or Sigur ross; same old songs, but a totally unique approach to the sound of it. Jeff and wilco are starting to go there too now on their new albums. Unique approaches. But I'm even talking about going one or two steps beyond all of that. to break the boundaries of contemporary sonics in popular music so its totally fresh ---think Janet Jackson’s music --- and yet don't go so far out that you lose the actual song, such is the case with beck sometimes. Out of this world production, but where's the fucking song? But that's only sometimes. His last two albums, have really been more song oriented. His last one. what a monster. Some deep shit. But then he switched to standard production. Too bad.

As the stallion says, ‘gotta do it, gotta do it.’

Friday, August 06, 2004

We went out tonight to see a bunch of bands play here in town. went to the billabong club, a seedy hole in the wall pool hall in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the tracks. They don't even have a stage, but they let bands set up and play for the fans, and in this non-scene that is South Florida, that's something. Everyone was there. for a brief moment it felt like the old days. seeing people we haven't seen in years. all the different singers and musicians. This band psycho daisies will do that in the scene. They’ve been around forever. have this cult mystique about them. at one point their bass player died and his girlfriend ended up taking over on bass. Things like that. just over the top infamy. So when they play everyone shows up.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted the Squirrel, who I had not seen in years. usually whenever she sees me she runs. Many years ago she had this idea in her mind that the Wolf and I had put a curse on her. seriously. I don't even know how people come up with some of their ideas. But anyway, she would always run from me in public when ever she would see me and honestly it caused me great frustration and trauma. It just didn't vibe with my overly social nature. I couldn’t make it fit that she felt this way about me since we had been so close for some time. I had always been one of her biggest fans and very supportive. But there it was for years. so for some time I had always just tried to be polite and whenever I saw her in public I would just try to avoid her so as not to cause her any upset.

This night was no different. I saw her and my whole body cringed. Great, squirrels here. man I hope she doesn’t freak out and start screaming and make a scene, as she is prone to do sometimes. An hour later I'm standing at the bar and she starts coming at me. I freeze. But instead she smiles and says to me ‘I'm really sorry for how I have treated you the last few years. I was just really sick and I'm all better now. it wasn't you. and I hope you know that.’ and then she hugs me. I hug her back and before I know it I'm crying. And then she's crying. And its this sob fest. I just let out all this pain from the experience of all of that that I was hanging on to. it was awesome.

Bought a new laptop. But that's not the point. My old laptop was a little over a year old and smoked. A true desktop replacement. But carrying it around on my back all the time, all 8.7 pounds of her, was too much. I didn't need a new one. But I wanted one. Something super-light and super-small. A sleek and powerful machine that I could carry around like more of a notebook. so I shopped around, did the research. I wasn't married to dell. In fact I hated dell for outsourcing tech support to India. Not because I'm against outsourcing to foreign countries, because I'm not. Outsourcing to foreign countries is an inevitability of the global economy, and in the end I believe going to be a good thing for us all. In fact outsourcing to foreign countries is the only chance America has at remaining the superpower that it is. The democrats running on the “we’ll bring your old jobs back to America” ticket is bullshit and they know it as much as the rest of us do. American doesn’t need its old jobs back; we need new jobs. If people are so against outsourcing to foreign countries, take off all your gold, return your nike shoes, stop shopping at the gap, don't use pencils, or any other office supplies, stop going to home depot because everything in there is made in some foreign country. forget about it. globalization is here. yes it sucks for the workers here who are getting laid off, but we have to find the next place where we fit in, we can’t be trying to force our tongue into some chicks mouth who doesn’t like us. Lets put it this way; we've been evicted. Its time to move on.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Got together with the guys tonight to rehearse new songs for the new CD. have about five songs worked out really well. but some of them we are just still so lost as to trying to nail the songs down in their purest form. Bloopy protested one of my songs at one point and I am so not used to that. there has always been this invisible line where we don't cross. For ten years its just been a given that I write the songs and there they are as I walked in with them except for arrangements and beginnings and endings. So at first I was dumbstruck, but then I listened and realized that if we are going to make what we really want to make, something that transcends, something that reaches the level we all want, a level we have never reached before, then I am going to have to open up and listen. He's a young genius who speaks very little, so I listen when he speaks. His own songs are like mini-operas. And I want that operatic quality to this new CD. it feels like this is bound to be the album that never was. Like the beach boys smile. We are encountering in-numerous scheduling conflicts and personal problems within the band that seem insurmountable. But we do have a good start.

Talking about really breaking the songs down to their core and creating our parts like never before, as opposed to the Jackson Pollock style we usually allow ourselves; where everything is just free and we lay down whatever we want to and let it sit however it sits. Nothing is cohesive was laid down that way. Totally not how we want this new CD to come out. this one will take a lot of time and attention.
The key is to let go and stop looking for the answers. This is a big life. and the answers are going to constantly be changing. Noticing how much I want to create answers rather than just let go. I am living; and the whole time, in every minute, every second, there is the narrator voice cataloging each event. Trying to make sense of it. trying to box it all in. figuring it all out. but underneath it all I am seeing that it is not important. Today is a day and tomorrow will be another day. and what more is there than that?

Supplement: pregnenlone, the mother of all hormones. Try it. you’ll be surprised.

Current spin: saliva. Metallica. Smashing pumpkins, adore. Nice album. Tender moments in there. never a Billy corgan fan. not yet. but I enjoy this CD.

Last screening: Philadelphia story with Cary grant. Mona Lisa smile.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Two men at a restaurant start talking to me. Are you famous? No. c'mon man, we recognize you from somewhere. who are you? tell us. I am a singer in a rock band. I told him you were a singer. My friend says you might be a gigolo. Laughs. and he knows a lot of famous gigolos? More laughs. no but you know maybe you are an actor. No sorry. More of a gigolo actually. Your friend was right. not much a difference there. How's that? Between a singer and a gigolo. Laughs.

And then we start talking more about real estate, an extreme sport I am very passionate about. As soon as someone at the table mentioned rich dad poor dad we were all high fiving and introducing ourselves. Talked for a good hour or so. They live in Tucson. Confirmed what my research had already shown that Tucson is a sure-fire hot spot for quick appreciation and easy buys. The stock market sucks now. everyone is scratching their heads over the impossibility of trying to make money there right now. even the underground analysts, whose newsletters I subscribe to more than one or two. Even they, usually very confident and always bragging about the double digit profits they can make you, are sending emails now saying, “we give up, don't know what to tell you, don't know what to recommend. Get out now take your cash and sit on it.” Which is fine if you're rich. But if you're trying to make money, that advice doesn’t help too much. But there's still money to made in this over-inflated credit hungry over extended market. But you have to know where to put your money. New York is out. Miami is out. all the big cities are out. to over valued. Ready for a correction. I spent about six months researching and came up with about six regions that still had the potential for enormous growth potential. Tucson was number one on my list. These guys tell me they are buying in Tucson at pre-con for a thousand dollars down and flipping for twenty percent profit six months later. Good to know. next stop, Tucson.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I was just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round. So many thoughts. Good thoughts. Bad thoughts. Normal everyday thoughts. Sometimes watching your thoughts feels like a roller coaster. Up and down and all around and back again. All of a sudden I got another thought. And it was something like this: ‘these are just thoughts. None of this is real.’ And then, ‘well then, what is real?’ if this isn't real, then what is?’

Monday, August 02, 2004

Last screening: some kind of monster. Metallica movie. Almost like an acid trip for elementary school kids. You’re just on this trip with the guys. through their ups and downs. Through the recording and the ego trips and the therapy and all. nothing really too hairy; knowing a bit about being in a rock band ourselves we found that it comes across like someone stripped all the good parts out of it and just left the really normal mainstream TV type stuff. too bad because a real documentary about the guys would be great. Something with all the juicy parts left in would have been much better. But this is like watching your parents fight at dinner. Real white glove. All the guys including their therapist and producer bob rock, come off like such pussies, But you have to appreciate that. appreciate where they are, and what they were trying to do by dealing with their problems in a constructive manner, rather than a destructive way. You do walk away with this profound appreciation for the music that they make, and for them as musicians. I have never been a metallica fan. I don't own any albums and when their music has come on the radio over the last twenty years I have always run to turn it off. Beav always used to listen to it in his room and I would always scream to him to shut his door. We’d have music wars between our two bedrooms. My Prince and U2 albums versus his metallica and yngwie malmstein albums. I can’t call up the other guys in the band and say c'mon lets go check out the new metallica movie. They're just not going to be into it. they look at me like I'm crazy. but you know, I'm digging into it now. going somewhere else. totally different musically. Lars is just a fucking monster on his instrument.

I'm telling the guys, ‘this fucking band is spending months perfecting each song. Working it all out, creating fucking operatic masterpieces, and we’re still strumming chords on our guitars. We have to learn from them. there's something to this.”

Called the guys and we talked for a few hours about the new album we are recording. And how the hell are we going to get all that together into one cohesive package.... we want to find a way to bring it all together. Because half the songs are totally over the top heavy rock --- which is going to be a real shock to fans and we know that – and then some of them are the more old style that we have been doing lately, more brit pop I guess. Like pure brit pop. I am trying to get there. to that purity. You know how flaming lips gets there sometimes? Where the song is just out there. just pure song. And of course I am dying to let it all go and create something completely orchestral, more noise oriented, and atmospheric.... but everyone around me is still like ‘ please no, not now...’ But I have this very strong urge to make some heavy music like I've never made before. Just to really go all the way into it. I'm like “guys if we could mix this whole linkin park, rage against the machine, Foo fighters, metallica thing I've been into [that's the prob though is that the guys aren't into that sound yet... at all... only me] with the music that we normally make... with our whole modern rock/brit pop thing...” and they're all like ‘dude what the hell are you talking about? We don't make music like that! we don’t even listen to music like that!”  but luckily Infinito does listen to music like that. so its cool. and Bloopy is going through a big nirvana phase now. so they're into it. Me and Bloopy talking about all of us and we’re all in such different places musically. Vancouver is going through a Billy Joel and cardigans phase so that's just totally out there for us now and for what's going on in modern music. and rockaway is just starting to get into the whole Jet hives thing. but that sound is already totally overplayed and its cool but you don't want to actually make music like that NOW.  So I don't have an interest in making it myself, even though I dig it. but I don't see any reason for us to explore it. as a fan I would love to hear Rufus wainright phoenix and Caetano Veloso meets u2 Radiohead and coldplay meets metallica linkin park and Foo fighters. That would be sick. Like Broadway meets Britpop meets Metal. That would be it. that's what the new CD is going to sound like if its possible.

I don't want people to always be down on us because we change our sound so much. I worry about that. I worry about our three fans not knowing who we are or what we are all about because every album changes so much. But I don't think we can do anything about it. we’re all just so eclectic with our tastes constantly changing all the time. I for one get super-bored with any one style of music for too long. that's why I don't like concerts too much; I just get too bored too easily. Hopefully the fans will be able to keep up with it and actually appreciate where we’re at and what we’re trying to do as artists.

Current spin: St. Anger, metallica. I love it. I'm like an addict right now to this sound. I just never knew how to get into it. I never understood this music before. I'm starting to understand it. just always turned me off because of the overt lack of melody and harmony. All rhythm and grunting... but I get it now. also Saliva, back into the system. survival of the sickest is a great track. good polished neo-grunge.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Myth Of Faith

Last screening: the last samurai with tom cruise. Hello?! This movie ROCKED!!! Tom is fucking great in this film as always. He's one hundred percent.

It is five am and I cannot keep my eyes open. I must sleep. But I will take some notes before I do because I was inspired by the movie. I was reminded that as the Jews of Europe were innocently slaughtered by the millions in world war two, they were praying the whole time. And as the Chinese government murdered the Tibetans for their own selfish profit and gain and burned down over fifty percent of their monasteries, the Tibetans were a devoutly religious people who were praying the whole time as well. Of course we know where that got them. We only need look to the highly spiritual Native American peoples and their unfortunate demise in the face of the barbaric Europeans (supposed puritans) who conquered the Americas to see clearly the error in depending on a God or a faith for our survival. Success on earth has always come about through brute force, strength, military might, and money; not through prayer or faith or being kind or honest or generous or a good person. If anything, these practices and characteristics, regardless of how noble they are or how devoutly attached some of us are to them, have always worked against the innocent and enlightened among us. As a people we enjoy glorifying noble people once they are dead or fictionalized. But we rarely allow them to live too long.

It is a distinctly human phenomenon that I have begun to call the myth of faith – this belief that God is on our side if we do the right thing or try to be spiritual or good or religious. When we are young and still growing, it is preached to us; how important it is to believe in God, to have faith, to pray, to be good people, to be kind and honest and generous. But as we get older and study our history we are soon struck by the inconsistencies in these teachings as to they relate to what has actually transpired on the earth since we have been here. How indeed it has always been the strongest and the cruelest and the richest of us who have won the battles, and shaped the world we have lived in. It has never been the most devout, or the kindest, or the gentlest, or the most honest or the most religious.

And even if it has been at times the most religious who have won the wars and controlled the events of history, as was the case with the roman empire’s clutch on western civilization, or the Muslim domination through the latter half of the first millennia ad, or the Christian slaughter of the Americans, the most religious has never equaled the most righteous or the purest or the nicest. In other words, it is rare that a people who have dominated in the name of their religion have ever embodied much of the teachings of that religion in their practices, especially not in their business of trying to take over the world.

When we think of the winners of the great battles that have shaped the world into what it is today, whether we are thinking of Julius Caesar, or Alexander the great, or Napoleon or the catholic Church/Roman Empire, or Mohamed and his loyal band of Muslim freedom fighters who conquered half of Europe, or the Christian Crusaders who took much of it back, or the European settlers who murdered entire populations of indigenous peoples in their quest to conquer the continent of America, we can clearly see that it has never been the morals and values of our youth that have helped guide these victories. [Spain and Portugal murdered over one hundred and fifty million native peoples in south and north America. England and Holland another fifty million in north America. That's 200 million innocent people murdered by people most of us can still call our ‘ancestors.’] It has always been the secular qualities of sheer force, brute strength, and having more money than the defeated that has enabled these victories. God and religion have never played into it, even though God and religion are almost always used as a driving force or a justification or a reason to go to battle in the first place.