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Current Mood: pensive
Since I last wrote, I have been severely stressing out about the ringing in my ears. I won’t go into details, but going into last weekend, I was on the verge of cracking up. I’ve been joking the past few months about how I’m getting older and my body’s falling apart. But this is the first real chronic health issue I’ve ever faced in my life. The idea that this might never go away… well I think it’s so distressing to me because it’s the first time I’ve had to accept something wrong with me that I have zero power to change. And having to redefine my self image to incorporate this new reality. It’s the proverbial first ding on what was, up until recently, a shiny new car. And this is surely just the first of many such “dings” that I’ll be enduring as I get older. But the first one always hurts the most, you know?
As I feared, the doctors told me that they can’t do much for me. It may still go away over the next week or two, but beyond that, it sounds like it’s going to be more permanent. But no hearing loss, according to a hearing test, so that’s good. I got fitted for some custom musician’s earplugs that I’ll be wearing at every practice and show from now on. If nothing else, it’ll keep things from getting worse. I understand that stress can make the ringing worse too, and since I’ve been focusing a lot of attention on it lately, it’s been really affecting me. As I said, I was about to snap last week. But this week, I’ve found that I can live with it a little better. And I’ve been able to go for hours at a time without even thinking about it or noticing it. Which gives me more confidence in my ability to ignore it, and so on. Eventually, maybe I’ll be able to go days and weeks without it even crossing my mind. And on that note, let’s stop talking about it for now.
Teddy Bear Picnic
Over the weekend, we had somewhat of a family reunion type picnic at my folks’ place in the mountains. I wasn’t feeling very social, but if you can’t let your guard down with your own family, then who can you? I had the cursory catch-up conversations with aunts and uncles and family friends. We played some music including my sister singing “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” and mom singing “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” and both of them doing “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.” It’s nice they knew the words… but the rest of the family wasn’t really getting it. Oh well. Grama had a few drinks and sang some dirty country songs from her youth. A good time was had by all.
The experience was sort of bizarre for me though. Everyone in my extended family, even those younger than I am, they all are having kids now. They all live in the suburbs or the country. This San Francisco city life. This gigging and working in the FiDi and general night life. I am the only one of my kind in my family tree. It’s the life I’ve (happily) chosen, but it makes it increasingly difficult to relate to my kin. I mean, my… social skill set… that is to say, the mode I have to be in for 99% of my daily life… from dealing with the relatively-fast-paced corporate world to walking city streets and dealing with every kind of character (and cuisine) imaginable… from dance club etiquette to keeping up on the music scene… from the parking problem to the homeless problem. All these things that are a part of every day life here, they are so out of place at my family reunion. These things that are critical to my urban survival are almost silly in the context of talking to my family. I felt like a soldier coming back from war, where I have just spent all this time in a kill-or-be-killed world with a completely different set of rules, suddenly to find myself back in the alternate reality of the peaceful ‘burbs, dealing with laundry and the kids’ soccer practice. You know what I mean? I’m used to being pretty close with the fam, but for the first time, I felt a bit like the odd man out. Like my interests and issues exist in a world completely outside of their reality, and vice versa. I don’t mean to imply that one is any better or more important than the other, but somehow just… incompatible.
Well, at least you’ve still got us…
Paul (of The Ghost Of Curtis) has joined TCB full time as our permanent Andy Rourke, and we’re thrilled to have him! He’s a lot of fun to have around, and the Moz Krew seemed to like him OK, so you know. Unfortunately… er… fortunately(?)… he’s getting hitched soon. This means that we’ll need a substitute for our massive Slim’s show coming up on August 29th, and who better than our old friend Wally! We’ll miss Paul for sure, but at least it’ll be nice to share a stage with Wall-E once more. We’ll be pulling out all the stops for this show, and the special flyer is currently in the works. More to come on that!
Strange, we finally get this big Slim’s show, and so many of the tribute bands have, ironically, disbanded! Some confirmed and some rumored. Over the last month or two, Northern California’s tribute scene has inexplicably been blighted by the apparent sudden loss (or indefinite shelving) of Spellbound, Sing Blue Silver, For The Masses, The Ghost Of Curtis, Spinout, and Modus. Hopefully some of these guys will reform in some way… that’s a lot of great live bands I will miss!
And that’s all for now, kiddies. The quote of the week comes from a bumper sticker I saw today:
“Gwar is not the answer.”