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Link to January/March 2017 gallery of pics

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 / Southwest Flight 465 39,000 feet
First: Everweb / In my effort to utilize the many empty hours spent slowly dying on various flights from here to there I had been determinedly putting my life and times into a beautifully crafted narrative that focused the past year or so into laser sharp focus. Or at least that’s how I remember it. Remember being the operative word here since some rogue fucking software called very inappropriately, EverWeb, deleted my touching narrative forever. Granted, my arthritic fingers were the medium for what I’m calling “the massacre at 39,000 feet” but what the fuck? No “command Z?” No “revert to saved?” This software automatically saves and I can’t find a backup anywhere. Eighty fucking dollars. And all because the software I didn’t like much but with which I had spent countless frustrating hours lost in the maze of it’s senseless, overly complicated and buggy design, namely Freeway 6, had recently gone belly up, the death of which began my search for a replacement. I didn’t just dive into Everweb, though. I spent a couple of plane hours checking out the trial version and while it was buggy I figured that, like I had with Freeway, it could eventually be a functional medium. Sure looked easy on the Everweb videos. Drag and drop. Neverweb.

All I wanted to do was add some pics to my journal that wouldn’t cause the software to move as slowly and painfully as the minutes I spend sitting next to some overweight passenger angered over their middle seating spewing crumbs of fried garlic and raw onion and simultaneously oozing oily body mass over into my personal space, my precious 17.1” of seating. Yes, my Precious. You would think that with drag and drop web design software something like adding and manipulating pics would be smooth and easy but images randomly drop upside down or rotated 90°, text wrapping takes a “widget” that has to be downloaded and then didn’t work worth a fuck and then there is the whole thing with my lost masterpiece of blogging. Or maybe it’s just time to get a life. I’ve been thinking for a while that I spend way too much time by myself or in the company of strangers.

Sooooooo…where was I? I think a lot of the lost text dealt with the catastrophe that was 2016. I spent virtually all of 2016 in a state of high anxiety. There was a a new disaster every time my phone rang and my heart still sinks every time I get a text or call from a family member.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 / SW Nashville to Boston
Surprisingly, I’m not as exhausted as expected. A brief rundown of ye olde intinerary since I arrived back in Austin Wednesday night about 10:30pm:

Wednesday / 10:30pm ABIA / After a somewhat brief moment of road rage at the Austin airport exit that brought memories of my 20 years of driving in NYC [why do those motherfuckers have to work on the only exit from the fucking airport when I’m trying to get the fuck home?] then home, finally, around 11:30. Hug my beautiful wife, hug the beautiful dogs, juggle the cats, eat some crackers and ice cream, take care of some school business, get to bed by 12:30.

Thursday / up at 6am, lots of coffee, ride the stationary Schwinn 16 miles while watching CBS news, walk the dogs a couple of miles, head for UT teach until 3pm, head home, hug doggies, 10 minute nap, make dinner, take care of school business, drink lots of coffee, walk the dogs 2 miles, fix dinner with Jess, watch episode of Baudelaires (great show – hats off to XXXX), try to work on Cézanne music and fail, 10pm head for bed.

Friday / up at 6, lots of coffee, walk the dogs 2 miles, teach Austin Community College and Berklee Online until 2:30, pack the car with all my shit for gig in Houston (took Collings Soco Deluxe, ’65 Princeton Reverb, ’65 Bassman with mod by Ziv Nigary) head for Houston about 3:30, arrive Cezanne about 6:30, Woody Witt arrives 7pm, set up equipment, Daniel Dufour and Richard Mikel arrive and set up, we run hard music for 20” or so and doors open.

I had a really good time playing at Cezanne. A lot of nice people came out, the band played great with the exception of the guitar player, room sounds good, not a whole lot of talking. Played until midnight, back in the car and back to Austin. Arrive about 3am, hug dogs, kiss wife, eat a slice of cold pizza, hit the sack, up at 6am back to airport catch first SW flight to Nashville now on the 2nd leg to Boston.

Back to current flight / Once in Boston I’ll pick up my rental car and head to Berklee to grab my guitar and then drive to Bennington, weather permitting (lots of snow and more on the way). Going to visit my mom who, while still in the rehab hospital, has been getting stronger and seems to be recovering from what the doctors think was pneumonia. Going to play solo guitar at South Street Café 2-4:30 tomorrow (is tomorrow Saturday?). Lots of online assignments to grade, hopefully I’ll be able to exercise although I think the snow will be an issue.

However things play out it’s been a brutal week so far and I should be a puddle on my faux leather seat but have only been able to nap about 10 minutes so far. Which is perhaps owing to the powerful jet of icy cold air from my vent that I discovered too late is broken and will not close. Speaking of puddles, one dark moment of the gig last night was when I was changing into my dress jeans in a men’s room stall prior to our first set and dropped my right shoe into the toilet. The same shoe I’m currently wearing. There does seem to be some provocative odors in my vicinity but possibly only the usual farting by my fellow passengers. Luckily I am protected from the most noxious odors by the icy hurricane blast from on high. Yes, it’s a glamorous life. Some people have their golden toilets (what the fuck is THAT about?) and some people pick their dripping shoes out of a shit encrusted porcelain model. That being said, in the grand scheme of things I see myself as the luckiest person in the world. I know there are a lot of people out there who dream of having a shoe, having a foot, having any of the incredible blessings that have been given to me in this life. I do not take these blessings for granted nor do I view them as my due but merely a cosmic toss of the coin which could (and probably will) change in the blink of an eye.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 / SW Flt 465 BWI to Austin
Abiding. Long-ass couple of weeks winding down. Made it through the drive back from Vermont, getting the car back to Payless at Logan and running the toll gauntlet trying to use my personal EZPass that I got charged at $20 fee for some shit I don’t understand when I used it a couple of weeks ago with another rental car. But I got the fine Ford Focus I rented back to the airport, made it back to Berklee. Made it through a long Tuesday of teaching and now working on making it through another long Wednesday.

Having a couple of fun gigs seemed to give me a whole lot more energy. It was a long, boring drive down and back to Houston but the crowd was great (of course I took no pictures), the band was great and really nailed some tough music, I didn’t die on the highway, made $50 or so for 12 hours of gig. The solo couple of sets at the South Street Café were really nice as well. It was one of those rare days when I felt like I could play anything – just kind of played without regard for anything except wringing every last bit of music from each tune. I was trying for total concentration and got there a couple of times. My utter exhaustion may have played some part of that and it’s certainly possible that I was only thinking that I could play anything when in reality I sounded like dog shit. If dog shit were to make a sound. In the forest. With nobody around. It was probably somewhere in the middle and I sounded better than usual which is very left handed compliment. “You’re playing like you never played before!” A few friends came out, though, and while it may not have been the most happening couple of sets ever I certainly had a good time and didn’t want to quit. But quit I did – I needed to visit my mom in the hospital which thankfully I was able to do 3 or 4 times in the 2 days I was in Bennington. I guess a day and a half. Now there is one more hour to go in this fucking oversold shitbox, get in the car at the Austin airport in approximately 1:45 and home. Tomorrow try to run early, teach some lessons at UT and a couple of dog walks.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 / Logan Airport waiting to board Flt 934 for BWI connecting to some bullshit flight to Austin
Listening to Johnny Cash sing “Hurt” via my new (and almost certainly soon to be left on a flight somewhere) Bose QuietControl 30 Bluetooth noise canceling earbuds. These things sound so fucking great and if I can’t ignore the visual assault here at Logan and beyond at least sonically I’m on another, much happier, planet. Much happier as a relative term since “Hurt” is about as dark as a planet can be. (Visual half-solution – sunglasses. I had forgotten that on my flight out from Austin on Monday I left my sunglasses on throughout. I’m not doing anything except hiding from this panic-attack world of airports and fellow supplicants to the travel gods.) I quit drinking a little over 2 years ago. On the whole that’s a good thing but every once in a while I get the overwhelming urge to knock myself out with a bottle of scotch or two. The problem there being that despite prolonged and valiant efforts I could never get drunk enough to knock myself out more than a couple of minutes at the start and end of flights. Working on this loaded brownie I brought with me but taking it a small piece at a time. Had a busy week and I’m only halfway. Should be home by midnight tonight (It’s 8:30pm or so right now and I’m on the final leg to Austin. Sporting an empty middle seat, row 4, aisle seat, lady in window has finished her raw onion sandwich. Tomorrow 6am wakeup, walk feed animals, walk dogs, get my shit together and head for UT to teach, etc., etc.

I had all that travel a couple of weeks ago, got back to Austin 2/15/17 and woke up Thursday, 2/16/17 with what looked like bed-bug bites on the back of my neck, arms and face. They were itchy, swollen and inflamed. Fucking itchy. Went to the doctor, got referred to another doctor and started one course of treatment in case it was chicken pox. That didn’t work so Thursday started Prednisone which is knocking it out. On that same Thursday Jessica went to the emergency room with a pain in her abdomen – appendicitis. Thursday she had an emergency appendectomy so I was at the hospital from about 7pm to 1am, back home, to sleep by 2:30, up at 6:30 to walk the dogs, feed the cats, clean the house, teach, pick Jess up at hospital, fix dinner, feed dogs and cats, etc.

Stress and exhaustion would appear to be my new reality. Playing good, though. Playing is the only way to shed some of this fucking weight on my shoulders.

Saturday, March 4, 2017 7:30am CT / ABIA waiting for first leg flt AUS/BNA
Back at the airport. Left my wife and various animals sleeping in their respective dens. Megabeth was on the couch, Jess and Apple on the bed (in addition to a few cats). We spent Thursday evening changing the bed linens because the big dog has been shedding up a boxcars worth of fur every day. I vacuum every day and still empty a footballs worth of compacted doggy fur every night. I say “every” but I was only home for 2 days and 3 nights, one of those nights being Wednesday on which date I didn’t get home until almost midnight. It’s a bad-ass bed though. King size, adjustable, some sort of space age mattress, heated mattress cover – the works. We bought it on Craigslist for a good price and I haven’t regretted that for a minute. Maybe the minute when we had to wrestle the bulky and very heavy mattress into the Element and then into the house. Luckily there are sliding glass patio doors in the master bedroom. Love that fucking bed. Tonight will be a horsehair mattress in the guest room at 144 Union St, Bennington, VT 05201 that my mom is really fond of but I can’t help but think is somehow connected to my allergic reactions of last week and a few years ago. Paranoia strikes deep.

Ok, asshole, stay on your side of the fucking seat divide. Fuck you you fucking fuck.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 / Southwest Flight 465 BWI/AUS
Not a whole lot going on except another long-ass delayed flight with Asshole McTavish in the seat in front of me doing everything he can to use his massive body weight to push his seat backwards. Unfortunately for him the seats only recline about 2” now and are probably more uncomfortable pushed back. Same movies on the inflight entertainment: John Wick, Captain America, Lucy, etc. I’m tired. All the flights last week then the drive to and from Vermont was pretty exhausting, makeups Monday night after a full travel day, teaching Tuesday/Wednesday and the long delayed flights tonight. Tomorrow must run early then walk the dogs, UT teaching, grocery store, walk the dogs, cook dinner, online grading. Friday walk dogs, teach Austin CC, online office hour, online lesson, walk dogs, cook dinner…. Fuck me. I’m feeling the nefarious forces of time and physics (I did turn 61 in December) but I am also pretty durable. At least physically. Mentally I'm stretched thin and there have been more instances where I have to just stop and figure out where I am and what needs to happen. After each day is done it’s just gone, history, forgotten, and I’m already working on tomorrows potential problems. Since I am teaching constantly, seven days a week, my attitude around the middle of the semester with lame students can get condescending, sarcastic, exasperated, sometimes angry…it’s not good and that’s not the way to teach. Luckily I don't have any lame students. :)

On the other side of the “what kind of life is this?” aisle I bought a ’63 Deluxe (blonde tolex) from Mike Williams. The last, very last, so last, thing I need is another amp. But it’s pretty sweet. Unfortunately now stuck in my office at Berklee where there is already little room. I’m going to try to get it in a suitcase so I can bring it home on the plane but what a pain in the ass that is. I do have a big suitcase but I’ll have to check it and it’s JetBlue next week (no free checked bags) so it’ll be a minute before I get it back.

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