Thursday, June 14, 2012

Swingin' in the Park

A month and a half ago, I dusted off my righteous rage, put on the activist armband again, and joined the Nightwatchman and the Occupy Guitarmy in a march and some music in midtown Manhattan on May Day. The rest of the month involved quite a bit of marching, too, including a trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, two weddings, Mother's Day visits to both my mom and Laura's, and a rare Not An Exit jam/recording session with Jon Wardell.

Jon and Andy: this is Not An Exit!

At the beginning of this month, I stood by and watched Laura march instead.  Well, actually, I watched her run, in a 5K race, her first, and I was incredibly proud of her.  She's planning on doing the 2013 New York City Marathon, and I'll be there to watch her, too!  Last week, however, I slowed things down a bit, and the two of us headed to a Victorian bed and breakfast, the Hewitt Wellington, down the shore (yes, we say "down the shore" in Jersey) in Spring Lake for an overnight stay. There was a brief period of rain, much of which we escaped by ducking into a wine shop, but the weather was otherwise wonderful, as were both the lake and the beach, and we even got to commune with the squirrels (and ducks) and swing in the park, though it wasn't after dark. We had an amazing if puzzling dinner Thursday night at CafĂ© Artiste; we were never given menus or asked for our orders, and by the time we'd figured out that the chicken special mentioned outside was the only meal available, we'd already been served bread, lentil soup, and salad. After sausage and peppers and a side dish of peas, we finally got to the chicken dish, which certainly lived up to the hype by Cosimo, as did the incredible peach pie we barely managed to tuck away, too.  Dessert was plainly not optional, and I for one didn't mind.

I brought my acoustic/electric along, too, and Laura snapped some nice shots as I played a little on the beach early Friday morning. (Speaking of pictures, I know I haven't updated the Gallery... of Death! at all this year.  Since Apple is doing away with iWeb, I'm thinking of migrating my photos to Picasa and redoing the Gallery from there instead of iPhoto/iWeb; I just need to get around to doing it.)  She found a sand dollar among the tide's remains, which was a nice surprise, and we got quite a lot of walking done.  I know we did, because I finally have a Jawbone Up that seems to be lasting!  I got this one (I think it was the sixth replacement since Christmas, though honestly I've lost track) on May 2nd, and it's still going strong.  The longest that any of the others went before dying on me was three weeks, and that was the original one Laura bought me.  At least Jawbone's customer support has been very good about it, and each replacement was sent to me at no charge, not even shipping.  If this one goes the distance, I will be very happy indeed.

On the Beach at Spring Lake

A week from today, I'm lugging the Danelectro to Jackson Square at Greenwich and Eighth Avenues in Manhattan to play some tunes outdoors at 2 PM for this year's Make Music New York.  It's free, as are the hundreds of other performances taking place around New York all day, so you should come get an earful if you can!  I'm planning to add my newest song, "So Much Happy," to the set, and there's a new T-shirt design available ay my CafePress shop if you're interested; for the new free buttons and/or guitar picks, you'll have to come to the show.  ;-)  The shirts feature my two main axes on the front and Slime's Doug the Slug, plus his hedgehog and penguin buddies, on the back (thanks, Laura!).  You know you want one...

Some days, trying to find time for everything (including updating my personal social media accounts and 'blog - and now I'm adding RebelMouse, too?!? - in addition to the "music" and Slime social media accounts; writing the dialog, and scanning and prepping the artwork, for Slime; making the occasional YouTube video; playing guitar; and of course waiting hand and foot on the Chinchilla Princess, Meguilla) after spending a workday on Microwize Technology's user forum, 'blog, and to a lesser extent its social media and clients' data issues can feel overwhelming.  I need to record a medley of the Police's "Too Much Information" and Living Colour's "Information Overload" as my theme song... but where would I find the time?  Heh.  Then again, the minuscule interaction my "music fans" (102 on Facebook, 90 on ReverbNation, and 294 (!) on Jango, allegedly) provide can feel underwhelming; I still haven't gotten any responses to my query as to which artist(s) I sound like or remind listeners of, and I'm not holding out hope for many people I know showing up at Jackson Square next week, though of course my honey will be there supporting me.  Still, in spite of dwindling time resources and limited active interest on the part of the general public, I'm not ready to give it all up and live a "normal" life.  I want to revamp my Web sites, I want to come up with more creative outlets for the Slime characters, and certainly I want to write new music ("They Might Be Roses" is brewing in my head, and maybe I'll finally pen a song about the experience of playing live, for real people) as well as record some already-written songs that haven't been laid down yet ("I'll Live," "When Giant Giants Attack!" and "Occasionally Tormented Soul," I'm looking at you in particular).  I want to spend more time trying to interest people in that music, for while I'm neither trying nor expecting to become the "next big thing" in music, I do intend to keep at it, and input and criticism can only help.  I want to keep writing in general, and boy, did this 'blog post turn out to be longer than I'd planned.  I want to stop using so many parentheses and semicolons; no, wait, I don't (I really don't)...  Slouching back on the couch and watching the game and the latest reality show is too easy and not satisfying at all, and besides, there are way too many people doing that already.  Also, I can't really teach Laura to play tennis that way.

After all...  Better that your life be a blur than a blurb.  Happy Flag Day!  Got somethin' to say about any or all of this verbosity?  Leave a comment, then!

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