My internal clock is ready to go to work this Saturday morning. I awakened groggily at 5:45 am, couldn't get back to sleep, and had KISS' version of The Stones' "2000 Man" stuck in my head already. Highly atypically, I stayed up until 1am on the phone with my BFF. I desperately need the rest, for it shall be a long, long day, but twas not to be. (A nap before band? Let's try that.) So I made the pot of tea, had a smoke and texted TOC an update on my hand. Followed that by Facebooking a friend in England who I knew was up and having lunch, exchanging pleasantries. I'm yawning uncontrollably. With a gentle overturning between courage and will, peppered with sheer exhaustion, I pressed forward and decided to start writing. The following is another non-linear strand of what's in my brain. (Because I hate when bloggers title their pieces "Random Thoughts." How unoriginal!)
Contrary to mornings when I have to work, this morning, I'm choosing a light iTunes mix. The tea is waking me up, and I'm more serene and chilled out than manic and hurried. I don't have to be anywhere today until 4:30 pm, aside from picking up my heart meds at the pharmacy at some juncture. Michael Nesmith is a genius wordsmith and the light country-laden rock rhythms are melding well with my mood.
Practice went very well last night. I was on my game and the band said they couldn't tell that there was anything wrong with my hand, apart from me (as usual) playing too fast. This timekeeper is a nervous-norvous. I'm sorry, but you try coming up with a beat to "God Bless Our Native Land" with your band a full choir backing you up.I was playing it in like 2/2 time, and it was sucking. "I don't like that beat, try a 4/4," my guitarist said. It's a hymn. Hymns drag. I dragged along with it. Maybe I'll leave that one up to Steven tomorrow at the picnic. The picnic will prove to be a great advertisement of the music ministry at the church, for the bell choir, the adult choir and the contemporary band are all leading the service.
Steven is worried about dew getting on the Rogers kit on the church lawn early tomorrow morning. Having just sat on the patio chair in a spray of dew whilst smoking, getting my ass wet, I thought about how little control over the dew I have. Bob, my guitarist, said he'd consider asking the custodian to put my drums on a riser from the gym. A good idea, to stable the kit away from the bumpy grass on the church lawn. It'd also improve my acoustics. The only downside is that it'll force me more in front of the congregation, when I'm used to shyly hiding behind my kit and music stand. Just for that, I think I'll wear Peter Criss Catman makeup to church tomorrow and get a gaggle of tattoos overnight.
Rehearsing with the adult choir last night was sort of a clusterfuck. They weren't familiar with the song they're performing with us, and it was difficult for the choir director to get them in a formation that optimized their vocals combined with our 3 singers. Thus, I had to play the song 4 times in a row on my congas, which wore me out. The residual 2.5 hours of practicing with my band numbed my whole right arm by the end of the evening, so afraid of taxing myself, I called it quits for the night. It's much better this morning, and I'm cautiously optimistic about the rest of the weekend.
It was eerie in the sanctuary last night, as the church was set up for a funeral in the morning. The pall was laid out meticulously across a pew, the banner was up near the altar, and the funeral service bulletins were at the entrance. I couldn't figure out why, in the liturgy for the service, they had the deceased's name in bold, capital letters. It was something like, and I'm making this up, but with emphasis, "Lord, let your servant DON come to his Heavenly home..." Every time it mentioned DON, it was bold. Like you're gonna forget whose funeral you're at? I took a look at the hymns DON was having played at his funeral and it was the bland cacophony of oldies but goodies that, if anyone plays at my memorial service when I die, I'll come down from Heaven and strangle everyone involved. I'm putting this in my last will and testament as one I want sung exuberantly:
If all aforementioned parties involved want to tie themselves up to crosses in loin clothes to sing it with vigor, all the better. (That given, my funeral better not happen for a really long, fucking time. And when they finally end the memorial and spread my ashes, I want someone to play Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog.")
My dear old friend from Knox, Allen Doderlein, is marrying his partner, Jeff Bouthiette, today in Massachusetts. Mazel tov and two snaps around the globe to both of them. My favorite Allen memory? Him staying with me overnight at my apartment downtown on our Chicago Arts Semester at Knox after seeing "Natural Born Killers" and it freaking me the hell out. Allen's one of those guys who would make a perfect boyfriend, and he found the perfect guy for him. Love is love is love. If you don't support gay marriage, don't fucking get one.
From the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod on Facebook this morning: This looks really fucking interesting, NOT: "It’s been nearly 200 years since the first president of the LCMS was born! Celebrate the bicentennial of the Rev. Dr. C.F.W. Walther by touring significant Lutheran sites in St. Louis and Perry County, Mo. Attend a church service where Walther preached. See where he and his wife are buried. Visit Saxon Lutheran immigrants’ original homestead. Read more here: www.lcms.org/walther200." Significant Lutheran sites. Only if a fucking potluck is involved. There are a lot of things this anarchist wants to see before she departs this mortal coil. The burial site of my uber-conservative denomination president is not high on the priority list. Italy is, however.
I've moved onto a lot of quiet Neil Young from the Michael Nesmith this morning. Chills listening to "Old Man." Naturally, it reminds me of my father. I AM a lot like him. "Heart of Gold" reminds me of TOC, because we once had a discussion about it, and spookily, he heard it on the radio as soon as he got in the car on his way home (and get this! Texted me about it! Shock of shocks!) But what struck me was the honesty of "The Needle and the Damage Done." Such a truism:
"I've seen the needle
and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie's
like a settin' sun."
NOT having a junkie/addict mentality seems so foreign to me. I even hoard my nausea medications. It's been an uphill battle learning how to live without the numbing powers of drugs and alcohol. Though I've been technically clean for 12 years, I still use narcotics when I need to, for pain in my gut, though admittedly, I've pulled shit like taking 4 when I should take 2, because 2 block the pain receptors. Four make me feel warm, fuzzy, friendly, cuddly, painless and amazing. I haven't done that in a long ass time, though. I feel like telling people, "If you had one ounce of the insane pleasure you derive from one dose or 6 drinks, you'd recklessly abandon all of your senses." My former heroin-addicted compadre said that taking a shot of heroin is like the feeling you get from a Vicodin times twenty." That said, if I ever tried heroin, I'd surely die. It's something you get addicted to immediately. I've seen it almost destroy my friend. His last dose was in 2001, and he's still suffering the repercussions of his addiction, like his perpetual teeth-falling-out problems. Like me, he became addicted to alcohol after he got over narcotics. We're both keeping each other sober a little bit at a time with positive reinforcements and harsh criticisms, by the grace of the universe, today.
I listened to this song by Bob Seger's "Main Street" this morning, which is one of his favorites. This clip of him lip synching always brings a smile to my face. Him videoing himself whilst driving is nuttier than TOC, the other night, writing himself a note, changing lanes, and watching the road all while going 70 mph, with a pen that wouldn't work. Enjoy this clip. It's short.
Well, I was grateful for the extended morning peace. My mom's still not up. Later, taters!