Monday, February 18, 2008


Last week I actually got myself out into the world someplace other than work or a store. I decided that Valentine's Day would be a good one to get myself back into the open mic groove at Front Porch (it was also nice to have a night that wasn't freezing cold for it). It was the first time I played there this year and only my second time playing at all. I did "Dear Prospective Employer" (a love song of the desperate) and a slowed down version of "Let's Get Married Tonight" in which I whispered some of the choruses and seemed to go over well. It was also great seeing friends I hadn't seen in months and being a part of the community.

The next night I drove to a town about 45 miles away for a surprise birthday party for a friend. Tom is another musician and has been extremely generous to me ever since I started "The Year of 35." The party was in the top floor of an old building and was a cool space - old but big with a stage in front of windows looking over the county courthouse. A variety of people got up and jammed and I got in on the act too. I hopped up with my guitar and started playing music I've been working on; Graham joined on bongos and Tom eventually hopped up and played the fiddle with it. I liked the sound of the fiddle and think I'll pursue him playing it with me as I get the lyrics written and the song finished. We also played around with "Let's Get Married Tonight" - Tom on guitar and Graham on bass and Barry hopping up on drums partway through; "That's Okay" with Tom on fiddle; and "Dear Prospective Employer" with Tom on bass and Barry on drums. Lots of fun and Tom was definitely surprised.

On Saturday afternoon I went over to the comics shop for the semi-annual sale. I still had a bunch of cash leftover from Christmas plus some extra and thought it would be a good time to splurge. Of course, my usual intent is to take advantage of the sales but I tend to dither as to what I should buy and end up with nothing. This time I had a couple things in mind and then took a little time to decide what else I should get. I ended up with a combination of stuff I haven't read and stuff I read in singles format but no longer own and want to own. I got 4 trades for $53 and change, which is pretty good. I still have money left too!

Last week I managed to read 2 books - Inside Straight (a mosaic novel by many writers and edited by George R.R. Martin) and Like You'd Understand, Anyway (a story collection by Jim Shepard). The first is another in the "Wild Cards" series of which I read many books years and years ago but haven't read any of the more recent entries. That didn't matter as the book was very accessible with a wide variety of characters and a plot focusing on an American Idol-type show for super-heroes and political upheaval in the Egypt. I enjoyed it. The second book had a number of stories on men (or women) on futile quests...quests for yetis or an inland sea in Australia or love in outer well as stories about modern alienation and more. Shepard is a strong writer and I definitely want to delve into his other work.

I'm also 50 pages into a new book but still have another 4 piled up from the library after that (and more on request).

I've watched a lot of TV shows on the DVR as well, though I'm still about a week behind. We did watch Lost, of course, which just gets more and more interesting. Yay for the writer's strike being over too!

There's more but we'll save it for another day and another post...

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