January rain

I’ve been thinking about so much lately: things that bother me, sad things, nice things, and just things in general.

When last I left you, I had had a panic attack. I went to see my doctor yesterday, and she prescribed Zoloft and counseling. The pills are sitting right here on my desk. I am still unsure about whether I want to take them. Certainly I don’t want to have additional panic attacks. But I also don’t really want to medicate to deal with my issues. I’m okay with counseling. I’ve tried it before and didn’t love it, but I’m willing to try it again. Anyway, I’m giving myself the weekend to decide.

I went up to La Mirada the 2nd weekend of January. I went up on Saturday morning which was good. I was there in time to take Dad to dialysis, but he surprised me and said he would drive! So he did. With only a little drifting to the left, he did a great job, especially for not having driven in months at least. After he was taken in, I went back to the house and Mom & I went to Black Angus for lunch. It was good, but the same thing happened as the time we went before: they forgot to put in the order for our cheesy garlic bread, so we got it free again. Worth it. We had a good talk at lunch. When I went to pick up Dad, I asked him if he wanted to drive home and he said yes, so he did. This time, no drifting! It was awesome.

On Sunday, we watched football, then I left around 2 pm, and decided to drive down the coast. It was a beautiful day. I stopped in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach_Jan 13   385243_10151484536582985_626394416_n

It was a lovely ride home, and it was out of the ordinary for me. Something I’ve thought about with the new year, trying new things, doing things differently.

So Monday, I did something else out of the ordinary. I went out to dinner with a vendor for work. It was a large group out from New York (with one woman from LA), and three people (including me) from my company. We went to Herringbone in La Jolla. Now, I love good food, and I like nice atmospheres, both of which this place had. But I don’t like waiting about an hour and a half for my entree. It was a little crazy. Plus it meant I had to make lots of small talk, which is not my best asset. But I was proud of myself to doing something new. (By the way, I had lobster bisque, crab ravioli, and dark chocolate & pumpkin bread pudding).

Later that week, on Thursday night, I went out to watch Han play a gig with his new band (not super new, they just don’t gig a lot). The show was at a bar called the Go Lounge, and it was fun. Han absolutely shredded on electric guitar which I don’t get to see very often. He was on fire! The next night, he had a gig with Flan out in Ramona which I passed on. It’s not a very comfy venue and there’s no place to hang out.

On Saturday morning, Han & I went to Sleep Train and bought new furniture for the bedroom. I’m expecting the delivery tonight! That night, there was another Flan gig, this time at a house concert with a great green room. Barbara was in town, and the Becky was her guest. It was great to see them. The show was fantastic, and it was a great night. I was kind of surprised at all the comments of people missing me at the gigs. I felt like I had missed more gigs last year (2011), but nearly everyone said something about how much I was missed, which was flattering.

On Sunday, Barbara came over to put the finishing vocal touches on her next solo record, her third, and all three produced by Han. Very exciting!

I should mention that for those 2 weeks, it was very cold here in San Diego. Now I say that with all the knowledge that it’s not cold in San Diego, but relatively speaking, there were nights when it got into the low 30s, and that is cold for here. What sucks is that that cold air that was here is now bringing terrible snow and ice to the midwest and east coast. Yuck.

This week, well Monday, Han took D out to dinner and went to rehearsal. All of my evenings have been filled with scheduling for the studio and for the Acoustic Duo. It feels like I’m never caught up. Also, Monday was President Obama’s inauguration. Two items of discussion came from this occasion: the inaugural poem and dumb Beyonce lip-synching (or not).

I personally loved Richard Blanco’s poem, “One Today.” I feel like he delivered it well, that it was accessible, and I liked what it said. I even wept a little, from the words, but also for the moment for that poet. What an amazing moment for him, and for all poets, everywhere. I find it interesting that no Republican has included an inaugural poet, but every Democrat since JFK (except Lyndon Johnson) has (Robert Frost, James Dickey, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams, Elizabeth Alexander, and Richard Blanco). I get that many people don’t “get” poetry or find it boring. I’m sad for them. But one commentary came after the inauguration that was so asinine, it was difficult for me to express myself. It was this: Is Poetry Dead?  As you can imagine, this piece spread through the poetic ranks very quickly, putting the poets into a fervor. I was one of them. I had no idea how to respond. Her opinion, to me, came from such an unknowing place. Poetry is so ingrained in me, whether I have written anything new or not, that I can’t imagine life without it. This woman seemed so hollow to me. Which was too bad, because I read some of her other work, and I picked up a humorous tone that I kind of enjoyed. But this piece. I didn’t like it. Plenty others didn’t either. There are over 300 comments on that article. Far more than many others she wrote (strangely enough 2 articles about Piers Morgan had more). Some excellent responses came out of it, in particular this one: Open Letter to Alexandra Petri. I thought he was right on. My whole take on the thing is that of course poetry is not dead, but just like about anything else, there’s an audience for it. Those outside of that audience probably couldn’t care less about it. Much like me and say, snowboarding or hot rods. It’s a culture, maybe even a subculture. But it’s there, and to suggest that it’s not or that it shouldn’t be is simply preposterous.

In looking for the link to the article in question, I see that she has responded with this: ‘Poetry is not dead,’ says poetry.  She says some good stuff (“The only people who might conceivably agree with my first thesis are the people who do not read poetry, and I am beginning to suspect that no such person exists. You cannot avoid it. It comes crawling after you on the subway like a large rat, trailing centuries of vigorous tradition. (Every time I start to send an analogy into this fight, it turns to me with pleading eyes. “Please,” it says. “I am not ready to go out there. They will pick me to death. Look what happened to the last guys you sent.”) Poetry revives if attacked. It grows stronger. It likes the fight.”), and her self-deprecating tone is a little more noticeable here. I am not a good debater, whether it’s a subject I know or not. I’ll leave that to others, but I’m okay with this follow-up. We’ll see what the response is, if anything.

The second point about the inauguration (are you keeping up with me?) was Beyonce and the did she or didn’t she lip-synch the national anthem controversy. I believe she sang along with the pre-recorded track, but the audio on her microphone wasn’t as loud as the track. I get the reasons for doing it, but I still think it’s super lame. Kelly Clarkson sang live (maybe the music was pre-recorded), but James Taylor played guitar and sang live. It can be done. And knowing people who have sung the anthem live at baseball stadiums only reinforces it. I do not get Beyonce. I’m not a fan. Especially at the end when she looks directly at the camera and gives a head toss, get over yourself. No one’s there to just see you. I find her aggravating. And on a slightly related note, I think Lance Armstrong is a bully, a liar, and a bad guy.

On Tuesday evening, (back to the recap!), Han left for a week to be on the road with Flan. He likes to stay in a place on the other side of the Grapevine when he travels to NoCal, so that’s where he was on Tuesday. On Wednesday night, they played Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, last night was the Fox Theater in Redwood City, and tonight it’s the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead) will be a guest tonight, along with Barbara, Eve, etc. Jon drove up with Han so he’s not by himself, and it’s one of the reasons I decided not to go. Although it’d be great to see Han on those big stages (Flan has him do a couple solo songs a night), the Flan shows, these big ones, get a bit chaotic, and I just don’t want to add to that. Besides, I enjoy having this time to myself.

I stayed home from work today. I got the flu shot, but there have been small instances when I feel something coming on. Plus half the people in my office are sick. I decided to stay home and take care of it.

This weekend, it will be chores around the house, early spring cleaning. Plus Australian Open finals! Until next time!

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