Hey folks, I won the last Music Passion Award by Dolly at All About Lemon and had a whole month to think about what I wanted to use for a theme for September’s game. I have decided on “Blues”. Since I am a musician and blues is my main genre it is only fitting that I should choose it as our theme for September. SO with out further ado my choice of song for September’s Music Passion is Gary Moore’s “Still Got the Blues”
Friends are like roses…you have to look out for the pricks!~ Anonymous.
Even before I finally became sober I was slowly eliminating “bad” friends out of my life. It was a long process, sometimes they just didn’t want to let go, but in order for me to maintain my sobriety I had to let them go. The first ones to go were the ones that enabled my drinking the most with their own drinking habits, these were actually the easiest. The ones that were closest to me were the hardest to let go of because they are the ones that hurt me the worse. One “friend”, the one I thought that loved me most betrayed me in such a way that I will never be able to forgive them. This person had gotten sober and found “god” but they didn’t eliminate some of their worse traits and I inadvertently found out that this person was never really a true friend in the first place because they went after something very close to my heart and tried to take it for their own when I was going through a very rough patch in my life. This same person has been trying to get back into my life, but what they don’t realize is that once they betrayed me in that way there is no hope whatever that they will ever get back into my life ever again.
Then there is this “friend” that had helped me out through a very rough patch in my life. I thought that they were being a “friend”. It wasn’t until after I was quite a ways into my sobriety that it came to me that they weren’t really a friend at all. This person had kept enabling me in my drinking, even though I had been telling them for months that I wanted to quit, that I needed to quit, that my life depended on my quitting. I finally realized how caustic this person really was and is. I finally told them to stay away from me, not to call me, and I explained to them that every time I saw them it took me right back to that bad place I was in just a few short months ago and I needed them to stay away from me because the memories were far too painful. I told this person that if I saw them I would turn and walk the other way because just simply by their presence it reminded me of the pit of hell I was in and it was hurtful to my sobriety.
Fortunately now I have a whole new group of friends that are loving and sober and working on the same goals that I am. They are supportive and have been with me since the first day I met them on our paths to sobriety. With friends like that who needs the trash of old enabling friendships sticking around with its stench and flies buzzing incessantly around.
I don’t expect your travels in the coming weeks to be like a smooth luxury cruise in a stretch limousine. Your route is not likely to be a straight shot through breathtaking scenery with expansive views. No, my dear Aquarius, your journeys will be more complicated than that, more snakey and labyrinthine. Some of the narrow passages and weedy detours you’ll need to navigate may not even resemble paths, let alone highways. And your metaphorical vehicle may resemble a funky old 1967 Chevy pick-up truck or a forklift bedecked with flowers. It should be pretty fun, though. Keep in mind that your maps may only be partially useful.
Take inventory of the extent that “No” dominates your life. Notice how often you say or think: 1. “That’s not right.” 2. “I don’t like that.” 3. “I don’t agree with that.” 4. “They don’t like me.” 5. “I’m not very good.” 6. “That should be different from what it is.” For help in retraining yourself to say “Yes!” at least 51% of the time*
If you’re reading this, you’re probably not a Cambodian orphan who grew up as a slave in a brothel or a Sudanese man kidnapped by a militia and forced to do heavy labor 18 hours a day or one of the millions of other victims of human trafficking around the world. But you may be yoked and subjugated in a less literal way, perhaps to a debilitating drug or an abusive relationship or a job that brings out the worst in you or a fearful fantasy about the looming collapse of civilization’s infrastructure.
The good news is that you have the power to escape your bondage. Maybe it’ll help you muster the strength you need if I remind you that your freedom won’t be anywhere near as difficult to achieve as that of the Pakistani boy tied to a carpet loom in a dark room around the clock or the Nigerian woman who’s beaten daily as she toils in the sugar cane fields for no pay.
Try this: When you feel overwhelmed by the sadness of your problems or the addiction of your compulsions, put on your best clothes and clean toilets at a homeless shelter, or give foot massages to workers at a sewage disposal plant, or sing songs, sip champagne, and play card games with patients at a psychiatric hospital. Be ready to get hit upside the soul with exotic varieties of ecstasy, which such acts will unleash.
It’s like trying to pin down a kangaroo on a trampoline. Sid Waddell
I had a very bizarre dream the other night. I was having deja vu in my dream. We were playing a gig that we had done the year before, but the difference was that a year later we were playing the same gig and I was sober this time. I am in my dressing room getting ready and it’s getting near dark and as I look out on the horizon I see a troop of Kangaroos in uniforms coming out of the water onto the beach in front of the stage. All of them are wearing uniforms and berets. While I am in my dressing room getting ready I am having trouble with my white, 18th century wig with long curls and my turban. Meanwhile, the bass player is having trouble figuring out a song and there are other band members trying to take over the stage. As I am walking away from the stage I am saying to the band, “Steve Eaton can’t take over! I worked hard to get this gig and Matt wil never stand for it.” Suddenly I am back in my dressing room and my new dress somehow got lit on fire and was ruined and I had nothing else to wear. Very Bizarre…LOL.
This is a song I've carried around since the Bronx days
I Will Call To You
If I were the wind, love
racing through the sky
I'd pick you up and carry you in my arms
I'd show you how to fly
But I am not the wind, love
I'm just an ordinary man
I'll sing this song for you love…
I ignore texts. I let the phone ring. It’s nothing personal, but people need to realize that sometimes I don’t want to talk.
Yesterday I was in a very strange place. I was with a group of people I absolutely love, but I just didn’t feel like being around them or anyone for that matter. I had made a loaf of zucchini bread that I had made for Jim, a friend of mine, and the only reason I went was to give it to him. Anyway…while I was standing there with J.D. talking and waiting to give the bread to Jim this young woman came up to me and without even knowing me or anything about me she says, “So, I hear your a rock star.” I didn’t even look at her, I just said “No, not really.” and I continued my conversation with J.D. and basically ignored her. I don’t know why she irritates me or why her comment really irritated me, it just did. A couple of reasons come to mind:
- Whenever she talks in our meetings she is always taking everyone else’s inventory and pointing out what others are doing wrong.
- She has no right to take anyone’s inventory but her own . (No one should be taking anyone else’s inventory anyway.)
- I am only a musician and playing live in front of a crowd of people is just what I do for my livelihood. I am not a “rock star”, nor have I EVER considered myself to be one and the term just annoys the piss out of me. I can’t explain why.
- She doesn’t even know me and instead of introducing herself to me like a “normal” person, these are the first words out of her mouth to me. It struck me as derogatory in the manner in which she said it and, as I have said, slightly annoying.
The fact of the matter is that I can be a real bitch, especially if you don’t know me and I am very blunt, which can rub people the wrong way. However; on the other side of the coin I am genuine and a very loving person. It just takes a little to get to know me and certainly walking up to me and making a derogatory comment is not the best way to start out on the “right” foot with me. I called my friend Kym this morning to find out for sure if it was just me having a bad day or if this young woman is just an obnoxious and irritating person. She let me in on the fact that apparently this girl rubs everyone the wrong way. So, any guilt I may have felt about choosing to ignore her and her asinine comment is gone, unfortunately I doubt if this girl and I will ever be friends anytime soon because once you start out with me on the wrong foot the odds of getting on the right foot are probably nil.
Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of. * Benjamin Franklin
This last week I have had no time at all to spend with my wonderful friends here at WP, I have had no time for music, no time for my artwork, no time for writing in my journal, no time at all. The reason for this lack of time is because I have been working the Idaho State Fair. It is but one brief week out of my life and I am loving it, making very good money, meeting some interesting people along the way and having a lot of fun. I miss not having the time to work on some very important other things in my life, but once this week is over it’s back to business as usual. With some of the money I made I bought myself a couple of beautiful new sun dresses. The thing I am missing the most is time with my husband. I haven’t had time to cook dinner or eat dinner with him, which is time that has always been ear marked as time set aside each day that we spend together. I know, just a couple of weeks ago I was saying that I was glad he was back to work, that we needed some time away from each other because we were together 24/7. Now I am at the other end of the spectrum of absolutely zero time together. You know what they say, be careful what you wish for and all that. It’s a good week, but I will be really glad when this week is over and I can get back to normal, whatever “normal” is.
I had almost, not quite, but almost forgotten that it was my 60 days. 2 months, sobriety birthday yresterday. I almost forgot because I have been too busy being sober. I know that may sound crazy, but it’s really not. What is crazy is the amount of years, months, days, minutes and seconds I wasted of my life drinking into a dark hole. I can’t believe how busy my life has become since I put the bottle away for good. My music has taken a precedence in my life, I’m accomplishing more than I ever could have believed was possible. One night of my life a week is dedicated to “sober” night. It’s an open jam that I host on Tuesday nights at a coffee house and we get a huge turn out from my friends in AA and it gets bigger and better every week. We are getting more bookings than ever and now, by the grace of my sobriety we are booked to play at “John Doe’s” for a two hour acoustic gig in mid September. After that we have the Indian Creek Festival. I also have the distinct honor of representing my family and our Welsh heritage at the Scottish festival, where all the Celtic nations are represented. My grandparents would be so incredibly proud. I owe all of this to my persistence in remaining sober, the love and support of my beautiful husband and my wonderful family. Thank goodness I am a stubborn person. The very quality that makes me an obstinate person is also the same quality that saved my life. For that I am grateful!
“Here, are the stiffening hills, here, the rich cargo
Congealed in the dark arteries,
That hold Glamorgan’s blood.
The midnight miner in the secret seams,
Limb, life, and bread.
My family comes from Cowbridge, Glamorganshire, Wales. One has to wonder what drunken Welshman sat beside this one particular bridge on one particular day and came up with the name for this town? Were there imaginary cows crossing this bridge, drunkenly weaving their way across to the other side of the greener grass on the other side? Ok, enough about that! I am booked to play a Scottish Festival at the end of September and I am representing the Welsh musicians of Idaho, so I have decided to do 12 traditional Welsh songs. Now mind you, the chords aren’t terribly difficult. They are beautiful to me, some have a very haunting Celtic lilt that I just love. What is hard is the language. I am going to sing at least one in Welsh, if not more and the pronunciation is difficult at best. It is a challenge but if my Grandma and Grandpa could be here to see this they would be so proud!
Just so we don't get too serious around here, I'm posting a little piece I wrote maybe twenty years ago.
The Meaning of Life
The Buddha was asked by one of his disciples about the meaning of life.
By way of response, the Buddha held up a flower.
“Do you mean to say,” exclaimed Rami Medran “that the meaning of life is a flower?
We had our usual Tuesday night jam last night and it was by far the best since we have started doing this. We are fortunate to have a family that opened a great little eclectic coffee shop called “The Bird Stop” in our town and he is so supportive of the local music scene and local musicians. We had a great turn out of people that just came to listen and many who came to play. All of the musicians are “floating”, in other words they are bands that are almost formed, just missing a player or two. I had a couple of girls get up on stage with me, girls that were afraid and had never been on stage before and both did a great job. Kym got up and played “Unchain My Heart” on the harp and Rachel got up and sang “Dreams” with me. It takes a lot to get up on stage if your not used to it, hell it takes a lot even if you are used to it. The crowd was warm and receptive and they all know this is a jam, so things go wrong and the music isn’t perfectly tight, nevertheless, they show their appreciation with their hearts and love. What more could a musician ask for?
If what you say is based on what people want to hear, rather than what you intend to actually do, sooner or later you’ll find yourself in the difficult position of having to break your word.
Why do people tell others that they are going to do something and then not do it? And then….then they wait until the last moment to tell them that they are backing out. This is something I will never understand. If I have a gig to do and I know that I can’t do it I let people know at least a week in advance or at the soonest possible moment, it doesn’t matter whether the gig is paying or not, the importance lies in the fact that I have people relying on me and if I chose not to be there and don’t let them know until the last possible moment it puts them in a bind to find someone to replace me. It’s not fair to the people relying on me to be there and do my part because every person is a link in the chain of whether something is going to work or not and when I let them down I am breaking the chain of whether a gig is going to be successful or not. With music there aren’t 100 other singers that can just step in and take my place, or bass players, or guitar player, etc…You get the picture. If you can’t do something then don’t say you will…It’s that damn simple, there are no feeble excuses as to why you suddenly changed your mind after making a commitment. Here’s the thing, if you do things like this chances are the people that were relying on you in the first place are going to lose all trust in you and there probably won’t be an offer for a “next” time. You just blew any potential there might have been of something good. Say what you mean and mean what you say!
What an amazing week this has been! As some of you may know this is the week we celebrated our wedding anniversary. Yesterday we all got together at Memorial Park and had a sausage dog roast with all the kitchen sink fixings. We got a couple of really great cards!
Michael is so very sweet and loving, He got me this card and these beautiful roses for our anniversary:
I got some really great and unexpected gifts! I got this new/used camera that took all these wonderful pictures, and I got my old guitar back, the story of the Cosmic Boomerang Guitar explains it all.
All in all it has been a wonderful week to say the least!
A boomerang is a thrown tool, typically constructed as a flat aerofoil, that is designed to spin about an axis perpendicular to the direction of its flight. A returning boomerang is designed to circle back to the thrower. Wikipedia
You are never going to believe this! I can hardly believe it myself. In order to share this story with you I have to take you back in time…
In 2002 a friend of mine, Victor, was diagnosed with cancer. This was the year that I had my CD release part of “Sublime Evolution”. A bunch of us musicians decided to hold a benefit at his place of business, The Rockin’ Rooster, where we all got together for jam sessions on Sunday afternoons. I had nothing to give so I decided to donate my guitar up for auction. The same guitar that is in this photo on the album and the one I used in recording “Sublime Evolution”
The guitar went up for auction and was sold for $100. I thought that was the end of that. It wasn’t…. My husband has been filling in with this new band, “Down River”, and the bass player, Dave, has had a guitar he wanted my husband to look at for me because it had my name on it. I really didn’t think too much about it. I told Michael yesterday to go ahead and bring it home and let me look it. Here it is!
Sure enough it is my old guitar, back from it’s 1o year journey to who knows where. Now, if you look at the picture above you will see that it only has 1 Z, which is how I spell my name. I added the extra Z before the auction so that it wouldn’t have my name on it. Yes I am the one who put the image of the dancing guy on the guitar in the first place. Unfortunately Victor didn’t survive the awful battle with cancer but I have decided to buy back my old guitar from Dave. It holds a lot of very fond memories for me and I only wish it could talk to tell me where it has been! On that note here is “Journey” off of my album “Sublime Evolution” from 2002 recorded in the studio with this very guitar! Truly, what are the odds?
Need a soundtrack to that long-overdue nervous breakdown? You can’t go wrong with this incredibly creepy mashup of 100 maniacal laughs from the big screen compiled by James Chapman.
From ancient times, FacePainting has been used for hunting, religious reasons, and military reasons (such as camouflage and to indicate membership in a military unit). Recent archaeological research shows that Neanderthals had the capability and tools for face painting; although they are no longer considered a direct ancestor of homos sapiens, they lived alongside them in some areas and it is a reasonable assumption that humanity has painted faces and bodies since the very beginning.
“Knowing you will be with me in all my tomorrows, makes my today so wonderful.”
Today is the day! It is our 8 year wedding anniversary and all the preparations are made. I spent the day yesterday slicing and dicing, cooking and cleaning. I so want everything to be perfect, just for today. We are having a sausage dog roast at the park near our house and spending it with the people near and dear to us, many of whom we just met in the recent months of our journey to sobriety. I love these people because of the unconditional love and joy they share in their own sobriety that helps me and mine stay sober day by day. That, in and of itself, makes today a very special day. Among other things Michael has achieved 15 months of sobriety and Thursday I will have achieved 2 months of sobriety! So, there is a lot to be celebrated and enjoyed! Yesterday Michael brought me roses of my favorite color for roses, yellow. He always manages to find these roses that are unique, they have reddish pink tips and are so beautiful and smell simply delicious. What a wonderful day this is going to be, what a gift to be sober and with the person I love most in this world!
- New Resource for Alcoholics Helps Maintain Sobriety (prweb.com)
- Happy Sober Birthday to Me! (catseyesk.wordpress.com)
“Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence.” ~ Vincent van Gogh~
Tomorrow is our eight year wedding anniversary so I know I’m going to be busy tomorrow so I am posting this today. If you think about the number eight it is very cool because it is the symbol for infinity turned on it’s side. The number eight visually has no beginning and no end. That to me is the greatest symbol of true love! In eight years we have played together, fought together and against each other. We have seen good times and bad, but obviously there has been far more good than bad. We have seen hard times and easy times. There have been times when we didn’t know where our next paycheck was coming from and there have been times when life has handed us extra money. My favorite times have been playing music with you, staying up late playing a game of cribbage, or boggle. I love the fact that we can have these deep philosophical discussions and maintain the individuality of our thoughts on life, religion and politics and that we can peacefully agree to disagree. I love your smile and your blue eyes, I love the fact that you’re a stand up man and I love the fact that you take your knocks like a man, strong and resilient. I love the fact that you love me, with all my artistic craziness, all my womanly moodiness, and that you just love me for me. I just love you, happy anniversary baby!!!!
We start to realize that there are anodynes in life that help us through the day. I don’t care if it’s a walk in the park, a look out the window, a goodbubble bath - whatever. Even a meal you like, or a friend you want to call. That helps us solve all this stuff in our head.~ Al Pacino (April 25, 1940 – )
I feel a bubble bath coming on, that’s right. I love bubble baths. When I was a kid I would crawl into a bubble bath and all my child’s worries and cares would sink into the water and disappear just like the bubbles in my bath, slowly dissipating. In that few moments, floating in the bath with the bubbles I am free, care-free and unconcerned about anything. It is my meditation and my release. As an adult I rarely take the time for a leisurely bubble bath anymore, but today, today is a bubble bath day. My favorite bubble bath aroma is cucumber melon and I am going to soak in the aromas and light the candles and just gel for about 20 minutes. Please don’t knock at my door or call on my phone, I am in Do Not Disturb mode. Leave a message at the beep!
If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere. Marilyn Monroe
I have been religiously going for my bike rides everyday, 7.5 miles. I ride 7 days on and take one day off. Yesterday I had to miss my ride because I went with my mother to the doctor. Well, to my disappointed surprise, my bike trail was blocked this morning at both ends. The trail I take constitutes about 2/3′s of my ride. It used to be that I would not allow a “path closed” sign to deter me from anything. I pretty much did whatever I wanted without regards to the consequences. Ah, but for sobriety I would probably still be riding that dangerous path. “So, what did you do?” I’m glad you asked. I went a different route. I doubled up on the other part of my green belt ride, the part that was, of course, not blocked. I got finished early because it is not as long a route as the other way, but for a day or two that is ok. However, since achieving sobriety I rely on a set schedule and I don’t like disruptions. It throws me. My day is filled from the moment I rise until the moment my head hits the pillow. It’s all good though, the path will open again shortly and things will go back to norm, for now I will adjust.
- Easiest Way to Incorporate Daily Fitness Into Your Lifestyle (theculturedinspirer.wordpress.com)
- Top 4 Mountain Bike Trails in North America (freetips4travel.wordpress.com)
"Biographies bore me. I don’t care how insightful a biographer is, no one knows what’s going on inside someone else’s head. Autobiographies bore me, too, because we lie to ourselves even more than a biographer does. Here’s what I think the bottom line is: if you’re looking for truth, try fiction…. I’ve always believed that the lies we use to make our fictions reveal the truth with far more honesty than any history or herstory or life story.
If you're doing your best, you're not failing. You only fail if you quit or don't even try at all because you were too scared to fail. ~ Christine Sternfels
I'm grateful for...
Lessons learned from the many, many failures I've succeeded in attaining. Strength gained from pain I had to endure from all my failures. Love and support my family continued to give in times of my lowest low.
Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. Victoria Holt
I can’t help but feel disappointed about our gig last night. Our bass player threw out his back and couldn’t make it so we had to run the entire night without bass. Things felt like a train wreck and I probably gave up too soon. We didn’t do the best we could, the drummer did, he was a really good sport about the whole thing. We were all hot and tired and I felt completely lost when I realized that the bass player wasn’t going to show. I got caught off guard and was basically just throwing songs out there to keep things going. I was disorganized and I really should have been prepared better for exactly what happened. In life, I think, we get this picture of how things are supposed to be and when they don’t meet our expectations it throws a curve ball at us and suddenly we realize we left our mitt at home. Well I left my mitt at home last night and apparently my brain as well. Next time I will know better. I know that I am being entirely too hard on myself, I do that a lot. You know what they say, we are our own worst critics. The sad thing about it is I didn’t woman up and make the situation great, I just sort of folded into myself in disappointment, that was by far my biggest mistake.
- Support Your Local Musicians (catseyesk.wordpress.com)