(collection of past Homepage greetings and stories)
September 18, 2000   - to-   November 19, 2000

Sep 18, 2000

Howdy my friends, Itís about 6 oíclock on Sunday morning and I know most of you are still slumbering. I tend to wake up early, get dressed for a run, step outside into the cool dawn. . . and then turn around and go back to bed because itís far too early. I thought instead, it might be a nice, quiet time to write you, with just a few morning birds chirping outside my window and my little dawg snoring in the next room.

These last few days of summer have been incredible here in Seattle. I have a Ď64 Malibu convertible that I drive as much as possible in the summertime before it goes into my garage for most of the fall and all of the rainy winter. Iíve been lucky this year with the excellent weather and it looks like I may get to drive it all the way up into October. The days have been warm and sunny, leaves already going yellow and crispy. Itís a lovely time to cruise around drinking cheap whiskey and smoking pot with the top down. (Hey, hold on! Iím joking. I always keep my shirt on when Iím drunk-driving.)

Iíve been spending long hours on the writing of my book and really loving it- except for the day I wrote for four hours and somehow, (continued. . .) it all disappeared from my hard drive, never to be found again. I spent several more hours trying to find it in my computer. Where the hell could it have gone? Oh well, perhaps I was telling a story that wasnít to be told.

After so many years of songwriting it always seemed so intimidating to consider writing an entire book. But now Iíve found that in many ways, itís similar to compiling a group of songs for an album. If you have no songs finished at all and you think of putting out a record, thatís probably pretty intimidating, too. I just started writing about specific memories and friendships and adventures Iíve had and found that the stories were coming alive and becoming chapters in a book and that it could all go anywhere I wanted it to. There are no rules.

I must highly recommend doing something exactly the way you want to do it without consideration of what the "proper" way is. It is quite freeing and after you get started, youíll find it quite exhilarating and freeing. I guess Iím getting used to that kind of freedom in my work, after having no record label to answer to for all these years. Itís become my nature to just express what I want to, not worrying about genres or categories. I like doing that with my book, too. Iíve always loved good story-telling. When itís good, it doesnít leave you confused, no matter how many twists and turns the story takes. You are always clear about where you are. I love doing that - I love the challenge of writing in such a clear manner that you know exactly what I mean and where you are at all times. (though you may wonder about my sanity)

I have let a couple of friends read some stories but most of my friends havenít seen a single line. I figured out a long time ago that too many opinions will just drive you crazy and water-down whatever project youíre looking for input on. I tend to go to only a very few friends for insights into specific projects Iím working on, and they may be different friends for different subjects. I like honesty and a willingness to be forthright. Plus, it helps if Iíve recently done you a BIG FAVOR when I ask you how you like a particular paragraph. Everyone needs a little effusive praise now and then.(Garsh! Do you really like it that much? Tell me more!)

Iíll be finishing up my book somewhere around mid-autumn and then getting it layed-out for printing. If youíre one of the kind folks whoíve pre-ordered it to help me get the money for manufacturing, Iíll let you know my progress later this year.

Iíll be putting together some concerts too, for the fall and winter and will put up notice right here on this site as soon as they get finalized. Los Angeles is set for Dec 9 (see Concerts link) and I just heard that Santa Fe may be one of those and Iím excited to go back there after so many years. Thomasinaís sopapillas and honey-butter sound mighty good about now.

Thanks for checking in on me, I appreciate that you do and that you tell your friends about me and my music. I know everyone has a busy life and many things to spend their time and attention on. One of my main purposes with my music has always been to offer up some sweetness in life that people might use to escape the tensions of life and even better, to ease your worries and remind you of the good things Life gives us. When you tell other folks, you help me to be able to keep doing this strange thing I do with music and humor. Thank you for that.

Yer olí fren, Michael Tomlinson


October 14, 2000

Howdy my friends,

Iím writing you from the rainy, autumn city of Seattle on a day when the rain has let up and the leaves are calling me outside. Iíve been working everyday on my new book and really excited about how the stories are coming. Honestly, I thought I knew what kind of book it was going to be quite awhile back but the more I write, the more surprised I am at where itís evolving. I feel that it is closer to the balance of introspection, insights, humor and emotion of my songs now and Iím loving the direction. Itís made this a more precious autumn for me because Iím reliving so much as I write.

Nearly everyday I go to a park somewhere and sit among the changing leaves and just start typing memories.  Some days Iíve written until I was shivering, the sun nearly going down and the day waning before I know it. Iíll look around and find my little dawg sitting on a park bench in some strangerís lap and have to call her to go home. Sheís just a little 7 pound dawg but she is completely unafraid to climb up on your lap and stick her tongue right up your nose. Sheís that kind of dawg.

Iím about to go for a run this afternoon when I finish this, itís been kind of sad to have to start wearing long sleeves for my runs and the earlier darkness is also hard to take. Especially since I know it will be getting dark in Seattle about 4:45 in December. Thatís okay, it gives me a chance to catch up on my Wild Turkey-intake and on watching the wonderful talking heads on TV that want to tell us what politicians said just ten minutes before. Can you imagine having a job where just after someone gets through saying something to the camera, you would then step up to the microphone and say it all again with your particular biases and spin on it? Thatís GOT to be a really satisfying job. We are an interesting society in that we somehow PAY for people to do this.

Well, Iíll quit ranting and say that Almost Famous is one of the best movies Iíve ever seen. I was so moved by the innocence and honesty portrayed and the simple humanness that the players expressed. I think Cameron Crowe wrote and directed one of the finest movies in years. I wish more artists spent their time trying to do work that uplifts humanity, I mean, why would you even want to waste your time doing anything else? What is the point in another big explosion or gun scene in a movie?

Oh yeah, I was going to quit ranting. Iíll finish up by saying thank you for checking in on me now and then and for listening to my music and for sharing it with friends. That is the best possible way for my songs to be spread around the world. And itís so much more satisfying when one friend shares something special and meaningful with another.

I hope this is a sweet autumn for you and that you get out there now and then and play in the leaves. Yer olí fren, Michael Tomlinson

November 3, 2000

Howdy my friends,

Here we are in early November and I donít know where you live but up here in Seattle, itís getting dark at about 5:30. I can squeeze a few more minutes out of the daylight if I drive like hell to one of the western-most parts of Seattle at Discovery Park and climb up the highest part of the sandy cliffs and tippy toe to my full 7í-3" heighth. (What? You didnít know I was that tall? Just listen to my voice - Iíve GOT to be tall to hit them high notes.) Stretched out like that up on that cliff, Iím able to get just that last teensy bit of sunshine before it sinks like a brick behind the Olympic Mountains out west. My day is a little longer that way but then I have to worry about dodging bats and tumbling down the face of that sheer cliff in total darkness. I might just get some candles and blow it off next time.  Iíve been working on my book nearly everyday, loving what itís becoming. Itís really great to find that it is actually surprising me. Sometimes I sit for several hours at a time, lost in a part of my life that was way more interesting that I realized at the time. Plus, the things I said seem to be so much more intelligent than what my friends said.  I might have to release this book without telling them.

The only down side of my writing is that I feel like Iím about to pass out from the radiation from my computer. If youíre someone who sits at a computer for several hours a day, I guarantee you, you are collecting radiation and storing it away in your tissue. Iím hoping to soon go to a powerbook (laptops have way less radiation) for almost all my writing but in the meantime I have bought a sheet of thick plate glass and mounted it in front of my computer and it seems to be helping. My eyes donít get as raw and thatís usually the first sign for me that Iíve taken on radiation. The next sign is that I must run around my yard nekkid when the elderly ladies are gardening. I donít understand it - I just try to honor my self-expression.

If you want to rid yourself of toxins and radiation too, you can take hot baths with sea salt and baking soda. Iíve been doing these for years, learned about them through Jeanne Kreider, a friend and healer Iíve been going to for many years. These baths really work, you will feel incredibly cleared of toxins after taking one. You want to be ready for bed when you get out of the tub though, you will likely be knocked-out and ready to crash minutes after getting out of the water. Never take one of these baths and immediately get into a Space Shuttle or other rocket propelled vehicle. You could veer wildly off course and hurt someone.

On a much brighter note, my little dawg is mighty fine. She was the hit of my retreat, as usual. People are always stopping me on the street and asking me what kind of dog she is. If I see people staring at her quizzically, Iíll usually just say, "She looks kind of like a dog, doesnít she?"

Bungee is a Maltese, an ancient breed that was used as a palace guard dog. The have incredible hearing and are almost always the first dog to hear distant sounds. Iím incredulous sometimes when she hears a cat sitting quiet in my back yard. Iím not joking, Iíve seen her jump up and start barking and going to the back door, wanting me to let her into the back yard to scare away cats. Iíll look out the window, which she cannot see out of, and sure enough, there will be a couple of cats just sitting there licking their paws. I donít know if she picks them up psychically or if she hears them. All I know is that one of the funniest sights youíll ever see is this little seven pound bag of fur, scooting across the grass after five cats, each of them about three times her weight. I think they know she just wants to play but they just arenít sure. Iíve seen many a cat come and watch her for hours, trying to figure out just what species she is from.

There are several feral cats that live in the bushes between my house and the one behind me. They are too timid to be approached but I put out a large water container and keep it filled all week and have taken to buying huge sacks of cat food and keeping their bowl filled all fall and winter. I donít fill it everyday for fear they will no longer hunt but I like to know they can get through the sparse winter so I feed them every few days in the dark and dreary months.

I guess Iíll close this silly letter and go about my bidnis of shooting suction cup darts at political commercials, thereís only a few more days I can do this. I might finish off with a baseball bat, depending upon who wins. I appreciate that you check in on me now and then to see what Iím up to and listen to my ranting and raving and odd attempts at humor. Itís nice to know that you listen and share my music with your friends. Check back now and then, Iíll have some more concerts listed soon and Iíll let you know how my book is coming. Happy autumn to you. 

Yer olí fren, Michael

November 19, 2000

Howdy my friends, I hope you donít think I have too much time on my hands since Iím updating my website so soon. I usually like to wait three months or so or until something interesting happens, whichever comes first. As a recording artist and songwriter, ideally, it is best if it appears to the public that my life is robust and full of dynamic events and exciting ordeals. But Iíve chosen to be honest with you and let you know that I havenít done a damn thing in three weeks. Well, I did make up a new guitar chord that has never been played before in history but now I canít remember how it went and Iím just depressed as all get-out about it. Iím writing you now to cheer myself up.

Another reason Iím so down, if the truth be known, is that I realize now that I could have probably run for president and actually won! I canít believe I missed my chance. Iím pretty popular in Florida, Iíve played concerts down there for years and well, I think Iím looking more presidential, the older I get. (if you slightly cross your eyes and donít get within 25 feet of me)

Hey now! Thanksgiving is here and Iím looking forward to hand-shaping a big olí wad of tofu into something resembling a fat, grinning, butterball turkey.  My friends probably wonít eat it but I plan on sobbing like a baby to get them to feel bad. Isnít that what Thanksgiving is all about? Youíve never seen real gloom until youíve watched a grown man cry and wail over a 65 pound lump of faux turkey. Itís earth shattering.

Really, itís just that I so love watching people stuff their faces with food which Iíve handled with my bare hands and played with extensively. First I take about 27 packages of tofu and with lightning-fast karate fists, form them into a heavenly bust resembling Liz Taylor, a YOUNG Liz, sheís beautiful and for a moment, Iím lost in reverie. But then I come (close) to my senses and bounce her off the wall a couple of times and go outside to dribble her in my driveway. I then have my little dawg Bungee sit very still at one end of the drive. (Sit Bungee! You can do it! Here, lean on this flower pot, there you go! What a talented dawg!) I poke my thumb and two fingers into the large, stiffening mass, (the tofu!) and I steady my focus, aim at my little fluffy dawg and try to bowl a strike. You might think that that is a cruel way to treat a little seven pound dog but let me tell you, Bungee is invigorated by the wind whistling off that tofu orb. I would never really hit her, since Iím a terrible bowler, the tofu just hitís the wall, leaves a greasy spot and bounces back off the garage door and then rolls down the sloped driveway and I have to chase it into my neighborís carport. Last year they shot at me when I did that and it took some time to convince them that I wasnít a thief looking to steal coke bottles. This year Iím prepared and am wearing an orange hunterís vest. (which is really a good idea anyway, you never know when someone could mistake you for a folksinger.)

One year I tried putting stuffing into my tofu turkey and though it was real fun to cram my fist up in there with wads of bread in my grasp, it just didnít work out like Iíd planned. All the dressing sort of soaked up the moisture and people thought Iíd served them a baked-basketball as a joke. I went along with it cause that was less embarrassing than the truth and I dunked that sucker for two points right into the fist tank, splashing everyone at the table with odd- smelling water. I just canít bare being considered a bad cook.

Now that Iíve gotten you all hungry for Thanksgiving dinner, Iíll wind down and just say that I hope you enjoy yours. If youíre going to go the tofu route, do yourself a favor and buy one ready-made at the natural food store. It takes years to master the art of animal replication from soybeans. Whatever you eat, remember to take some deep breaths now and then and to be kind to the people around you, to the world and even to yourself. Iíll bet you could use a little kindness about now. I may be a big olí joker on this website but deep down, Iím mighty glad to be alive and singing songs and living my life. I appreciate that you check in on me now and then. Thanks for listening to my music and for stopping by. I hope you have a loving Holiday.

Yer olí fren, Michael

PS, Iím making good progress on my book and will let you know soon how itís coming.
PS again, Check the concerts link for new shows in LA and Denver and soon, Santa Fe and Seattle.
PS some more, Obviously, I was joking about being depressed. Iím just fine.

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