Past Ramblings - 2
(collection of past Homepage greetings and stories)
March 13, 1999  
-to-   July 11, 1999


July 27, 1999/a>
I was standing out watering my flowers last night at dusk, just taking it all in and wondering where I'll make my next home. I've recently been told that the house I've rented and called home for 15 years is going to sell. I really can't afford to buy it since I had no notice that it was going to sell and no down payment saved, I guess I was lulled to sleep by my 15 years of renting. When I was younger, I always dreamed of a remote cabin, some home deep in the woods or mountains. But over the years, I've really grown to appreciate being a part of this community. There's a few lines in my song Living Things, that sort of describe my feelings - "I no longer see the city as just a place to get out of. With all the lost and lonely people, we're here to show each other love. We can't do it scared and scattered, living on some mountain top. Though we've all been torn and tattered, I hope we're far from giving up." - I still believe in the value of getting away for solitude and clearing every now and then, it's a wonderful and necessary thing. But I believe that humanity is here to, among other things, learn how to love and accept each other and we do that by living among one another.

I've been looking at houses to rent here in my Wedgwood neighborhood, in other Seattle neighborhoods and also in outlying towns. So far, nothing. I grew up doing this, went to 11 schools and moved alot as an adult. I think that's why it's been so natural and easy to stay where I am all these years. I've had my little record company in a spare bedroom, tall cedars and firs in my backyard and lots of flower gardens in my front yard. I have my friend and former girlfriend MaryBeth to thank for the flowers. She planted many for me and got me planting more. Now I have a yard that some little old lady would be proud of, gladiolas about to bloom, lots of wildflowers, baskets of petunias and geraniums. I guess I should plant cactus and sunflowers, something masculine, since I have a little white fluffy dawg and all these lovely flowers, people might get the wrong idea. Oh well. If you hear of a good house to rent, let me know.

I finished mixing my new CD last week and will master it in the next couple of weeks. It's called Watching the Storm Roll In. I am so happy with it. It's a solo acoustic recording but it feels so orchestral, the fullness of guitar and voice are rich and I love the mix of songs. There are seven brand new songs and seven older ones that I've wanted to record solo for years.

Remember At Your House? Where I've come to visit and play songs in your living room? Watching the Storm Roll In is one where I'm sitting on a big wooden porch listening to rain and distant thunder on a summer afternoon. I love the feel of this! I think folks are going to feel like this record is a wonderful, peaceful escape from the tensions of life. Plus, it's by far the longest record I've ever put out. You may not know that CDs only hold 74 minutes of music. Storm is 72 1/2 minutes long. So you might have to call in sick now and then and spend a stormy afternoon with me on my porch.

We'll master the CD in a couple weeks and send it off to be manufactured. I'll have it back sometime in September and will send out newsletters about it. Be sure and email me your mailing address if I don't have you signed up already.

In the meantime, I hope your summer is sweet and full of chuckles with friends, cool evening air and peaceful feelings. And don't forget, let me know about that great house to rent.

Thanks for checking in on me.

Aug 27, 1999
Are you starting to notice how the sun is already going down much earlier? You'd think, with all the great technology out there, that we could at least keep the sun up a little bit longer here at the end of the summer. I guess daylight savings time is the way we do that but the problem here in Seattle is that about a week after you notice it's getting dark earlier, we zoom all the way to mid-December, where it's dark around 4:45 PM. Now, that's just wrong! Do you know what it's like to live in two solid weeks of sideways rain when it gets dark at 4:30? Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. It's still light till 8 or so right now.

I found a house to rent in another Seattle neighborhood. It's on a quiet, well-kept street with trees and flowers. The last two weeks I've been going through the stuff I've accumulated over the 15 years I've rented this little house. It's been fairly emotional at times, everything I uncover has a memory or a face attached to it. (I'm not just talking about dust bunnies, either. In my house, they're called Dust-Mummies.) I went through probably a couple thousand photos last week and narrowed them down to 150 or so. Wow, that was a journey. I had bundles of letters I had to let go of, took 350 books to the library, gave Goodwill about 10 sacks of clothes and shoes and have been sneaking to the Safeway dumpster with huge sacks of trash every day for a week. I hope they don't catch me, wouldn't that be a sad thing? Getting arrested not for stealing from the trash but for dumping in it?

I'm really pleased to be through recording my new CD, Watching the Storm Roll In. I'm about to master it and then, off to the manufacturer. It will probably be delivered to me around mid October so if you're thinking of buying some Christmas gifts, well, hey! Let's do some bidnis!

Sept 19, 1999
We are having a fantastic last few days of summer here in Seattle. That is to make up for the rainiest winter in history, which we had last year. I've been able to drive my convertible everyday lately and it's been a treat. I have this great old 64 Malibu that my friend Gary Blue restored for me back in the late 80s. I drive it as much as I can in the summer months and then store it in the garage all winter. In November or February, when we've had a couple weeks of sideways rain and everyone is going flat-out berserk, I go sit in my car in the garage, haul my tv and vcr out there, put on my "Driving Vacation in the American Southwest" video and put an electric fan in my face. I bounce up and down in the seat, drink all the beer I want and just take a gonzo road trip right there in my garage. I've only been pulled over once, well, not pulled over, but the cops did come and tell me that the neighbors were worried about the exhaust seeping out under my garage door and the continuous honking and shouting going on. I explained that I was just pretending to travel and that I was not going an inch over 126 mph. They did not arrest me but they did unhook my horn and inform me that exhaust is not good to breathe. "Preshate it", I said and now I just make motor sounds with my mouth.

Pardon me for being so silly. It's Sunday morning and I must have just gotten up too early. Talked on the phone with an old friend from Texas and drank some coffee in my front yard. My little dawg is staying with my friend, Christine. That's one woman, two cats and a fuzzy, little dawg having a slumber party. I don't even want to know what kind of things they stayed up giggling about.

I'm off to Nashville, Indianpolis and St Louis this week for concerts. (and possibly San Diego, Oct 3. Check concert listings.) I'm looking forward to everything but the airports. I haven't played any shows in awhile and I'll enjoy singing again. It's amazing how forgetful I can get when I have other major things on my mind. I spent around 2 months looking for a new home and packing, throwing things away and actually moving. A week ago I tried to remember chords to some songs I've played for years and went totally blank. I've remembered them now but it was kind of scary there for awhile.

November 10, 1999
If you've been checking out my website lately you may have been considering looking in the obituaries for my name. I usually don't take 3 months to update my site. It's just that I was traveling and performing in September, I did concerts in 5 cities. Then in October I was preparing for and hosting my Gathering of Friends retreat here in the Northwest. It was alot of fun and one of my favorite retreats. It sold out kind of early and luckily, I was able to acquire another wing of dorm rooms at the ol' fort so that more folks could come and sleep in those shitty little beds. Wheee!

Then, last week, my new CD, Watching the Storm Roll In, arrived from the manufacturer and I began to fill the hundreds of orders that had piled up over the last few months. If you're one who has ordered, thank you for your patience. (If you ordered a tape, your order will be shipped in another two weeks.) After waiting forever, the first shipment of CDs was defective, well, only if you consider that my photo on the disc (me when I was about 10) appeared to have two black eyes and bloody teeth. I did tousle a bit when I was a youngster but I don't think I ever had TWO black-eyes at the same time. Maybe one, but then I was off running, calling out names and taunts over my shoulder all the way down my alley to mom.

Anyway, I had to send over 90% of the CDs back to be redone and only had enough left to fill the single orders that had accumulated. If you're one of the Hunnert Buckers, the folks who sent me $100 to buy ten copies for Christmas gifts, I'll have yours way before Christmas and I'm really sorry about the delay. I usually only order about 3000 CDs at a time and the manufacturer tends to place independent labels like me at the back of the line so they can make 80-million Backstreet Boys CDs for Christmas. Wheee!

I'm hoping to work a lot on my book this winter. I started it late last winter but found myself disrupted by several small nuisances like recording a new CD and having to move out of my home of 15 years and finding a new place to live. When is the last time you had to move 15 years of your life by yourself? Wheee! I found stacks of letters and photos, clothes I am embarrassed to ever have bought, much less worn, knick-knacks, books, even dishes that had been stuck in the back for over a decade. There were things in my refrigerator that I was afraid to throw away for fear they might be declared "historical" and therefore governed by local ordinances. My rule became - "If you did not remember you owned this, throw it away." Which was not easy to follow because my house had become a museum of my life and of many of my friends'.

Just one of my runs to the dump weighed three-quarters of a ton! I'm serious. Plus, I snuck down to the Safeway super-dumpster at night and tossed in probably two tons of stuff in there. I noticed by the second week they had posted an armed guard and I discontinued my practice. Dammit, I had to go all the way across town to Big K-Mart! (so why the little dumpsters?!)

Anyway, after moving into my new home in early September I played concerts in five cities and then, in October began to prepare and host my Gathering of Friends retreat. Now I'm filling orders, living in a line at the post office and signing 1000 CDs for the Hunnert Buckers. Which leads me back to where I was going in the first place, I'm pretty sure that I'm about to have time to work on my book and I'm looking forward to having some fun with it this winter. I'll let you know how it's progressing and try not to take so long next time to update my site. Thanks for checking in on me and allowing me to ramble a bit.

January 8, 2000
Let me start out by saying Howdy New Year to you. I would have written sooner but I forgot. Yes, I was so busy storing up dog food and water jugs in December that I just forgot to update my site. Personally, I wasn't too worried about that computer thang but my dawg was houndin' me to get lots of high-quality canine cuisine put away in case there was a run on stores and she might be stuck with Alpo or something even worse.

I enjoyed the Holiday season, strung-up Christmas lights at my friend Christine's house without falling off the ladder, played in a children's Christmas concert, got some friends together to sing carols and even ate some fruit cake. Unfortunately, I can still taste it. Now, I'm working on songs, trying to put together a few concerts for the year and threatening any day now to get back to work on my book.

I really appreciate all of you who have already ordered my new CD, Watching the Storm Roll In. I've gotten great feedback so far and even heard one of the songs on a radio station that I did NOT send the CD to. It's almost spooky when that happens. Radio play is the big missing link for so many of us singer-songwriters these days since most stations are now owned by corporations who hire a single consultant to determine the playlist for sometimes fifty or more cities. For that reason, your sharing me with friends is even more important to my being able to continue writing and recording my music.

I'm well-settled into my new place since I moved last September. I still miss my old neighborhood but the house is better than where I lived and I have a great yard with lots of trees and seclusion. Plus, I've finally found some great running routes around here. I like to have a variety of loops to run throughout the year so that I'm not bored. Where I live there are plenty of hills and the trick is to find a route that puts the hills at just the right time into my run so that I have the energy to run them and do not fall down and beg passing motorists for a lift. I hate to do that, it's so embarrassing to have to feign a sprained ankle. After awhile, I notice certain cars taking alternative routes around me so that they don't have to give my sweaty-ness a ride home. Well, I'm exaggerating, only a few times ever have I crawled up onto someone's front porch and lay there heaving until they could get me an ambulance.

I've noticed that some geraniums I left on my porch since last summer are starting to bloom. The good news is that spring may be coming early. The bad news is that the polar caps are melting and I might have to trade in my truck for a canoe.

I know I haven't been to your part of the country to do a concert in awhile, the last couple years I've done fewer and fewer concerts. I am currently working on strong possibilities for concerts in Florida, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Washington. There are also a number of other places that look promising and when I know for sure I'll post the shows on my site. Plus, if you're on my mail list, I'll send you a postcard announcing any shows in your area.

On April 14-16, I will be again hosting my Gathering of Friends Retreat here in the northwest. The last one was one of my favorite ever, a great crowd of folks from all over the country. Two folks came from Europe that time.

This website may look different the next time you see it, my friend Brian Dina is taking over the design of it and is soon to put up song samples of several songs from each CD. I'll still be writing it all, I'll never allow it to be something composed and maintained by someone else. Well, that's all my news for now, I hope you're well and happy.

There's Still More!
Past Ramblings III