Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Liquid Monster


Growing older means checking in with yourself. I'm glad I developed an ability to do that somewhere along the way in my massively thicketed and semi-pruned forest journey. And sometimes, during that soul-enriching/spirit-stirring check-in, you uncover a few things. Here's something I've realized about myself recently;

I really like my sober self.

I do. Alcohol isn't a crutch for me. And I've never felt addicted to it. But at times, I do enjoy the socially relaxing aspect of that ice cold golden bubbly ale hitting the back of the throat. I like the flavour. I like the smell. I like being in a new town and tasting a new microbrew of the area. I love the sound of a freshly cracked can that tisks into the thick summer evening air - like you're "sending one out to the universe". I can be content with one or two. I don't crave hard stuff and I don't think I'll ever be a scotch or whiskey guy. I've had the perfect amount and zany times in and around the liquid monster.

But I've had nights where I've had too many. And I've had nights where I've had too many verging into middle-age-dom - and I sort of know, in the back of my mind, where that road leads. It can truly feel like a warning shot fired across the bow of your character.

This is neither here nor there; it's just a stream of consciousness that has entered my mind with some steam energy in the last few years. 

I like sober sleeps. I dream more. I wake up and analyze them and think "what the hell was that?" with some sense of recall. I feel more centered and not so all over the place. I feel more rested and not so scattered.

I don't wake up tired and I don't scroll through my phone the next morning hoping I didn't text someone something super odd or embarrassing.

The older I get, I wonder if I'll finally jump ship someday. Who knows?

For now, I'll do my part to keep the monster at bay.

Friday, January 08, 2021

A New Page In An Old Book


No one can call out your pathway for you. As much as we live in community and hope to count on other people and to be surrounded and gloriously encased and entombed in that love, your footpath is your OWN.

There is power in the realization of that deep truth. 

Community, sometimes, can be nothing more than a crutch. It can be a safe space where people persuade you that you are meant to work these shitty jobs. And that you are meant to work for an hourly wage where you, time and time again, mash your skill sets and passions into a thick buttered pan to fit in and be like the 'normal folk'.

But you are not normal. Far from it.

You have abilities. And talents. And you're unique because of that. Sure - those talents and abilities may be similar to those of your friends but in the end, we all have our own slightly different trademark spice that we add to our favourite dish.

The time is now to separate and make your own mark. Cut your own path.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Deep Into Winter We All Must Go

Gratitude has become an unpopular sentiment. Currently, we are swimming in wave after wave of a universal clinging and longing for things to just 'go back to the way they were'. But truthfully - when we look at that statement and relate it back to our own lives - from both a pandemic and personal place - how untrue to form is that? One of the only certainties we have in life is the idea that 'things never go back to the way they were'. Never. Life is movement. Life is fluidity. Life is loss. Life is pain. Life is healing. Life is change. Life is rebirth. And though we may connect with pieces of our internal past-selves for healing along the dusty, thicketed trail of existence, we never ever go backwards. We always move forward. It's just the barren essence of reality.

But there is an immensely stark beauty in moving forward.

For the first time in months, I'm feeling grateful - and I'm not afraid to say that. I'm grateful to be a dad and to have this internally and externally beautiful, hilarious and kind human growing alongside me. I'm grateful for her hard working mom who just puts her daughter's needs first time and again. I'm beyond fucking thankful and overjoyed for her spoiling grandparents and silly uncles and aunts - and the good family and the solid people in my life who have stayed the years and the fights and the phases and the conflicts and the stormy seasons of me. I have some very god-dang cool new and old friends who are strong and deep and smart and funny and giving and understanding. And I can call upon them - and they can call upon me. I'm finally feeling truly at peace with the person I've been made into and who I'm becoming. 

Sure - I've made mistakes. I've been hurt. I've had an entire house get biblically flooded. I've been in long love-relationships that have ended. I've seen friends disappear - both physically and metaphorically. I've been intense with myself about where I think I need to be. I've had jobs that I just simply exist within. I've disliked my body shape. I've been overqualified time and time again. I've applied and pushed for creative career related jobs that I know I've been amply qualified for, and where I destroyed the room at the interview, only to have less than zero response in return. And there's way more than that - and yes; all of that is tough water to wade though - and many have it galaxies tougher than that.

But here's the thing; I haven't stopped pushing. And I can't stop creating. And I will not stop moving forward. And I refuse to stop. I actually can't; it's science. I refuse to stop pushing myself to be kind to someone who has purposely been rude. I refuse to let negative depictions of me - whether internal or external - define me. I refuse to let those whiny lamentations be the final chapter of my story. I refuse to let past hurts keep a soul-muscle flexed and injured, when it needs to be relaxed and stretched. I refuse to look in the mirror and say 'welp - your best years are behind you' or 'you missed your window' or whatever negative thought pops in there.

Because at the end of the day, it's seriously and ultimately alright to just be who you fucking are. And that's a place of cosmic surrender and total Truth with a capital T. And we can all get there - Right. Fucking. Now. I can disappear into the creation of a song that I've crafted that takes me to a different place, or helps me re-visit heart-lessons that I need to remember. Or I can re-visit friends or towns I haven't seen in a while. Or I can play with my daughter and see the wonder in every moment she's alive and discovering something that expands her world.

Life is incredibly sad. It's a beautiful poem that's being written right before us that we barely understand, and so often, our human words fall flat on their faces at the doorstep of description. And we are all in and among the words. And so many of us swim in these endless stormy seas of expectation. We gasp and we swim and we fight the life-current. We have these ridiculously high standards for ourselves - and when we fall short of the marks we set, we dislike what we see in the mirror. But there's a difference between wanting high standards and expecting perfection. I feel like there are many of us who need to read this, who have been so hard on themselves -  especially during the current space and time we are in - and who just need to have a tiny breather-break to sit back and enjoy who they are. Even for a minute. 

The winter is cold and dark and long - yes. But it's beautiful. And the spring always comes.

May your find your winter with enjoyment of yourself - and may you keep moving. Always.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Lost At Sea

It's quite a time, isn't it? I never thought I'd be writing from the upstart of a worldwide pandemic virus. I suppose that this virus has many flashpointy sputnik points to it - illuminating outward in angular spokes, just like the red nodules of its microscopic picture. For one, it has already done a lot of damage. Many have died and some in mass amounts in small windows of time. It seems there is a predictive element to this thing - and at the same time, even the world experts seem to have no fucking idea what they are talking about.

It's hard to write anything - to feel anything - and to create anything in the face of this monster. The numbers don't seem to be comforting the slightest, as the ramp up is still happening in many parts of the globe. Most likely, in North America, we are just about to ride to apex of the hellercoaster.

But in other ways, and in other small windows of the globe, people are returning to a base form of communication. Words. Video chats. Phone calls. It's incredible that universal bandwidth can keep up with all of it. It's a very interesting time. Even the most non-communicative are being forced to reach out and talk to their neighbours, their family and their friends - not even to just check in - but just to talk with others about the scope of the era that we - as a species - are in.

I supposed this storm has also surfaced in my emotional brewpot, as well. It's made me take a deep look into the cauldron of myself, and sometimes, I truly don't like what I see. I wish I could do more. I wish I spent more time volunteering. I wish I had started down the music trail earlier in life. I wish I could more emotional and connective stability in the relationship department. I wish I was thicker skinned. I wish. I wish.

Whatever the case, I'm trying to stay focused on the creative side. My daughter is three hours away. And she is safe, and in the best possible place while all of this is happening. I am forced to still work and be on the front lines in food service delivery. There's a part of me under all of this gloom and doom that has to see the bright side. I have to look at it - it's just the way I am wired. I think about the potential it will have to change the way we think - the way we can open up more to one another. The way we can lend a hand to our fellow man, and just be readily available to love. Whatever the case, humans will find a way to keep loving. Without love, we are only machinist vessels. We need to look at the good that will come from this. We need to think about the billion points of light that will reach out to anyone in the darkest depths, and help them feel and know real comfort.

We have to live on
We have to survive.
Whether in memory or reality.

Love is the answer.

Sunday, July 07, 2019


Something is happening. And I really do feel it tonight, and I've felt it for the last few months. I am changing. I am going through a shift. For over a year, I didn't touch this thing. I let it sit. I let the cracks form in the mud of my thoughts. And I got soft. Sure - I've been focusing on music and pushing hard, and being dad-like and all that - but I have not let myself go in the universe of the words. I haven't let the thoughts fly and just written for the sake of fucking writing and hammering the thoughts into the frame of consciousness. And acceptance. And belief. And grace.

I've wanted to compartmentalize. I think I've wanted to believe that that is okay. To move past a section or a phase of life, like a divorce, or a lost friendship, and wall it off forever. And feel like you're becoming new. Morphing. But eventually, the strongest walls come down. Storms come. Floods wash out neighbourhoods. And you need to deal. I haven't been dealing. I've had a ton of spiritual shit happening all around me. So much beauty. So much goodness. And it has floored me in a new way. I feel emotional and happy and ready to be who I am. I'm tired of fighting myself. And living in doubt.

I think I've always wanted to pursue a lifelong career. Something that I could hang my hat on, and get benefits from, and tell people at dinner parties 'this is what I do'.

But that's not me, and at 42, I don't think that will ever be me. And I think my ability to adapt and change and grow is truly one of my greatest strengths. I want to learn. I want to keep learning, and I never want that to stop. I am so in love with life, and I'm tired of masking that. I want to stay true to my heart, and relay stories and experiences with other people and hear how it made them grow.

I am so god damned thankful that every day I get to wake up and know that I helped, even in a small mathematical way, to bring another human into this life. Fuck. It's the most mind blowing/consciousness-altering event you could ever imagine.

The beauty of that, and of this growing daughter - if I let it, is an ever-rushing well within me that can rise up and flood me with emotion. And sometimes, and even tonight, that happens. And it is a tad overwhelming - but there is beauty in the letting go. Emotion - especially when it's raw and uncorked - is our body letting go of the bad shit. The alchemical process continues, even when we attempt to resist it and push it down.

We see the bad stories. We read the news. The world is in chaos. The shit is piling. All around us. Greed poisons many, and bloodshed and brutality is everywhere. Horrific truth. And there is a leaning that wants us to believe that all humans are evil. There is a voice that tells us that. But if we really look at the truth - and hold the candle to our experiences and quiet the voices - we see the needle firing so much in the opposite direction. We see a thousand candles lighting up from the power of ours. People are fucking good and wholesome. Humans crave happiness, and unconditional love. And we want others to be happy and to be fulfilled. There are givers and helpers everywhere. We just have to look for them.

I want my life to be about love. And I need to remember that.

Thank you for this moment tonight.

All who are here and gone.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

no time

Sometimes, when you fall asleep, your brain connects a memory that seems recent - and you think ‘when did that happen’ but it’s obviously a subconscious connection that never happened. Like tonight - I had a vision of bumping into another man with curly hair. But that never happened. But when it happened upon falling asleep, in my mind, it was familiar. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Life is busy. Get after it. Today was a good day ((minus the drugged up psycho trying to touch Jillian’s tits - while she was holding Sloan). I wanted to flatten that fuck - but he was drugged beyond repair. Worked out. Got up late with Sloan - like 740. So nice. I wish I could breathe better. This illness must die down. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

time vs desire

I’ve had a hard time recently, carving out the mental mettle needed for this blog. I started it in 2003 - just before Sarah and I got married. 15 fucking years ago. A decade and a half. Wow. My friend Jon turned me on to blogging, as a way to chronicle what was happening in my life - and to just let the words out. Untainted. Uncensored. Unshackled. But now - I think I am coming to a place where I think I don’t need it. 

But I almost say that with a bit of sadness and trepidation. I don’t want to not need it. I’m damn sure this little voice box/thought tank saved me a few times. It was a mental parachute. In my dark days in cobourg and St Catharines - and walking across the niagara street bridge - and working in a call centre and living in various private school dorms - this was my happy place. 

My days are very different now. I feel like time
Has careened into an unfashionable league of measurement - and like the soap opera, it truly does slip through my finger tips. I have a beautiful partner. Our love was very intentional from day one - from the moment we met in the dark din of the Black Dog in Manotick. And 6 months later when we realized we were having a child together. Excitement. Fear. Gut worry. Elation. Coping. Anxiety. Bewilderment. Awe. 

But through it all - the binding, guiding force of love. 

And that love created a smaller love - another human. And wow - she is something else. I have a hard time putting my thoughts into words when it comes to little Sloan. She is beyond speech. She is a feeling and maybe some kind of technicolor that supersedes the rainbow. 

And we live in a lovely house - just across the pond from Ottawa. It’s amazing. But some days, it doesn’t feel real. I think we always gravitate to what we know. And we are building something. 

I don’t know if I can say goodbye to gravenrecs yet. But the end is most likely night. 

Bless up. 

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Tuesday, August 07, 2018

James Iha and the August Wonder

Sometimes, our lives need to look like Let It Come Down by James Iha. A perfect mix of backgroun subtlety, brilliance and melody that all weaves together in a non-intrusive way.

Life is strange, now. It's beautiful - and I wouldn't change it for the world - but it's strange. 100 percent. Life with a little one becomes so much less about you and so much more about your little life-wanderer.

The cracks and frags of our existence are ever more at the surface. The things that people used to wonder about silently in starry bedrooms are now talked about with a reckless abandon. People can be quickly disregarded and ditched even with the thought or worry of controversy.

If we ever thought that life was impermanent as a single person, we feel and taste the reality of it that much more as a parent. I think it's because age and time are factors in literally everything. We calculate the minutes and seconds that we might have with our child - and for our lives with them. The odds pile up. But we venture on.

It's hard to be in the moment. I need to Let It Come Down like James did.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Jet Set Speeder / Hour & Minute Feeder

At 41, I've noticed that time speeds by me. It laughs at my attempts to slow it down. It is a jackal; an unrelenting minx-like beast of burden. I open my eyes in the morning and I am immediately conscious of the fact this everything I see is temporary. I know that it will alter and change - and that nothing is forever.

But I suppose, that in the end, it is all we know.

I have a total inability with this blog. It has baffled me. I started it 15 years ago - and today, it is a chasm of the content mountain it once was. I used it as a journal for my thoughts = a spigot release for my steam energy. Now - it's rarely visited wasteland. An afterthought.

But I also suppose that being a father has made blogging less essential. It is what it is - it is something I get to when I find a few free moments in a day. And these days, free moments are like ancient pirate treasure hidden in deep coral-filled trenches of the raging green seas of yesteryear.

My focus feels off - and with a few huge music shows approaching (especially a massive festival stage one this coming Sunday), I am scattered. My 18 month old daughter dictates the day and I was mentioning to Jillian the other day how when we wake up, I already feel like everything is out of control. It's a constant game of keep-up.

Cram Dills. Pay Bills.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Play The Hard Card

We never know what we are going to get. We trudge on, we hit the hill, and we rustle our gunny sacks tighter to our shoulders and backs. Recently, it's become obvious that yet another career change is going to happen in my life. As to what exact shape that will shift into - I am not sure. This one will come with a tiny bit of financial security attached - so that's. But it's not the end-all.

But I am going to say this - I'm tired of the narcissistic non-apologizers male dudes I keep coming across who are so fucking emotionally unevolved that they can't even tell you why they feel the way they do at any given moment. Usually, this becomes evident in a welling-up exchange where said male can't even address an issue because they are an emotional clusterfuck of misplaced rage and deeply closeted sadness.

It's hard for me to open this blog sometimes. I want to write words, and then I think about an audience, or I get a creative streak and then whoosh - an hour passes. Or when I have downtime, I think about watching something funny. Something will help me to get a release and emote something.

But I do need to crack on. This life is the only one we get and if that means drinking coffee at night to get shit done, so fucking be it. Let us get shit done.

Play the hard card.

The deck doesn't lie.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Spring Re-String

Spring thunder booms like a cannon from a distant ship - still a ways away but getting closer with every morning birdcall and every extra hour of light. Today, the city is covered in ice and sleet and grey grossness. Cars are turtle shells of crystal freezers. People retreat and do not face it. They do everything they can to avoid the onslaught. But it still rattles their windows with beckoning branches that scratch like annoying arms from a winter record that keeps skipping.

With every day and every waking hour, we are getting closer to something - some final pinnacle. Whatever that is, none of us seem to really know.

Fatherhood is weird. Owning a business is weird. Getting old is weird. It's all a bit fucking weird. Your being and output and action level changes - and I would guess that even your DNA does, as well. You think less of just being - and more about all the things that need to be done.

Three more shows on early spring horizon and then a bit of a lull until Bluesfest Bonanza. Looking forward to working out tunes and seeing what sticks to the wall.

It's hard to be focused these days - but I'm thankful for music because it really does hone me into the zone of the moment.

Wakefield. Irene's. Pals.

Good vibes comin'.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Deep In It

"What do you love about playing music?"

"For starters - everything." 

*(post below pics)*

The road is an animal - an unrequited, untamed beast of burden that fills our souls and bellies with fire and longing and fear and joy all at once. When you decide to hit the tour-trail and play shows with someone you haven't spent much time with before, there is always the risk that it will go terribly - but Megan Nash, of rural Sask, proved to be an easy going, quickly familial pro and passenger - almost like a distant cousin - and a powerhouse of song. The shows were warm, busy, intimate and engaging - and filled with kind and receptive souls. It's hard to put fingers to keys and make sense of the whirlwind of multi-town activity that took so many months to finalize and actualize - and that is now freshly in the rearview mirror of memories. From a small but warm-sounding room in Montreal at Le Cagibi with the cool, hip-Hawaiian tropical tunecats of Yitzy - to the historic and classic tavern-style McCloskeys that Dan has really spruced up in Chesterville - the Legendary parkay checker floor and supersonic sound-vortex of the magnificent Black Sheep - the few hundred feet up wildly urban view of the Horseshoe and Rivoli from Lee and Stephen's super-intimate Penthouse condo house concert space - and finally, to the warm, familiar, hippie, pierogi-powered and picturesque Wilno Tavern set in the rock-cut hills of Hwy 62 - I am thankful. I am thankful for the songs I haven't written yet. I am thankful for the beautiful, blue-sky weather we had every day of every drive - and I am thankful for my amazing, beautiful, love-exploding family that I have to come home to and move forward with through the coming spring and summer months.

This life is a lot of looking forward and looking back - it's difficult to be fully in the present. But on a tour, your focus becomes laser-like - you are locked into every song - and every set - and every room - and every new listener, supporter and road family member. You get the lay of the land and you take some mental notes and you stand up and sing and leave it all out there.

The road is our guide - our beacon that tells us that there are places that we can still push ourselves. No matter what age or life-stage we are at - we can learn.

We may be done with the road, but it is never truly done with us.

Peace and love. May we never stop learning.

Monday, February 26, 2018


Deep winter dark. Quiet. The treed property of our Gatineau pad and the dark streets on which I walk the dog are thick with reflection. I think a lot about death. As the days come and go and I grow older, I focus on existence. What exactly is this matrix we are in? I wake up sometimes and have immediate anxiety over the fact that I will perish. What good is that knowledge? Would it almost be better to not know that we die? I'm not sure. 

I think about my daughter as she speeds through various stages of kidness. I'm a passenger on a ship that does not stop. It steams on towards...something. It's hard to tell what is waiting. 

My late thirties were filled with a lot of beauty and reflection. I soaked up those post marriage years like butter marrow in the deep alcove of a marinated flank steak. I worked a lot but my off time was my own. In having a child, you truly cross through a threshold and you see that this life is so not about you - and that we really all are small potatoes. 

Everyone thinks their shit is so important. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sneaking Suspicion

Expectations skirt around us. They flutter in easterly breezes and spring meadow winds. We do the things that we think we should - and why? What drives us from point A to point B? We are animae. Enemia. Aenima. Pulse. Pulsar. Pluribae. 

I'm glad I grabbed this app. For ages, I've been looking for a quick add for the blog. I've been needing something that will help me get the words to the places they they need to go. 

Monday, February 05, 2018

Writing > Righting

It's hard to get to a space where the words flow out - like wine from the upside-down spilling crown gullet of Cassiopeia.

I long for fireside notebook sessions, where I can just write everything down and slow the pace and hear the hot centre fire-snap-pop. I want my hand to cramp from the feeling and passion and the momentary driven wavebreak.

But those aren't things in my wheelhouse these days. I forge the path of parenthood, and my schedule and my time revolve around my partner and a tiny being that has come into our lives.

Lately, she's been climbing the stairs of the house - from the bottom, all the way to the tippety top. It's bizarre to think that children were a far notion from my freewheeling bachelor mind, even two and a bit years ago. And now, I am moving into a new phase of hurdles and struggles and mountaintops and valleys. My universe has shifted, and is shifting.

It's daunting as I watch her, because our stairs are open underneath. And at times, I want to pick her up or at least form a safety net the entire time, but she senses it when I do that. And often, she'll turn on the second last step and want me to grab her - even though she's capable of finishing.

It's as close as we can get to having a godlike feeling in this life. Because we know that, as adults, someone did that for us at one point. Someone watched over us.

But it also begs more metaphysical questions like 'am I being watched, now?' or 'is someone caring for my ultimate best as I do the same for this tiny nugget of humanity?'

The answers are not that simple - but we trek on. Towards all of it.

The stairs and the stars.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Seagull Oceanside Canopy

We board up. We survey the conditions. We wait for the break.

And we ride and hope to we don't bail hard or eat the board.

Never before have I felt so out of control with life than I do with a daughter.
Yes- she is only just a biscuit over a year old. Yes - I know I'm relatively young.

But I remember a time...I remember a time where I couldn't wait for my fingers to fly about the keys and crank out rhapsodic prose that would lick the lips of the lyric-thirsty reader. Hell - there were mostly no readers. It was mostly just me reading my own shit. This blog was my own wheelbarrow - unloading the dirt of my mind upon the garden of thought and reflection, and taking stock of the bright, sparkly, multi-coloured peppers, carrots and beans of reflection.

But now, I slog. I sludge and trudge. I stoop to the demands of the day, and my posture wilts with each waking hour. I try to get ahead of the curve, but the pitch floats and then flies into the mitt of Catcher Time before I even think about the idea of swinging.

Sloan is a growing person - and a 'growing concern' the best sense of the term (to use my dad's words). I am just more cognisant of the fact that the light of our lives is fading. Every breath takes us closer to our last. Some days, I find it really hard to get death out of my head. The concept of dying and departing - not only from your own loved ones, and your city, and your families, and your music - but from your own body - just seems super bizarre and implausible.

But there are some things that help it slow down a tinge. Family time. Cutting down on plans with people. Exercise. Writing music. Writing just to write. Release. Open conversations.

There must be more.

We can only hope.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Time Capsule Swallow

I finally have a moment. A moment to take a breath, sit back, smell the new kitchen air in my new nature-engulfed, heavily treed riverside home, and free fall into the existence of the day.

There's a sad, stark beauty to this life and I think it can be summed up in this truth:

When we are well, and connected, and living in a full, fresh way, time is a lightspeed silver jet above the clouds, and we are usually ram-jammed busy and unable to really step back and take mental snapshots of all of the beauty we are experiencing.

But when we are unwell, or sad, or low, or down on our luck, or not in the best frame of mind or relational atmosphere with those around us - we have all the time in the world. Too much, even.

Time is a taunter - a fickle minx that lurks in the shadows. We think we might grasp it and see a glimpse of its movement...and then it is gone. I think the best we can do with it is just to zen in - take a minute away from phones and computers, and just be in the stillness.

The day is getting on. The late day sun of the post 1:30 glow hits in, and we start to think about our homes. We get into our comfy mindspaces - filled with music and blanket forts and glow-in-the-dark star ceilings.

We tuck in for the winter, and hope we can sleep it off again and emerge renewed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Where It All Comes From

Keep on keeping. Don't sleep when you're weeping. I can't believe that Slow Leaves came to town on October 13th and I played that show with him (Grant) and his pal (Rusty) and my homeboy Marc from Still Winter Hills.

Time is a tidal wave. It creeps up in the oceanic dark, under radar, and then throttles you -thrashing you to the ocean floor of existence and consciousness.

Sometimes I have dreams about long flowing hills. I don't know what that's about.

I also dream a lot about the ocean. And fields. And lost love. And withering hearts.

Some people in this life have saddened me more than others. Everyone is sad - we all carry around our buckets of sadness and regret and hate and hurt. But it's what we do beyond that point that makes us into who we are. Do we leave the buckets by the roadside...or keep carrying them?

I simply don't have the time for small-town/small-mind drama.

I live how I live, and I make tracks on the naysayers.

But isn't it beautiful to let go? TO just....release.

That, my friends, is where it all comes from.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Don't Come Around Here No More

I haven't been here in a while. My thematic poise has crumpled and is cowering in a dusty moving box in the recesses of my addled mind. That's the life of being a parent!

This blog is a luxury on a day where I have little booking or musician networking or show promo or social media conglomeration or miscellaneous tax/box work or new business opening discussions or grocery buying or baby helping.

Many paths have converged to bring me to this point. There are some regrets. There are some misty eyed past kaleidoscopic moments that make me look down the arid path of my youth, beset on all sides by dandelion memories and cross-pollenated and withered friendships.

But truly - you win some, and you lose some.

This saying usually applies to battles - but it rings true for people as well.

But as far as winning, I have won two of the best people in the randomized human lottery that no monetary amount could ever cover.

Jillian is the most beautiful, the most funny life partner I could ever have hoped to find. In all of my past relational yearnings, I could never find the right balance in another mate. I tried but the scales always tipped. J has it all. All I could ask for, and all that I yearn to come home to and discover new life adventures with. And Sloan - my sweet Lord. What a growing bundle of expression and joy and love and personality and cuteness and absolute wonder. I never knew that my heart could be so full and in pain for a human being, but I am definitely in deep. Deeper than I ever thought possible.

I think for a few years, I wanted a simple life - but my simple life involved playing music with friends, spending way too much time at a lake with people who smoke too many cigarettes and probably drinking more often than I needed to. Well, the music has picked up and is definitely frontal in the lobe of creativity and connection these days, and the drinking and smoking are way down on the priority list.

Creativity and connection are at the top. If I am not being creative in my artistic pursuits, I am lost. And if I am not connecting with my family and my neighbours and friends, what good am I?

Yeah - I don't come around here no more. But when I do, I am free.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Summerspeed: August 4, 2017

Show night. The lights were right. Songs were tight.

The crowd was a pure delight.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Summerspeed: August 3, 2017

I can't believe we are that close to Autumn. I want to feel carpet and grass on my feet.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Summerspeed; August 2, 2017

I'm done standing in line to be friends with people.

Get with me, or get with yours. Don't take auditions for friendship. Everyone can see your insecurity.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Summerspeed: August 1, 2017

August ain't over yet. It has just begun.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Summerspeed: July 31, 2017

Narcissism will be the end of Donald Trump.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summerspeed: July 30, 2017

Baseball is summer. It will always be.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Summerspeed: July 29, 2017

Friends arrived. Montrealians. Kids. 7 and 6. Boy and girl. Best friend and his wife. Been having an amazing time.

Best weather weekend of the summer.

Went to wading pool in my neighbourhood drinking a blueberry beer.

Trippin' the life fantastico.

Captain Hill.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Summerspeed: July 28, 2017

Long work day, and bad news from a potential employer seasoned with a semi-bright dusting of sweet joy through a newspaper interview about my music.

Moving my laptop around at 1390. Common occurrence. Best weather of the summer is yet to come. August looks crazy on paper and will be in reality.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summerspeed: July 27, 2017


That is all.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summerspeed: July 26, 2017

Whatever happened to Rick Moranis?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summerspeed: July 25, 2017

My brother is a lot like Will Hunting.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summerspeed: July 24, 2017

Klingon Kingdom.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summerspeed: July 23, 2017

Leaving the lake is always hard. My baby and wife keep changing - my baby moreso than my wife.

But the reunion is always sweet.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Summerspeed: July 22, 2017

Summer speeds past. Gas gets passed through the airwaves of yesteryear.

My head peels layers on sunburnt skin into my receding hair.

Nobody wants to pet the bear.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Summerspeed: July 21, 2017

One time, I went to something called a cell group at Allison Mahoney's house. It was early in the morning and outdoors. People drank coffee in metal mugs.

People cried when they prayed.

I think that's where I first came up with the idea for the song called End Of The Day.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summerspeed: July 20, 2017

This song reeks of old summers, dandelion fluff, crusted yellow grass and street stink.

The memories rattle by like empty tin cans in the alleys of your past.

Urchins of song - methuselahs of the moment.

I've been spinning it to infinity.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summerspeed: July 19, 2017

Change the locks, change your socks.
Don't be a friend to the man sellin' hamhocks.
Repeal to the wonder in your lungs.
Repeat every beautiful song that you've sung.
Give it a taste and let it wash your face
and stop runnin' and just walk in the human race.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summerspeed: July 18, 2017

The days speed by too fast.
Mirrors in a splintered memory glass.
Highways break into hounddogs callin'
from longings gone and blacktop ballin'
make it last - do what you can to be better.
wear it out like the old threads of the sweater.

get comfortable in your shoes.
feel the dirty streetwater flow and ooze.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summerspeed: July 17, 2017

Another summer day - into the fray.
Lecture life.
Listener love.
Make it all slow down.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Summerspeed: July 16, 2017 (Tom Petty)

Some nights, you get the table scraps.

Other nights, you get to sit at the foot of the masters and soak in inspiring rays of light. My friend Matty Foreman won tickets from his local watering hole to see Tom Petty at our local, massive scale festival, and immediately, he thought of me as a co-rider on the journey.

We were a ways back from the packed stage, in the lofty Coors Light Chill Zone (or whatever the fuck it was called), but it was a beautiful night. I guess when you get really rock and roll famous, you can play hits for an hour and a half, and that's exactly what he and the Heartbreakers did. Walls. Won't Back Down. American Girl. Wildflowers. Free Fallin. Learning to Fly.

All of the fixin's. It was downhome goodness.

We drank it in, walked home and grabbed a nightcap at a packed Pubwells, and parted ways into the half-cloudy, half-starry Cap City night.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summerspeed: July 15, 2017

Dinner at the folks. Local yokes.
Cloudy gray. Summer stay.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summerspeed: July 14, 2017 - Weekend Bachelor

I'm out for a stroll, cats.

My lover and loved daughter and dog are not around this weekend, so I shall see what trouble I will get into (for a few nickels). Honestly, I'm looking forward to doing very little. It's funny how age does that to you. In your teens/twenties, you thought 'I can't wait for summer so I can DO EVERYTHING".

Now, a free pocket of time is a chance to clean, do laundry, watch some dumb comedy videos and work on some songwriting.

Hardy har, chaps. I'm a city boy. Let's grab some noodles and broth.

Catch me on the flapjack stack.

Hidy-ho! Friday-go!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summerspeed: July 13, 2017

The future fades. The minutes are few.

We are throttling on. Baseball with Ed, Dad and Ad was a treat. Best weather night of the summer so far. Unreal how that worked out. Many tall boys consumed and many Ottawa bat-stick rallies occurred, causing them to beat the Miners 8-2. 

Had a burger AND a poutine. Felt like a big, flabby fatty. Fuck it! The sun set with the green of the outfield casting us an emerald glow of youth.

We were kings for a minute. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summerspeed: July 12, 2017

I've been thinking about Rickles. It's hard to think of a comparable guy who could make the most composed people absolutely lose their shit with laughter. He deconstructed. He made the serious much less serious.

It makes me think about art. Why is art always so goddamn serious? Does it need to be? Don't we find the greatest moments of enjoyment from his bullshit ball of mud when we lose ourselves in a gut-tightening hot minute of whimsy? I think we do.

There are way too many people with no avenues for their anger. Racism is real. Social disparity is real. Hunger is real. Unemployment is real. Disgusting cowardly acts of murder are real. We all know that.

But why do we always try to fight the serious with more seriousness?

The sky is a thin-veiled grey-white today. I climbed the stairs at work and did push ups. I'm looking forward to a night in with Jillian and Sloan. She's calling.

I like these blog posts. It's a new type of brevity-writing, and it's less flowery for me. But a little more muddy and gutty.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summerspeed: July 11, 2017

Here's Joel playing his first version of an album song. I saw him play this live at the Ale House in Kingston (now defunct) on September 30, 1999. I was there with Brendan Lorimer. Twas great and a truly ear-bleeding evening once the band kicked in.

The haze of strange dark summer clouds still pervade the skies of the Cap City corridor. This is actually yesterday's post that I'm writing today.

I walked to Lone Star for lunch and seriously enjoyed the hell out of a fish taco and some free salsa and chips. God. It tasted like pure heaven. I was ravenous.

After dinner, my old pal Mark Richardson came over and met Jillian and Sloan. That was a real treat. Mark and I were born on the same day in the same hospital. We don't always stay in touch, but when we do connect, we have good in-depth discussions. It's good. I wish him well on his new adventures to Chile with his family of three!! Cameron, Jack and Bea(trice). Wow. I can't imagine having more than one - let alone carting them across the continent! Mark and I almost got hit by a taxi when we walked to his car. Fucking crazy drivers.

It was a hot sleep after a few craft brew. And that was that.

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