For a few days my laptop which I carry everywhere as if one of my very limbs had been acting up. instead of going into hibernate when I would be traveling, it would just shut off. I would lose track of everything I was working on at the time. normally I never turn it off. Leave it running for weeks and months at a time. hit the road and it hibernates. Bring her back to life and I’m back up and running. But not lately. Frankly I think it was all the up and down the hills on that scooter in San fran, or just a abnormally shitty laptop because this is the third motherboard I’ve had on this baby in less than a year. anyway, two days ago its running very slowly, I control alt delete and notice that the cpu is running at 95% doing absolutely nothing. Uh oh. A few seconds later a get the dreaded blue screen. Uh oh. I reboot and nothing. Doesn’t power up. a light here or there but nothing. Doesn’t power up. nothing. Call tech support and it looks like the worst (not really the worst because honestly these things are essentially worthless boxes of plastic and metal save for the hard drive. The hard drive IS the machine itself. The hard drive is truly at this point one of our very limbs. The rest is just replaceable machinery). But still, prognosis being that the motherboard is bad again. fine. I’m out of the laptop for 48 hours. Wow. 48 hours without email Internet outlook or being able to write in any form. Like being lost in space with no contact with the real world… which of course is ludicrous but precisely how it feels. But I took it as a sign that I should get to work more on the television show and actually complete the project and depend less on the laptop, on the computer itself. And I did. I had a marvelous day yesterday knowing that I had no access to a computer. It was great. So I’m back up now and writing for the first time in two days. feels good though. [found a solution, besides of course always backing up to an external hard drive which I do everyday now anyway, two of them actually, because I’m fucking paranoid, but dell said I could get the same model and just keep it as a spare. Not use it, and if one laptop goes bad you just take out the hard drive and put it in the other one and you won’t even notice the difference. Of course this is an expensive solution, but a worthy one I would think.
Francis came up from Miami for business here in the city and we spent some time together the last two nights. A tragic figure she has turned into. will pen something about her called the Francis Tragedy. She drinks way too much and still depends on anti-depressants. We got into a mild argument in a cab on the way to dinner and on our way home from dinner. But we have slept together of course, years and years ago, and so our fights are acceptable to us I suppose and just part of the brother sister dynamic that we’re lucky to have with our closest friends of the opposite sex. friends are not easy to keep long term. At least that’s one belief. So we cherish it and take our heated exchanges in stride. I’m telling her I care about her and she should look into some kind of alternative means of exploring how she is these days rather than just traditional medicine and doctors and maybe venture off into Avatar or some other course to really create happiness for herself…. she starts yelling at me in this cab and I’m a little buzzed from a few glasses of sangria so I’m not really being affected by it too much. But then she attacks me further and says that my life is a mess but I don’t see it because I live in a dream world… she says that I am an embellisher… you think I’m an embellsher? I respond in a very Seinfeld manner and it forces her to laugh… but she continues because she is drunk. you’re so creative and fun loving but you’re not happy either Fishy. she tells me. you’re all pretense… at first I argue. But then I am quiet.
I stare out the window. There is a message here. in fact, what more do I hate about myself than this. if there is anything wrong with me still after all these years of processing and exploring it is this. and I know it. there it was placed before me at my feet. Yes it is true I am thinking. I am full of pretense. So much so that I cannot even stand to hear myself speak sometimes. She was right. there is a lot of pretense there. and for some, pretense is a-o.k. yes. in fact in our celebrities both in music and Hollywood we accept the pretense. We love the pretense. So for all my life I just always thought it was part of it. part of who I was. of course I am full of pretense I am thinking. that’s my job. Unfortunately that’s just part of being me with what I do. but that didn’t sit right with me for too long. maybe an hour or so and then I didn’t feel satisfied with that answer. I knew it was bullshit. I knew I was bullshitting myself just as I bullshit myself and others about almost everything. and then I tell myself that that’s just part of the job…
I couldn’t bare the thought. So this morning in the bath I resigned myself to it. asked myself what would be a good antidote to this new dilemma. After all, I don’t really want to be full of pretense. But I am. I have kind of snuck into it. fell into it non-deliberately. me and all my pretense. How else am I supposed to be… I am lying in the tub thinking, still groggy and sleepy-eyed and half drunk from the night before. my God. what could I do about it? I mustered up the courage to voice what I would prefer. “I am free of pretense.” Wow. Could I do it? could I create that? could I blow out all the pretense? I will try.
The first thing that occurred to me as I was thinking on this was how will it benefit me? will freeing myself from pretense benefit me or my career in any way I think to myself. I contemplate it for a moment and then realize that that’s half the problem right there. why not just do it just to be a better person? wow. What a novel idea. do something just to be a better person? without thought of how it will benefit me or my career? well, again, I will try. in any case, it was quite a wake up call. Later that night Francis apologizes to me profusely and blames the alcohol but I tell her to please stop. That she gave me a great gift.
Later, an online retail store refuses to stock our newest CD. I am destroyed by this news. just as I am always destroyed by all bad news regarding our music. and just as I am exhilarated by all good news about our music. I cannot even work. I go to the park and sit on a bench to sit and mope. As I’m sitting there, I begin to talk to myself. “you know, I know you’re upset. I’m upset too.” a terrible habit I know, but I find myself doing it all the time. there’s me and then there’s me observing me and making notes of it and not really effected by it but just annoyed with it… so I continue. “Every year we release an album and every year we go through this. you’re up when the news is good and you’re down when the news is bad. And frankly I don’t know if I want to deal with this anymore. We’re already working on a new album and you’re going to be acting the same way everytime something goes wrong with this new CD just like you are now. and you’re going to keep on doing this every fucking year for the rest of your life. and again frankly I just don’t know if I have it in me to put up with it. you’re driving me fucking crazy. a critic compares your lyrics to Jim Morrison and you’re emailing all of your friends and you’re on top of the world. and now a month later an online store tells you that its just not his thing and you’re going fucking mad and suicidal. Taking it so personally…. we have to create a new way of being if you are going to continue to do this for a living. You are going to have to rise up to a different way of being. This is too fucking depressing.”
So the question is this. can I do it? can I step away from the work enough that I don’t take it personally. Man if I was selling carpet I wouldn’t give a shit. its just another no from some fucking store. Who cares. But because and this is just a hunch but because its something that I make personally I take it very personally. Each and every goddamn moment of it. but what’s more important? doing the work? Or feeling good? well why choose? Why not continue to do the work and feel good about it. after all you aren’t doing it for the others are you. you never have. you are and always have been doing it for yourself. If you were doing it for the success or for the others you would be rob Thomas or someone like that. you wouldn’t be trying to cram in middle eastern and Brasilian themes and three minute avant garde guitar feedback noise into the confines of a pop rock CD in these times if you were doing this for others. no. you are selfishly creating art to please yourself as you always have. and the fact that a few people like it and buy it is a cool thing. but its an aberration. Its not the norm and you should feel lucky, not victimized by the occasional rejection. Well, in that respect I am bullshitting myself because my experience of rejection as an artist is a constant not a rare occasion. But still, I find a strange and disturbing joy in that and still don’t seem to mind enough to clean up my act and attempt to make a commercially viable piece of art. But on the other side of the token I still don’t totally go for the guts and glory and make a completely whacked out work of total weirdness either. It is as if I am stuck between the two worlds as an artist. Afraid to be too whacked out and at the same time afraid to be too commercial. Fix that and I bet I’ll be onto something really grand. In the mean time I suffer in a state of constant artistic mediocrity I am afraid.
Angels still popping up and showing feathers here and there. little signs.
Last screening; Melinda and Melinda. The new woody Alan film. the same old stories of lying and cheating lower-consciousness- human dribble that he has accepted for decades now as his calling card. Too bad. Because he is still an occasion a real wit. But the story is quite tired. Minimal character development and a group of young actors trying desperately to act like woody Alan in his old movies.
Also, the Abraham-Hicks DVD series workshop volume III. BRILLIANT. for those that don’t yet know, Esther hicks channels a collection of passed-on beings from the other side, allows them to speak through her, or pretends to at least. But the teaching is quite marvelous. I love the message that she/they speak.
Also, sneaked into the Enron movie with a friend this evening. wicked bastards. What a fucking world. so many greedy fucking bastards still roaming the earth pretending to be human. Ken lay’s trial isn’t even until 2006. so all these years he gets to walk around Scott-free when so many hundreds of thousands of people lost everything they owned because of him and a few other fuck-head bastards.
Current read: the diaries of Brian Eno. One year and swollen appendices, I believe it is called this. a heady intellectual treat about all things life art and music. into it. he makes a comment that all his life he attempted to keep a journal and never got past January 6th. but one year he committed and made it all through the year. just that one year. I smiled. I first started keeping a serious journal when I was 17. first year of college. and I’ve been doing it ever since. publicly since 2002. what a nut. I am afraid at times that may show a sincere lack of a life, that I have time enough to write everyday. But I am reminded of all that I have learned the last year, about men who have come before who had no problem doing it. mark twain would write up to 40 pages a day. Davinci kept journals for decades. Tom Robbins and Kurt Vonnegut and Stephen king are all pretty adept at and addicted to writing for hours and hours a day from what they say. for me I have come to understand that its just a very important therapy for me that I seem to really need. without it I would guess that I would already be quite insane by this point.