Friday, June 29, 2007


These moments of inspiration, for want of a better word, are moments of transparency really. The thing that gets in the way of our lives, not let alone in creativity, most of the time is our brain, which steps in as sort of an editor from what we’re seeing and receiving from our senses. And adds sort of consciousness to it. And we become aware, and it obstructs our progress in sort of spiritual ways. So, theres a spiritual element to making music.

When inspiration comes, you’ve somehow disengaged your consciousness just a touch. The flow of images comes, and it comes so quickly and so freshly that you know it’s just a transperncy really. You’ve managed to remove the barrier, and you’re just reaching straight in to the good stuff. Then all you’re using your brain to do is as the process plays itself out, you arrange, like a collage, oh that image would be better there… or maybe I could use that in the chorus. And you start to just swipe in to the process enough, to know that when these things come out fully formed, you’re less involved in a sense. And it’s only afterwards people make up how wonderful they are, and their ego tells them how great it is that they’ve written these things. Really, the act of writing good music is to get rid of all that, to get away from ego, and just touch the purity of things and see them for what they are. It’s a fantastic feeling.

It’s similar to what happens when you connect with a song in front of a crowd, but different, much more crowded. In a way, it’s much more intense, but quieter.

Friday, June 22, 2007

i love david gray.

David Gray...
"Following White Ladder, and in it's infancy, White Ladder took so long to break everywhere. We released it in 1998, which is a shocking fact. I mean we were still touring it in the summer of 2001. Three years. So I very much missed a beat, creatively I think. Although what I got in return was an utterly changed world in terms of my career and my sort of prospects as a recording artist. But there was certainly a price to pay. Very early on in 1990 when we cut Lost Songs, when it came to the followup, the world had changed into the latent psychology that kicks in after the success, It's like you've all been drinking the champagne, thinking an I believe that I'm here? What seems to be sitting on top of the world, or Radio City, or wherever you happen to be. And the next thing is making another record. Obviously things changed in my life.

My dad died during this last bit of touring we did. And that really sort of knocked my success. And it was almost like there was some sort of trade off. Here's success, but we'll take your dad. That was very much the emotional tone. The writing that came next was very raw and sincere. And that doesn't mean that the songs that I wrote were any good. Just that it was very real.
So it's sort of a prevailing mood. Very downbeat from what I was writing. Which was hardly the sort of follow up to a sort of pop smash, that you might have wished for. But it's just what came out."

Monday, June 11, 2007

life, good friends, counting crows, and moving on

so, since the last post my life has managed to get even more insane. i don't know what is happening seriously, or how to get ahold of it. i guess just one step at a time. regardless....

friday-i went to iss' jordan and lisa's after work in an attempt to get my mind off stuff. we went to dinner and sat outside (it was so pretty out, and actually for once you could see stars in chicago. so maybe it was only like 4, but still)... then i went out with lisa to meet some of her friends for a bit and chat about life and then we decided to call it a night. so we went back to their place, and as i'm on the way back to my apartment listening to music and seriously starving for my bed, danielle calls me and says "hey, dave and i are sitting outside at this great place with great music... come!" and it just sounded good enough to turn around my car in the parking garage and take a cab over to bucktown.

so, an hour in bucktown turns into several hours of me and danielle talking... until the sun comes up. it's weird how time passes so quick when you get into things and you're hearing sound advice from a really good friend. i was volunteering early in the morning for chicago cares and painting chicago public schools, but sleep just didn't seem important at the time. i still think i made the right decision.

it gets to be around 5 am and neither of us are tired. danielle told me she'd volunteer with me and she had clothes for us to wear that can get paint on them, so this is sounding perfect. we made the decision to not go to sleep. instead around 6:30 we went to my place, made coffee, and headed to serveathon.... which, tired as we were, was awesome.

it's just so nice to know you did something so amazing with your day. seriously, put a bunch of hands together and split them up across the city and change these schools for kids that really don't know much else. as much as it seemed so easy for us, we left that school a different place. those kids are going to have a totally different and more positive learning environment... so rewarding. what else would i be doing on a saturday afternoon? maybe sleeping? shopping? watching a movie? this was time well spent.

so after the serveathon we were celebrating father's day at my parents house by having a barbeque... so i got home and as much as i wanted to go to bed i got in the car and drove home. well, i get to naperville and i'm turning right on ogden to head to my parents house and i get in a fender bender... Great. we pull over, exchange insurance, cop comes, blah blah blah. everythings fine and i get a ticket. i told the cop how i was going to celebrate an early fathers day at my parents, he tells me he hopes my night gets better, and i'm on my way.

i'm at my parents house maybe fifteen minutes when the doorbell rings. i hear someone ask for me and i'm confused like "who knows i'm even at home? who really even lives in naperville anymore?" and i look and it's the cop. haha. he tells me he has more news for me. apparently i was supposed to get my vehicle emissions test for illinois by last wednesday (which i did not know because the notices go to my parents' house). so they suspended my license? so the cop told me he can't justify arresting me when i have a car that will pass and it was a misunderstanding, but he has to write me a second ticket (which will go away-- once i go take care of some things). so that was interesting. my aunt and uncle were over, and my neighbors (whom i've never met) saw the cop in the driveway. awesome.

meanwhile, as i'm getting this accident stuff sorted out i call my parents and tell them what's going on and to go ahead and eat. my dad tells me "well i just told chip (my brother) so i guess i should tell you too... i got fired on friday." needless to say i'm shocked, sad for him, list goes on and on. but i'm also trying to file an accident report. we'd talk about it when i got home.

i get home, open the garage door with my opener only to find that only my mom's sebring is in the garage, but parked right in the middle. this isn't a normal move for my parents. their cars are almost always perfectly strategically parked on their side with just enough room to get out. immediately i'm like "oh my god, they already took the car?" i mean, it was a company car, but come on. it's a car. give a guy some notice. apparently they let him go friday, and had some kid drive him home. needless to say he's shattered. and i can tell. but he won't let on that he is. always trying to be a good example. always trying to tell me that "life goes on..." even when it doesn't seem like it's going to. and i'm here, feeling sorry for myself and almost wanting to walk in the door to my parents house and tell them how unfair life is and cry about all of my problems--because that's just the sort of thing you can do at home--and i look at my dad and i know that my problems are nothing compared to his. and so i immediately became the quiet listener at the party i thought i was going to be the "downer" at.

so this morning my car passed vehicle emissions. haha. i can legally drive again. my parents tried to talk me into staying at the house a few more days, but i told them that this is just something i need to handle and that i can't just run away to mom and dad's for a few days and hope the world's a better place when i return. i have this whole independent thing going on. i'm 25, i have to handle this. i can't expect to just be able to run home every time something hurts. and it's true. but the offer's still on the table, which of course, is comforting. and home's 40 miles away, which too, is comforting. beyond words. because as much as i'm fighting needing it, it's there if i do.

i rediscovered my old cd's this morning. and i guess they're not really that old. i don't know, when i got an ipod (2004) i kind of stopped listening to cd's. it started because i was listening solely to my ipod, then i started to only use itunes, so i'd burn cd's all the time... anyways, i listen to music mostly in the car and i stopped carrying them around. well the other morning i brought them along. and it's been really fun. first i listened to Train - My Private Nation the whole way through. knock them if you want, this is an awesome cd. then i had Dashboard Confessional - Places You Have Come to Fear the Most in for about a solid week. a very vengeful cd. but so powerful too. the lyrics are amazing, and the beat was just right for last week.

this morning in our hours of errands i put in some new dave matthews (the solo album, and stand up) and spent a good hour with counting crows - august and everything after. GREAT cd. seriously, every track is meaningful and it's the perfect mix of slow and fast. i could go on and on. adam duritz is an incredible writer. i used to keep up a lot more with his blog (he writes all of the time) but i guess i've sort of let that go. until i saw a bulliten that he posted today.

and i swear to god, this happens to me all of the time, but i find something to read that i completely adhere to at the time in my life it happens. like where if it came a week later or a week before i wouldn't feel nearly the amount of appreciation for it that i do when i find it. that's how i felt about this journal entry. that's how i felt about reading Eat Pray Love. and it even sometimes happens with songs. it's a great thing. a great coincidence.

anyways, the things i loved to read this morning from his blog are worth noting.

"I guess you have to make hard choices all the time. Sometimes these dreams you hold on to are just fool's errands you're using to avoid making the hard decisions about other areas of your life. And sometimes the compromises you make are just ways of giving up on your dreams. I used to think I was holding on to rock and roll because I couldn't face dealing with what my life would be like without it. Now it seems like I was just being brave and sticking it out (and I emphasize the word "seems"), but maybe that's just an accident of fate. If we hadn't been successful, maybe I'd just "seem" like one more deadbeat musician right now, someone you're mother wouldn't want you to bring opposed, I suppose (god, that sounds like Dr. Suess), to the dreadlocked musician I am now, who by the way, your mom still don't want you bringing into HER house. "

and the second part:

"The longer your life goes on, the harder the decisions become. Inevitably at some point you're asked to give up something you love for something you love. So, sure, you hope you make the right choice, but there's nothing wrong with giving up something you love for something you love. I mean if you're not willing to sacrifice for the things you love, what kind of as person are you?" --Adam Duritz, Counting Crows

so yeah, anyways... i realize this is probably the longest myspace blog ever. sorry that my life has been that insane. but the good thing is: i came to a realization today, that took me awhile to come to.

that everything i'm going through right now, they're just things. just obstacles. they aren't the end of the world. they seem like it sometimes, but hasn't everything? i remember college graduation seemed like the end of the world. so did high school. so did EIGHTH GRADE. so did moving. the list goes on and on. and so does life.

someone said to me this weekend in regards to their own life something that just rang so true in mine too... "you have to remember that there is a plan. and whatever happens, it happens because it's right. even if it doesn't seem so at the time. trust me, there is a plan."

that is so hard to believe sometimes, but looking back on 25 years i couldn't agree more. i'm in a good spot for the most part, there are things i have to sort out. but who doesn't have things they have to sort out? this too shall pass.

robert frost said that he could sum up what he knows about life in three words, "it goes on." and that it does. and i will be fine.

Friday, June 08, 2007


i'm at work. my mind is everywhere but work. time to write.

the past couple of days have been kind of hard for me. i've been on somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster and i'm trying to sort out my life. i don't know if i'm doing a good job, or not. and i don't know what to do about that either.

it's like i'm, for once in my life, at a loss for words.

in the past few months i've learned a lot about trust. i think it takes me a long time to trust people 100%. but i think i'm pretty trusting as a general rule. i like to give people the benefit of the doubt. i like to hope that they have good things to offer me, and aren't going to let me down. sometimes that comes back to haunt me. i don't know if it's just because people think they can take advantage of that, or because people are just people and unfortunately a lot of times, just don't care. but it sucks to be let down by someone you really care about, and even more than that, someone you really trusted.

it's a long recovery process to build yourself back up. that's the hardest part. especially if you're like me. i blame myself for everything. even for things that i know aren't my fault in the least. i can always find some way to tell myself that i'm responsible. i should've done this. i should've said that. i should have followed my instinct.

and a lot of times i fight my gut instinct because i want it to be wrong. i'll have a feeling about something and i won't let it take over me. play it by ear. let things unfold. it's never actually a good idea. your gut instinct is usually right on.

i guess my conclusion is that if people care about you, sincerely care about you, they won't hurt you. and in fact, will do everything in their own personal power to ensure that they don't hurt you. it doesn't happen by accident. if you care about someone, you know your boundaries and i know from being a friend, a daughter, a sister, and a girlfriend at different periods of my life that this is just the unwritten rule. you just don't hurt people you care about. period.

so now where do i stand? in an awkward place. i'm not really sure what to do from here. sometimes when i'm really hurt i feel like running away... just seriously packing up everything i have and getting out of chicago. but then i usually remember everything i have here. sometimes i just want to sleep for a week straight and wake up and hope that the world became a kinder place while i was sleeping. sometimes i get a quick impulse that i want revenge, i want to "get people back." that's usually short-lived though because i don't think there's a point in all of that. and eventually what happens is that i realize that i just need to do my best to wait it out. wait for the calm after the storm. it makes days seem like weeks sometimes and weeks seem like months, but it always works. time heals all things.

Monday, June 04, 2007


My favorite thing lately is just relaxing with wine and listening to itunes on random... And just taking in the lyrics. So tonight I decided that as they hit me, I'm going to write them out. Partially self-healing, I guess. Partially just some music appreciation that I never take the time to write down... and it's the best when it's at random. Songs I forget about that hit me, for whatever reason. There isn't a song in the world that I like that's meaningless... I realized this when I was at Courtney's wedding this weekend, and I heard the most beautiful Father Daughter song I've ever heard. And I thought--why don't I keep track of these things anymore (beyond mentally)...So... here they are... Strong words. Sorry, this is going to be a long post. I'm in a music mood :)

"you know that restaurant on highway one
with the key lime pie, that song, that sand and the sun
where we ran in our barefeet, built a castle on the beach
just the wind, the rocks, the waves, and you and me
I can't go there.
cause that's just too much us.
i can't go there.
i still feel your touch
there's places in my heart and head that feel as empty as our bed
so most nights I don't even walk upstairs
Cause I can't go there..." -Kenny Chesney

"so if it's gotta be you
treat her nice... hold her hand
and tell her twice--that she doesn't have to worry
and it will be alright
See her smiling at him,
that used to be me
and I could find her in a thunderstorm, just by the way that the rain would fall.
And we used to be something
but something happened to me.
oh my god when i was free...
it's a hard way to fall. it's an easy way down.
it's a hard thing to love anyone, anyhow." -Ryan Adams

"i'm lonely, i'm insecure
i'm also guilty and i'm pure
i'm always, i will not stop, i'll hit the ground before the top
i wanna see the color of your skin, so bright
but all i have are photographs of black and white
don't stop loving me tonight
i'll never say forever
i don't believe in things that last
i want to.
can't see through the calm the haze the emptiness
i wanna be the ground when you can't stand
but all i have are letters i won't send
don't stop loving me again" -Blu Sanders

"this new rhythm i pursue
is just my getting over you... telling myself that i need to.
the days are better, the nights are still so lonely." -Train

"the smell of your skin, the taste of your kiss
the way you whisper in the dark
your hair all around me... baby you surround me
and touch every place in my heart.
oh it feels like the first time everytime
i wanna spend the whole night in your eyes." -Lonestar

"i may take a holiday in spain
leave my wings behind me
drink my worries down the drain
fly away to somewhere new..." -Counting Crows

"tell me did you sail across the sun
did you make it to the milky way to see the lights are faded
that heaven is overrated
tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
one without a permanent scar
and then you miss me while
you were looking for yourself out there..." -Train

"there was pain, sunny days and rain
i knew you'd feel the same things
everybody knows... it sucks to grow up
and everybody does.. its so weird to be back here.
let me tell you what--the years go on and we're still fighting it
we're still fighting it
you'll try, and try, and one day you'll fly away from me." -Ben Folds

"i know you're here to catch your breath
but i'm not listening for the right words anymore... i'll take what's left
you're viscious like the blue sky
right before the rain comes pouring through
tell me does he look like me at all?
cause there are an awful lot like you." -Matt Nathanson

"someday i'm gonna run across your mind
but don't worry i'll be fine, i'm gonna be alright
while you're sleeping with your pride, wishing i could hold you tight
i'll be over you and on with my life.
take your records take your freedom, take your memories
i don't need them." -Keith Urban

"i spent days stupid nailed to your floor
and i spent nights pushed against you just trying to keep warm
but you don't know me at all.
show me where the sun comes through the sky
i'll show you where rain gets in and i'll show you hurricanes
the way that summer fades underneath the weight of it all." -Matt Nathanson

"oh here the night it comes again
it's off with the jeans, jacket, and the skirt...
how'd i'd end up feeling so bad with such a little girl
i'll hold you close in the back of my mind
feels so good, but damn it makes me hurt
i'm too scared to know how i feel about you now." -Ryan Adams

"a million to one, outside this
nightblindness--can't see
your bright eyes are what the time is
twenty five past eternity." -David Gray

"i don't think that i could take another empty moment
i don't think that i could fake another hollow smile
well its just not enough just to be lonely
i don't think that i could take another talk about it.
just like me, you've got needs and they're only a whisper away
and we softly surrender to these lives that we've tendered away." -Matchbox 20

"I know there's little use in crying, it's more wide awake and dying
than I'm used to.
I thought we'd walk these streets together
and now I'm hoping that I'll never have to meet you.
Step aside from all this anger, somewhere in between
I can feel you." -Howie Day

"Stay away from me, I'll be gone soon
it's just so hard to let go once we've grabbed hold
it's nothing that you've done.
You're not the only one. " -Matt Wertz

"our minds pressed and guard while our flesh disregarded the lack of space
for the lighter hearted and the boom that beats our drum
and i know i make you cry
and i know sometimes you wanna die
but do you really feel alive without me" -Damien Rice

"these train conversations passing me by,
and i don't have nothing to say.
you get what you pay for... but i just had no intention of living this way.
i need a phone call
i need a plane ride
i need a sunburn
i need a raincoat
and i get no answers.... and i don't get no change.
it's raining in baltimore baby, but everything else is the same.
there's things i'll remember
there's things i'll forget.
i miss you, i guess that i should." -Counting Crows