Wanderlust

I got something to say!

It’s better to buuuuurn out!

Than fade away!

-Def Leppard

What’s up all you rat racers, money makers, heart breakers taking a break from staking your claim in the game.  Unwinding, reclining, maxin’, relaxin, villainous chillin’ us out with smooth grooves, beta waves and better days.

It’s been a while.  Good to see you again.  You want a drink?  I’ve got iced tea, apricot ale and a Belgian peach limbic.  Popcorn?  Pistachios?  Well, help yourself to whatever you want.  You know where it is.

This is one of the blog entries full of random thoughts that ends up rambling and longer than it should be.  But sometimes it’s entertaining enough to hear someone’s written voice.  The Stream of Consciousness.  Grab a paddle.

P.F. Chang’s is good.  It’s like … real food.

Music

I’ve actually been practicing.  Guitar.  Saw some amazing music recently and … a whole different level.  The Todd Marcus Nonet was at the Weinberg Theater in Frederick on Friday night.  With guest artists Sean Jones on trumpet and Orrin Evans on piano.  Blues Alley on Sunday, Christian McBride.  Sheeeeesus.  Warren Wolf was on vibes that night (he was playing drums with Todd’s group on Friday night).  The fluidity and musicianship was amazing.

Due in part to inspiration and in part to feelings of musical inadequacy I’ve been doing some practicing.  Trying to hone my guitar flow.   Hmm.  Haven’t played the cornet since the other night.  Wonder if my chops have repaired at all.  Speaking of which, what’s up with the pocket trumpet?  Haven’t heard back.

I missed Taylor E.  He was in DC this past week.  I’m pissed at myself for that but my plans were shot to hell due to traffic and the fact that Frederick is farther away from DC than I realized.  Sorry, Tay.

Been feeling like I’m on the verge of a mental musical breakthrough.  An on-the-tip-of-my-tongue kind of thing.  That feeling like there’s something you’re supposed to do but you can’t quite remember what it is.  You know you came in the room to do it.  You know it’s related somehow to something you were doing just a few seconds ago.  Moments of clarity just right there.  Glimpses.  We’ll see how that goes.  It feels good to play, though.  I just need to practice with a little more structure and focus.

Yeh.

LGN

I finally worked out again.  Yeh, I slipped for a while.  Stress, depression, change of jobs.  Eating habits and schedule thrown off kilter by all the upheaval.

Got my lazy ass up in the morning and into the fitness room.  Considering how late I’m able to go into work it shouldn’t be a struggle at all.  I’ll be sitting around for an hour completely vegging and then realize that it’s too late to work out.  But anyway, I did and it felt so good.  Paying a little attention to my heart rate, which is enlightening and a little scary.  I had a good pace of a ten minute mile going for about half a mile.  Slowed down to a walk and grabbed the heart monitor bar thingy.  Hmmm.  Didn’t feel like the max heart rate range.  Well over the training zone.  But I was doing okay.  Feeling pretty good.  Have to keep an eye on that.  Either way, I mix it up.

And stretching.  Walking down the flights of stairs from the office, I stopped one day and decided to stretch my hamstrings.  Don’t know why.  Sitting all day.  Felt the need to move.  A sharp, pain-like sensation.  So I’ve been stretching lately, especially after working out.  Strength without flexibility is a kind of weakness.

Speaking of food, why the hell is it so damn hard to find real food at the grocery store?!  It’s all corn!  Freaking corn.  Check out the labels.  It’s insane.

I’ve been looking for dried mango and other fruits.  Easy enough to find at a grocery store … if you want a product that nearly contains more sugar than fruit.  Slight hyperbole.  But only slight.  The brand I’m looking for doesn’t have any added sugar.  I guess I have to go to Whole Foods.  Here’s my food philosophy (the ideal, which does not come from the same part of my psyche that leads me to the cheesesteak serving places at the Ballston Commons Mall food court circa lunch time):

Pineapples are sweet (and drying fruit actually intensifies the sweetness and flavor).  They don’t need any %$#@! sugar added to them.

Look.  I’m trying to take care of this electrobiochemical machine I’ve been fitted with.  Actually, I’m trying to do better than just take care of it.  Will you please stop trying to kill me with these ubiquitous half-assed food-based products.  I picked up nine jars of spaghetti sauce.  Every one had corn-something in them as sweeteners and thickeners.  Even the plain ground turkey now has “natural flavoring”.   What’s that about?  I think I’m going to have to give up Safeway and Giant.  Except for the gourmet ones that have a natural foods aisle.  Although, I have been digging the canned kale, collard greens or mixed greens.  Good stuff.

Long live Kashi and Odwalla!  Hey.  I’m in the mood for a kombucha all of a sudden.

I will not fall prey to Winter Syndrome.  Or whatever it’s called.  That reminds me.  I need to take my vitamin D supplements.

I miss my dog.

Damn it.  Leika.  She was so good.  Seriously.  I know a lot of people have lovable pets.  A lot of them seem a little dim to me.  Sweet but dim.  Lovable and beautiful spirits but vapid.    The pets, I mean.  Not the people.  And that’s fine because they’re dogs.  Dogs aren’t necessarily supposed to be particularly deep unless they’re in a Dean Koontz book.  And I will admit that in the past few years Leika was more interested in food than socializing.  I chalk that up to age and ailments.  But she was a good, smart dog.  Like she was trying to follow what was happening or being said. Very in tune with people.

Here’s one dog story for you and then I’ll move on.  This is one my grandmother and aunt told me.  My grandmother is 91.  There’s a back room in her house that Leika usually wouldn’t enter for some reason.  I have no idea why.  My grandmother went into the bathroom and suddenly didn’t feel well.  She became ill and was in there for a while, nauseous and vomiting.  Leika walked into the back room and looked in the bathroom.  Leika left, went upstairs to the second floor and into my aunt’s room and stood by the bed.  My aunt always paid attention — much more attentive in that way than I was — to Leika and figured that she needed to be let outside.  So Leika was just standing there by her bed in that way that dogs can be insistent.  My aunt got out of bed and walked after Leika.  Leika went down the steps, turned into the kitchen and to the back room where my aunt followed her and found my grandmother, who was still ill.

Leika was a good dog.

You’ll hear some amazing stories about pets.  Dogs saving their owners from fires.  I read somewhere about on old man in a small town with a little black dog.  The old man died and the dog was there at his funeral and the burial.  Every day after that the dog would walk to that spot and lay on the grave.  In the end, we’re both pack animals, dogs and people.

I am packless.  I did get the chance to play with some stray kittens the other day.  That made my day.  Some day I’d like to have a semi-rural house next to a park maybe with lots of animals around.

Packless

Being suddenly packless is a social upheaval.  I’m not trying to be melodramatic, but I feel like I don’t have any place to be.  I don’t have a reason to be anywhere.  I’m drifting.  I’ve always felt internally nomadic.  Ever since college I’ve felt more at home driving than in my residence.  Still, the home base — my cave — was always there and waiting with a warm proverbial fire.  Now, without Leika, I don’t even have a reason to go home other than the sense of cave security and familiarity.  I’ve got nothing.  Family, of course.  Friends with varying degrees of availability.  But I mean in my own life in that way that we make our own lives through choice, action or inaction.  I was a member of a pack.  A pack of two with many honorary pack members.  And it is no more.

I used to watch a lot of PBS and many, many Nature episodes and anything having to do with animal behavior and evolutionary psychology.  It’s fascinating to see and experience those dynamics.   There are prides and packs.  There are small bands of hunters, the young roamers occassionally coming together.  There are rogues.  And there are the lone older males.  Covering ground.  Mutual wariness.

I have a theory that this sensation is partly biological.  I’m at a stage in life where I’m supposed to be raising and caring for a family.  All of my brains and brawn, skills and trades, I’m supposed to be passing along.  Nurturing, providing, protecting, raising, rearing.  All of that energy is cranked up full blast.  Like a sun at its peak, its most brilliant, with no planets to warm.  It doesn’t feel right.

That may be a little emo, but I think a lot of people are dealing with this kind of thing.  Quarter life, third life, mid life “crises”.  You may not have the words for it but you’ve got some internal nagging.  That feeling like there’s something you’re supposed to be doing but no one told you what it is and you’re not sure how to find out.  Like a stranger touched your arm on the street and whispered something critically important about your life in your ear, but a plane flew over just then or an ambulance blew by with its siren blaring and you couldn’t make out the message.

It makes you want to quit your job and go back to school.  It makes you want to take a semester off of school and travel.  It makes you want to start a family.  It makes you want to buy a bigger house for your family.  It makes you long to feel fulfilled by your work.  It makes you need a frakking drink.  It makes you want that guy or girl who payed you a little attention.  It wakes you up in the morning and tells you, Uh uh. That wasn’t it.  That won’t do it.  It makes you curse yourself for wasting your time with post-modern escapist artifacts.

Hm.  Right.

Flightless

Maybe this is why I feel the need to go somewhere.  I don’t know where.  Wanderlust.

If our society weren’t so ensconced in routine (or my life, anyway) I would pack some clothes, throw a guitar and my bike in the car and just go.  Drive until the tank’s almost empty, fill up and drive some more and do it again until I’m too tired.  Then the next morning I’d wake up and do it again.

But as it stands, maybe I’ll go to the beach.  Or just pick a small town with an attraction and do a weekend road trip.  Maybe a city with a good jazz club.  I’ve wanted to check out the Green Mile in Chicago and Scullers in Boston.

That reminds me.  I should check out lastminute.com.  Unfortunately, their prices seem to be based on two people traveling so it’s not as much of a bargain as it appears to be at first.

What kind of weirdo travels with another person?  Are these the so-called “couples” I’ve been hearing about?  Fads.  What can you do.

So if you have ideas for me.  What’s a good weekend getaway?  Or a good solo road trip?

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