Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Zephyr

The fall has been full and interesting this year. I've been traveling both for my editor job and also to play frequent gigs with my band, Zombie vs. Shark. The shows have been intense and much fun, especially playing in Norman at Universe City, which is an all-ages venue and has the old-school, anarchist type of setup. There's no door charge, only donations; no stage, you play on same level as the crowd; and it's full of the same weird kids looking for something different than what's made-to-order, ready-to-wear from the corporate music industry, just like when I grew up in the 1980s.

In a word, it reminds me of the music scene when I was a young adult, perhaps a little bit better since the cops don't break up the shows, and with larger crowds, so it's kind of flourishing. Perhaps this signals, like the Nixon-Ford and Reagan eras, an efflorescence of left-leaning youth who are disillusioned with the return to the 1950s during the Bush Era. Whatever is happening is encouraging, because the kids and young adults seem to be doing for themselves all this music and the art that goes along with it. There's an intense wave of artistic and political creation going on that has not been witnessed in a generation.

Whatever is happening seems much better than me sitting around trying to write another book, so I've confined that to the early mornings so as not to take time away from creating music with my band, Zombie vs. Shark. Getting into the flow of life with the four friends in my band, and articulating our view of life, collaborting on scoring our songs, just can't beat by sitting alone writing a book. It's probably better, since doing all this stuff gives some depth and perspective on life, which is necessary to write a good book. I also have a full-time day job as an editor, so writing seems like work when I'm at home, so there's no pressure to do it.

So basically......I'm justifying my procrastination in getting my writing done........and loving every minute of it!! Rock on, bang your head, trip out, or do a stage dive, whatever turns you on.

Philip Rodriguez, our boy-wunderkind, new singer.

Ron Haas, connoisseur of French radical thought.

Robert Scafe, our songwriter who puts the "brood" in our sound so it's dark and twisted.

Jeremy Gragg, a.k.a. Big J, resident, organic Oklahoma intellectual....better than Will Rogers.

100W, 4X12 Marshall stack and a hunk of Mahogany by the name of "Guild Nightbird II."

One of Phil's two instruments, the microphone.

1x15, 200W of power, with Lemmy-esque fingerwork.

The other 100w, JMP powered 4X12 Marshall, with Mahogany named "Gibson."

Ron and his loud kit......equal parts Keith Moon and Karl Marx.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winter into Spring

I have not posted a blog since last January, right before Tabby, Spencer, and I prepared to relocate from Norman to Lincoln. Moving is always a drag, and this one was made more difficult by the myriad remodeling to be completed before we listed the Norman digs, and departed for Lincoln. It began in February and we finally moved in late May. It was super gnarly and the last bit of work on the house was the hardest, since I decided to blow it off, you know, "until later" as any self-respecting homeowner/self-contractor would do it.

Why spend all that time, like a Rodin, trying to make that 85 degree corner "look" perpendicular, when you can be running in mud puddles with Spencer? Why would you try to make level, like Marcel Duchamp, that 5 degree dip in the floor when you could be at the skatepark? Why would you try to tie-in two walls of different composite materials, like Dan Graham, when you could be playing a gig with your band? I'm not an artist, and no trades-skilled person is. Exactly, you know what we're talking about.

So when we made a bid on a good HUD-owned home in Lincoln, it was time to hustle to the finish line and deal with those crummy legacies of owning and remodeling a poorly remodeled home.

And we also bought another fixer-upper, since we're old home junkies, and why pass up a good deal, especially when all housing has been over-inflated and over-speculated since 2002? Who wants to pay more than you should for a piece-of-(add your expletive here; you can add "heaven" there if you're opposed to profane language)?

Below are some highlights from the winter and spring, and I will blog again very soon, so stay tuned.....

Home Sweet (piece-of-_ _ _ _?) Home in Lincoln

Spencer playing on the old storm shelter. We were glad we never used it (except Tabby when she called me while in Lincoln in May, the day after I left, during the gnarliest tornado outbreak last spring. Thanks Big J, Jaysie, and Tara for going over there to help her out!)

Getting ready to dismantle the vent....

Flower Child

Grinching it.

The boy and the dog.

Running through the backyard buffalo wallow.

These are some shots of the house, remodeled. We lived in it, finished, for about two weeks.

Living room.

The backyard and studio. Of course, the garden was very nice the day we left, in full bloom.

This was the studio, where we recorded the Zombie vs. Shark album, and was a hangout spot during the spring and summer. It was also the guest room.

The back deck.

Sunset in the Flint Hills, on the move to Lincoln.

A summer sunset in Lincoln.

At the new house.

Dark cloud over Lincoln (physically and mentally...).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fall into Winter

It is always difficult now with digital cameras to keep up with photographs. I decided to post for all our friends some of the places we've been and people we've seen from the fall. These first two photographs were taken at our old Stillwater house, that's Bradley Hayes in our backyard and Tabby and I in our garden.

Barbara and Phil, my mom and brother, came for a visit in June. As usual, it was 90 + degrees, so we took Spencer to the waterpark.

Phil and Spencer.

In August, we took Spencer to the Oklahoma Noodling Festival in Paul's Valley, which is 45 miles south on I-77 from Norman. For those of you unfamiliar with noodling, it's catching a catfish with your bare hands without rod and reel. Back in the old terriorial days, it's how people without means put food on their table, so it's a celebration of the human spirit to persist. As usual, it was 100 + degrees with a heat index of 115, so we only stayed a little while!

An Oklahoma noodler.

Tabby's photograph of the BNSF line down to Paul's Valley.

Spencer and his monkey.


In August, Pat, Tara, Kestrel, and Kaya came to visit us. This is Kes and Spencer reading.

Tabby and Spencer.

It was Tara's birthday, so we had a birthday party and she was the princess!

Spencer gets gnarly with the pink featherduster.

In July, we took Spencer to the Cleveland County Fair and he began his fascination with cars, tractors, and trucks, so he's sessioning on this John Deere rider mower. I won't put the photo of him freaking out on the kid car ride. He's not ready for amusement rides yet!

This is Aaron Friskee (aka: the Friz) at Brad's backyard halfpipe. We visited Brad on my way home from Lincoln in September.

Brad and his ramp. Brad's house is like the tree fort for all skate kids in the neighborhood. He's like Captain Hook, and the kids are his pirate band!

Meghan, Bradley's wife.

Spencer, hanging out at the skate session.

Spencer and me at the park.

We took Spencer to get some pumpkins before Halloween. He was into it this year.

Spencer on the slide.

Spencer in his Halloween costume, as a skeleton. He was into it and ran all over the yard.

Spencer at Halloween.


Spencer learned the word "bee" for all insects when our mums attracted butterflies this fall.

Spencer checking out the scene outside.