Feb 262010

…It’s been a while. Where should we begin?

Ok, I own up to it. I’ve utterly and completely neglected my personal blog because I’m all over social networking and any time I feel like expressing my thoughts, feelings, or what is going on in my life I do so using 140 characters or less.

Wheew. There, I said it. Acceptance is the first step towards recovery, is it not?

Although I’m not entirely certain I really WANT to recover.

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Nov 232009

Editor’s Note – As part of my work with The Artist’s Way I am occasionally required to complete certain assignments that are intended to help me discover the things that have me “blocked” as an artist.  Unlike the daily exercise of completing 3 pages of long hand in a journal these stories do not, necessarily, have to be private.  As such I figured that since I was writing this anyway I’d go ahead and put some actual content in this journal for a change instead of letting it fester here unused.  Please understand, though, that what I am writing is not necessarily going to be a rational take on my experiences or any kind of plea for help.  On the contrary, these entries are actually part of a conscious effort to improve myself and my self-worth.

I have been asked to describe one of the “monsters” from my past that has held me back as an artist.  I really had to think hard about this because, frankly, I’ve had more support than not in my quest to be an artist. After thinking about it for a while I did manage to come up with my three, and here are the details on one of them…

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Jul 132007

And I must be one, because this is going to be yet another in a fairly long series of random, rapid fire “this is what is going on in my life” posts.


Last night

 and I got to see former Smiths front man Morrissey at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.  What a truly amazing show.  The very first thing I noticed when he came out on the stage was that he got down on his hands and knees to the audience, and continued to show respect for us for the rest of the concert.  He frequently reached out to shake hands with audience members at the front of the auditorium, thanked us after every song, and even gave the mic to a few folks up front (which didn’t work out so well in the “entertaining for the rest of us” arena, but I’m sure it made their nights).  Any artist that takes the time to try and make their audience feel appreciated gets respect from me, and Moz did that in spades.

Above and beyond that, he put on a hell of a show.

The set was a mix of his solo work and stuff from the Smiths, with a few obvious classics in there (“Girlfriend in a Coma” and “Every Day Is Like Sunday”) as well as some of their more obscure works.  Having been a metal head in the 80’s when the Smiths were really popular, I only recognized the stuff that was still being played in the clubs once the 90’s rolled around or was on their greatest hits album.  K. was much more familiar, and excited, about seeing some of those old songs rolled out.  I got really bouncy over the songs he sang from Morrissey, You Are The Quarry, especially “Irish Blood, English Heart” and “First of the Gang to Die.” 

The final song before his encore was, of course, “How Soon Is Now?”

The production of this number was, to put it bluntly, fucking incredible.  The number before was one I wasn’t familiar with (Krys may have been – not sure), but it was a pretty somber piece that ended with Moz in a rather uncomfortable and very melodramatic position at the front of the drum stand under sickly green lighting while the keyboardist played a dirge-like version of “Auld Lang Syne.”  The opening chords of “How Soon Is Now?” then exploded out from the speakers, accompanied with light show and Moz leaping back to his feet.  The audience, of course, went mad (many of them were there just for that song, I’m sure).  What impressed me the most about this is that he made an artsy kind of statement with it as well.  At the end of the song, after the lyrics were done, Moz collapsed into a fetal position with his hands clasped over his ears at the front of the stage.  The music was INSANELY loud at this point, with a huge bass drum being hammered with increasing intensity by one of the truly skilled musicians that were backing Morrissey up.  Many artists have talked about their current body of work being overshadowed by what they have done previously, but I’ve never seen an artist express that so well while still giving the audience what they came there for (an example Mr. Andrew Eldritch would be wise to follow). 

I wasn’t overly impressed with the shirts so I didn’t get one, but Krys saw one she liked and I used the money I had to get one for her.  I may end up regretting that (I usually do), but I just didn’t see one I was likely to want to wear. 

I have to admit that while I like Ruth Eckerd Hall in general (and the fact that they had a place where you could get Key Lime Pie and coffee before the show), I always kind of resent seeing artists like Morrissey in a place like that.  It’s like seeing Rollins at TBPAC – there are always a lot of people there would never would have dreamed of setting foot in a place like The Masquerade.  People who wouldn’t dare travel to St. Petersburg to STAND outside in the crush of humanity that is a show at Jannuss Landing. 


We saw some truly horrid examples of the “beautiful people” at the concert last night.  Two, in particular, were sitting right in front of us.  Drunk (or acting like it), and more interested in flirting loudly with each other during the opening act than actually, I don’t know, watching the show.  The woman of the couple even sat through about 3/4 of Morrissey’s set (and nobody was sitting, which meant she didn’t see shit). 

Oh, but she got up for “How Soon Is Now?”


I’m always glad to see an artist pack a house and, of course, getting paid for their work.  It just annoys me when people don’t actually give a shit about the show itself – and as such take away from the experience by disrupting the enjoyment of those around them.  The drunk woman at the Rollins show who kept hollering about how she was going to “get with” him by the end of the night is another example.   Yeah – the guy who rabidly anti-drugs and alcohol is going to want to sleep with the loud, drunk woman who keeps hollering through his spoken word show.


But I digress.  Bottom line here is that that show last night was awesome, and I’m glad as hell I got to see it.

Moving on…


Purchased my membership for D*C 2007 this morning.  Our current plan for going is this – We’re going to leave when I get home from work on Thursday night (August 30th) and drive to Jacksonville.  We’re dropping J. off at his Grandmothers that night and getting a hotel room somewhere in Orange Park.  We’re going to get up and leave early on Friday morning to try and get to the hotel as close to the check-in time as possible.  Last year by the time we got there all the parking spaces in the hotel were gone and I’d rather not have to deal with that again.  It might also help us get a room on a lower floor.  K. is going to be busy working with the folks on the MMO track for most of the con, so I’ll likely be on my own a lot.  I also have to be ready to log on and work at a moments notice, as we are making some major changes that weekend and I’m frankly lucky that my boss is letting me leave town to begin with.   This also means I won’t be doing a lot of heavy drinking that weekend, as I need to be able to actually DO some of that work if he calls me.


Things have been crazy busy recently.  I can’t go into specifics as to why just yet, but things have been rapid fire and will continue to be so for at least the next month.  We’re turning out some truly awesome stuff under the meticulous eye of my boss.  He’s really nitpicky, and while that can be frustrating as hell when you’re working you cannot argue that the end results are anything less than stellar.  We’re churning out some great work, and I look forward to the point when we get to turn it over to our members.


Still keeping up with the hour long 6-day a week workout routine, and other than a brief setback on the scale this week it’s been very productive for me.  I feel great, and according to K. I’m looking pretty good too.  My face is clearing up a bit again.  I’ve added another product to my daily mix of pills and creams and it seems to be helping. 

World of Warcraft

Our guild is finally progressing through Karazhan, and last week we managed to get right up to the “half way” point of a full clear of the dungeon.  Looking forward to trying to get past that milestone this week.

I’m sure I could come up with some other topics, but those are the ones I usually harp on the most and I really need to get back to that hectic work I mentioned above. 
Have a great day, gang.

Jul 312006

Spent most of the weekend working on a new, dynamic web site for “ranney.” Have freshened up the look a bit, and am building him an administration console so that he can update the site without having to get in touch with me.

Also got a call from my buddy John Cecil last night. He’s got a new movie that he’s going to be shopping around, and he wants my help getting the target demographic to the free screening he’s arranging down here.

It’s kinda funny, but when I’m doing stuff like this I really don’t notice how much effort goes into it. Guess it’s that whole “time flies when you’re having fun” thing. Or maybe a more accurate turn of phrase would be “time flies when you’re involved in the arts.”