Archive for August, 2020

Music triggers memory, and the other way around…

August 28, 2020 Leave a comment

memoriesI was recently talking to a musician friend of mine about how songs frame our memories. There always seems to be a soundtrack. And from that moment on, that song, or that band, or that concert, always conjures up those memories.

It doesn’t need to make sense either. Sometimes it’s simple timing.

When my Mom passed away a few years back me and my sister’s met at the funeral home to go over arrangements. From there, we piled in my car and drove to the casket company to pick one out. Maybe a 15 minute drive to Scranton. On the way, the Oasis song “Champagne Supernova” came on the radio. I’m sure other songs came on during the drive as well, but for some reason this song stuck with me. And forever after it reminds me of my Mom. Both losing her, and being lucky enough to have her.

Wake up the dawn and ask her why
A dreamer dreams she never dies
Wipe that tear away now from your eye

Who knows. Maybe Noel’s goofy lyrics finally hit somebody’s nerve. (But still. Don’t ask me why he thinks a cannon ball is fast. Cocaine is a powerful drug methinks….)

This got me thinking about my Dad. He’s gone 10 years and I still laugh at the absurd memory of us driving to his brother Matt’s apartment that one early morning. The police had just just called and informed us that Matt had had a fatal heart attack. The paperboy noticed paper’s piling up on the porch and peered through the window and saw him on the floor. Cops saw nothing suspicious and wanted to be relieved from guard duty. We should get there to attend to things. Call the funeral home. The sort of family duty you generally don’t think about.

We took my car. It was a quiet, sad ride, for obvious reasons… I reached and flicked on the radio. There was a CD already in the player. Tom Lehrer. “The Vatican Rag” started blasting over the speakers. I was appalled… my Dad was a strict by-the-book Catholic and would surely be offended……and then I heard him laughing. Guffawing. And then…

Get in line in that processional,
Step into that small confessional.
There the guy who’s got religion’ll
Tell you if your sin’s original.
If it is, try playin’ it safer,
Drink the wine and chew the wafer,
Two, four, six, eight,
Time to transubstantiate!

…and the both of us roaring. And then he said, “don’t tell your Mother” and I promised I wouldn’t and never did. My Pops was a cool cat. The first time back to the house after he died I noticed a record on the turntable in the dining room. Paul Simon’s “Graceland”.

I miss them both. Many things trigger memories of them. I’m glad music is among them.

And then there was unrequited love. I was a Junior in high school. This girl could crush me with a quick avoiding turn of her head in the hallway……and then bring me back to life with a flirtatious smile after the next bell rang. I was beyond pathetic. The radio was overwhelmed with the shmaltzy Bryan Adams song “Heaven”, which reminded me of this girl because, as I mentioned, I was pathetic and songs like this were written for dolts like me. I had an after school job unloading trucks, and the same radio station would be on…playing the “top 5 at 5”, and this fucking song was number one for what felt like the entire year. So every day, with literal clockwork precision, my heart was ripped out of my chest anew. And to this day, that song reminds me of what it feels like to care about somebody waaaay more than they care about you. Which is a pretty shitty feeling. So fuck that song.

Being this sad made me a natural for picking up the guitar. At least I could spend my weekends not being popular trying to rectify that very thing. So I struggled and quit and tried again and eventually made progress. I could play a few chords. Then a few more. Learned the magic of the capo. Could never play lead guitar, but a man’s got to know his limitations. It seemed to me that after a while I could play just about as good as Bob Dylan (if he didn’t play lead, why should I?). That ain’t bad, right? Because the songs. The SONGS.

I wanted to do that too. Be able to do with words what he was doing. And it was “Girl From the North Country” that started it all. Maybe the first song I learned to play start to finish. And I felt like….if I could play it…..maybe that meant I could…

Well…no. I couldn’t. Not then and not now.

But it gave me the push I needed to try. And that’s all I needed. Once I started, I never stopped. That was over 30 years ago.

It’s the song I heard that made me say….”I want to do that too”.

What a memory that is.

In a bit..


Categories: Uncategorized

If Newtown wasn’t enough, don’t expect Kenosha to be…

August 26, 2020 Leave a comment

Stay busy. Stay engaged. Keep the mind and body active. Notice the nice things you never noticed before. There’s enough bad stuff, so don’t add to that pile. This means don’t engage stupid people on social media comment sections. Especially when you’ve been drinking. Go for long walks. Get sun on your face. Stop to see the ducks in the river. Take pictures of the sky at sunset. Hug your kids even when they think they are too old to be hugged. Discover new music. Re-discover old music. Netflix in moderation. Try not to binge nightly, as it will put your brain on auto-pilot and take you away with what you should be doing, which is reading a good book. If praying is your thing, ask your deity of choice to heal our nation’s original sin. Racism is like a scythe, and it’s chopping us down. Speak out. Silence is assent. Vote by any means necessary. Put down the damn phone.

Pandemic 101.

There was no brochure on this stuff so I’m creating one now.

It feels like we’re approaching a sharp curve, and nobody knows what up ahead. The virus death toll mounts steadily. It’s a ghastly thing really….but we’ve been sandblasted from all sides by it all, so it barely registers anymore. One thousand lives a day. As long as it’s not us, it gets put away. As we shove our kids onto school buses and into dorm rooms, we hold our collective breath. The longer it goes on, the more normal it seems. And as it begins to feel like business as usual, that’s when the masks start not covering the nose. Then not covering the mouth. Then left in the car. Nobody wants to argue about it anymore. Where we’re at is acceptable. It only becomes unacceptable when the statistic lives in our house.

kenoshaAnd even the unrest. Black men being shot by police. There’s a sad inevitability to it. Like how our nation deals with school shootings. Every few months, another one. And we’d rise in collective condemnation and say “do something!” and then 48 hours later all the cameras are gone and it’s just another Wikipedia entry. Even dead children were not enough to spur change. I doubt the roll call of blacks shot dead by police is gonna change hearts and minds. Even with the entire world watching….and with the George Floyd wound still gaping, a cop STILL shot an unarmed black man 7 times in the back. In broad daylight. In front of numerous witnesses and cell phone cameras. While his kids watched. And even this wasn’t enough, as arm-chair warriors rose in collective fury on social media and embraced the immediate death penalty for walking away from a terrified cop who is screaming at you as you want nothing else but to get back to your unattended children.

I watched the video. Many times. The body language of Jacob Blake. He seemed tired. Over it. He’d seen this sort of thing too many times, and wasn’t gonna be splayed on the pavement for all to see….for his 3 sons to see. He was gonna get his kids and get away. Anyplace but here. I don’t know what he’d done, if anything. I still don’t. According to some, he was trying to break up a fight between 2 women. Police arrived and went for him. He resisted for sure. They had him down, and he broke free and started to walk around to the driver’s side. It was chaotic. In seconds, it all exploded. Seven shots. Three of them missed. Any of them could have struck his children.

What then? Is that what this is gonna take?

And then everybody entrenched. Went back to their respective corners. The bell rang.

On one side….”why did he resist?”

On the other….”why was an unarmed man shot 7 times in the back?”

I suspect both sides know the answer to both questions.

It’s a cancer….and there’s no cure yet.

The pandemic has put the pause button on school shootings, but it’s only a matter of time. Currently teacher friends of mine are explaining how active shooter drills now include social distancing protocols. We haven’t just lost our humanity, we’ve apparently lost our minds as well.

If Newtown wasn’t enough, don’t expect Kenosha to be.

If you have empathy, these things can overwhelm you.

Which is why I need to be constantly reminded of my new brochure.

Help me add to it, would you?

In a bit..


Categories: Uncategorized

Last Half Bottle of Wine (new song with Bret Alexander)

August 23, 2020 Leave a comment

Last Half Bottle of Wine

written by Tom Flannery and Bret Alexander
download mp3

Bret Alexander – vocals, guitar, keyboards

For the first time in my life
I don’t want to go home
maybe tomorrow for the reuniting
tonight I want to be alone
the water is receding
you can see the stains on the wall
thank god the summer’s over
beaten back by the fall
Some are filling up the churches
others filling up the bars
some escaping on greyhound buses
others in rental cars
to Phoenix Arizona
or Philadelphia PA
man they can’t wait to get there
but they won’t want to stay
so batten down the hatches
the world has gone away
and all that you got left
are bills that you can’t pay
and waterlogged photographs
some still clinging to that twine
tomorrow you’re welcome to share
my last half bottle of wine
A smile turns to a grimace
when a welcome is worn down
just how much room is there
in these quiet little towns?
with the white picket fences
and zoned to ease the mind
of those who hide behind the wall
that others left behind
the label got washed away
so I’m not sure of the year
when you can’t drink the water
you better not drink the beer
What happens when you’ve lost things
you never knew you had
and you come home to a front yard
filled with graveyard slabs
Aaron sings what Randy wrote
clear down to Plaquemine
down to 6 feet of water
and my last half bottle of wine
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Quarantine Diaries – Day 156 (Summer…or the lack thereof)

August 19, 2020 Leave a comment

It’s been a weird summer. Mostly because it doesn’t really feel like summer at all.

The weather, sure. But that’s only a small part of it.

outdoor-fire-pitsIt’s the music too. The way it used to climb out of car radios. The way it provided a soundtrack for gathering after dark, “sipping warm beer in the soft summer rain” as someone sorta famous once said. A certain record, a certain song, it could fill in all the awkward silences. We could sit around a fire with friends and family and everything worrisome receded, like an ocean tide. It’ll return surely, but not while this song is playing. Or this one…..

If the music is right, and the fire doesn’t go out, and the friends don’t go home, it could go on forever. What threads through all of our best memories is that we didn’t want those nights to end. And they all contain a soundtrack.

That’s what summer is supposed to feel like.

Baseball games. Concerts. Church picnics and patios. Nights at the drive-in. A moon bright enough to read by. We slow down long enough to enjoy the things worth slowing down for.

Now we’re largely alone. The music is in our ears only. We can’t share it anymore. Friends are on the other end of a smart phone. We bunker ourselves in and wait it out. Looking forward to, what exactly?

Fall is coming….and for kids it’s already here….as schools are back in session. Many of the classrooms are closing up faster than the students can get their lockers open, as the virus continues to spread. There’s no plan. No nationwide effort to eradicate it. We’re on our own. Kids are on their own. Homework every single night is “read this chapter and try not to get sick and kill grandma..” The only winners seem to be the ones who bought stock in Zoom at the beginning of the year.

Summer was the reward for getting through the other 9 months. You could take some time off. It wasn’t dark on your drive home anymore. You had hours more to go before you had to shut yourself down and plug into the next day.

I have these offbeat memories of summer music. At the Saint Joseph’s picnic in 1984, an older kid from our high school carrying a boom box around, blasting the brand new Springsteen. Something called “Born in the USA”. It sounded gigantic….and everybody already seemed to know all the words.

Another Springsteen memory. Sitting in the back of a pick-up, “The River” playing from start to finish as we illegally drank from a cooler of Rolling Rock, listening hard. And wondering if what we were in for was what Bruce was singing about in these songs, because he didn’t make adult-ing sound that much fun. Stolen Cars and wrecks on the highway and wandering the streets looking for shoes, then waking up early to push baby carriages spawned from unwanted pregnancies. All the prices you had to pay. You can look but you better not touch indeed. I was terrified of growing up because of this record. But at the same time, it taught us that even though it might suck to get old, we could still hit the roadhouse and ramrod all night long….that is if a babysitter was available. Bruce was raging against the dying of the light even then. But he still sounded like he was having fun. Lesson learned.

One more. I think it was the summer of 1983. I had a job with the county housing authority. Painting. It was hot and sticky and full time and I was miserable but it paid well and featured quite the cast of characters. It allowed me to buy my first walkman, which seemed magical at the time. On day one I splattered paint all over it, which made it that much cooler. A friend had taped the Who’s final show of their 1982 show off the radio. A show from Toronto. And he made me a copy and I played that show so much that the tape disintegrated and I had to sheepishly ask him to make me another copy. This truly kick-started my life-long Who/Townshend obsession. That tape. That summer.

I’ve listened to all sorts of music since we’ve been locked down. And it’s gotten me through. And inspired me. All of it. But what I don’t have is the memories that go along with it. The boom-box blaring or the cold Rolling Rocks or the brand new walk-man. And the friends who were alongside me for all of it.

And I miss that. And I miss them.

I want this to end.

In a bit..


Categories: Uncategorized


August 17, 2020 Leave a comment

Colleges are back. Some have thrown the doors open and some have taken a more moderate approach….half on-line and half “try-not-to-breathe-on-each-other”. Some have thrown in the towel entirely and go full online. It is what it is. Stay safe out there. And if anybody thinks college kids onsite ain’t gonna spread the shit out of this thing in about 6 seconds, you probably didn’t go to college.

Enjoy it now. ‘Cause we’re all gonna be back home soon.

Whatever. I was the class of 1988. Things were a little different back then, and not only because a credit cost $125. Today’s books cost more than yesterday’s class credits.

I was distinctly unmotivated back then. Not by design….it was just that I tended to live inside my own head. I wasn’t much good at anything. Surrounded myself with books and old movies and Sanford and Son re-runs and never worried about what was going on over the next hill. I’d rush home from wherever, desperate to get re-lost inside whatever memoir or novel or history I had put down. I worked a retail job…..lots of hours but no money. Didn’t have a girl. Never felt like I was missing something more important than what I was doing, even if I wasn’t doing much at all. I figured all this was normal. Today we even have a word for all of this. It’s called “immaturity”. Or at the very least crippling social anxiety. But ain’t nobody got time for that now.

marywoodBut summer was ending, and college was an expectation. I knew I’d go, I just didn’t think about it all that much. Or at all. So with a few weeks left I had to choose, and since I didn’t have a driver’s license at the time and could not afford to go away, I chose a college I could walk to. Not driving distance mind you. WALKING distance.

Don’t try this at home, kids.

So that September I’d wake up way too early and cut through Dunmore high school property, about a mile or so away, find the sliced hole in the fence by the football field, enter a large graveyard, and climb up a hill that brought me to the back of the Marywood College campus (upgraded to University status years later). It was like walking as the crow flies. If I followed the streets it would take three times as long. I’d emerge near the old science building, mindful of the dead nun headstones in the front yard. And I’d be dragging the 20+ poundage business textbooks the entire way. Business was the major you chose if you had no idea what to do with your life. So, it’s the major I would chose now if I had to do things all over again.

This plan was bearable in the fall. In the winter, it become problematic, for obvious reasons. And so it came to pass that I showed up for my freshman Management class mid-term exam, only to be stopped at the door because the teacher didn’t recognize me. It wasn’t my fault he had such a poor memory. But I did get to sleep in a lot.

Eventually I’d get my license, but that was largely irrelevant since I didn’t have a car. These days we simply buy our kids cars. Back then? Not so much. I made $3.70 an hour at the drug store, the kind of salary that kept you walking to school. If I asked my dad for money he’d inevitably pull his wallet out and say “You can have whatever is in there..” and after I while I stopped calling his bluff because I realized he was dead serious.

Without a car I didn’t have many options between classes. I could study in the library or…well….come to think of it….I rarely did this.

So I’d nap on one of the student union couches or shoot pool and listen to the jukebox in the cafeteria. “Pink Cadillac” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart” would pour out of the thing incessantly. Interesting how lots of details fade but the music remains. And when the last class of the day was let out, back through the graveyards I’d go, making my way back home. All in all it was a pretty bizarre college life thinking back on it. I don’t think I came out of there with a single new friend…..skulking around campus with a walkman jammed in my ears, too shy to engage despite the 75-25 female to male student ratio at the time. It felt more like an extension of high school.

Did I mention that my walk to school took my past my favorite bar? When I started taking night classes….this became a problem. It’s pretty easy to whistle past a bar at 8am, but 5:30pm? How much time do I have? Maybe just one……I can still make it. And then….well….predicable really. The fact that I was able to graduate on time and with slightly middle of the road grades is still a constant source of wonder to me. I wasn’t intentionally deviant…..just prone to distraction.

And I regret it all. I should have gone away……or at the very least tried to engage. I should have done all the stupid things that college kids do and made all the same mistakes that college kids make….I should have noticed at the very least how beautiful Marywood’s campus was….and tramped through the place like I owned it instead of like I was stealing something.

And some 30+ years later, it’s more stunning than ever. Expanded. New buildings everywhere. Pretty sure that front yard nun graveyard is gone, wherever it is that nun graveyards go when donors dig deep and need the real estate. Along with that slice in the fence by the high school. No more short cuts. If you’re gonna choose a college, ask more serious questions than I did.

All the best to the class of 2024. The one thing you deserve more than anything else is normalcy, and since you ain’t gonna get that here’s hoping for engaging weirdness. At the very least.

In a bit..


Categories: Uncategorized

Quarantine Diaries – Day 149 (Kamala)

August 12, 2020 Leave a comment

So it’s Kamala.

KamalaWithin minutes of the announcement my social media feed was filled with some of the most vile, disgraceful racist and sexist comments I’ve ever seen. Crude, Vicious. It made me despair for what we’ve become…..a nation of ignorant, hate filled, gleefully cruel cowards. This stain has been spreading for years now, and even frog-marching Trump out of the White House in leg-irons is not gonna wash it away. All he’s done is brought all of this out into the open air. He’s emboldened those who hated in private to go public. And they have. In droves. And most don’t care who knows it. Prominent local business owners…..cops…..local musicians, and on and on. Even I was shocked by the level of vitriol. They don’t fear retribution. Or being called racist. Or sexist. That’s the way things used to be. But this is 2020. They welcome it. They revel in it. They shout from the rooftops. They troll relentlessly, seeking to inject their own brand of disinfectant into the veins of anybody guilty of perceived empathy. Facts are irrelevant. Science is an eye-rolling irritation. Conspiracies and cardboard cut-outs of Dear Leader share their beds. Fox News plays on an endless loop, giving them the Orwell Two Minutes Hate without the pesky timer.

It’s extremely unpleasant out there, Bubba.

It’s a good ticket I think. Harris’s youth and energy will give the campaign a jolt. And while Trump stews on Twitter trying to find the proper demeaning nickname for her, poor Mike Pence is suddenly at a fork in the road, with each leading to a cliff. If he debates her, a former prosecutor…..he’ll get slaughtered. That is, assuming Mother lets him stand on stage with another woman, unsupervised. But still.

More likely Pence will be dumped from the ticket sooner rather than later. In 2016 you could argue that he was needed to court the evangelical vote, but now? That segment of the population have become the most adoring of Trump’s slavish sycophants. He could name the ghost of Bull Connor as his VP and they’d still vote for him. Pence’s only value to Trump is being so bland and dull and subservient that he never deflects attention away from where Trump wants it. On Trump.

Harris and Biden have differences. They clashed heatedly in the debates. If she thought his past actions were racist, she called him out on it. Trumpers could not believe that Biden would actually choose somebody who might disagree with him. But Uncle Joe just selected the anti-Pence. She ain’t gonna be a yes-woman. And that’s what a healthy democracy needs. Right now we have a boy-king, surrounded by shameless toadies. And it’s not going well. So Biden threw down a marker. Good for him. Someday republicans will get it. It just ain’t gonna be this day.

And good for us. Finally. A woman will be VP. One step closer to the oval office. It’s long overdue.

The Trump News Channel went crazy last night. Hannity and Tucker practically tossing spittle at the camera lens. Tucker Carlson kept intentionally mispronouncing Kamala Harris’s name, even after being corrected by his guests. That’s pretty much what they’ve got left. Hannity kept calling her a “socialist”, which is what they call everybody when they’ve run out of the other words. Pretty pathetic stuff, really. These guys are the confederate dance band on the Titanic.

Trump, as he does with any woman who displeases him, has repeatedly called her “nasty”. He’s especially upset with how she made one of his locker room boyos, Justice Kavanaugh, melt down and cry on national TV. She may cause Pence to have an aneurysm. I for one eagerly await the debate question asking Trump about donating $6000 to Harris’s California Attorney General campaign. Was she less “nasty” then?

It’s history. Right here, right now. Being made. We’re all flawed. We’ve all got baggage. Many progressives are not happy with Harris’s sometimes overzealous prosecutions of petty drug crimes. But that was then. This is now. Hopefully we learn and adapt and eventually find ourselves parallel to the arc of justice. There is no perfect ticket. Hell, I voted for Bernie. But this is what we got, and it’s good. If he’d chosen Elizabeth Warren as his running mate, I’d say it was good too. And so it goes. Biden had a talented bench to choose from.

We’re out of options. Allowing these thugs to run amok for another 4 years is unthinkable. It’s time to rally behind the home team.

It’s time to send the traitors off.

So, November. Bring it on. I like the chances of our better angels.

In a bit..


Categories: Uncategorized

Quarantine Diaries – Day 148

August 11, 2020 Leave a comment

It’s been the simple things lately.

The storm that skirted by and left us alone, or the lone cloud that hides the sun just long enough to make the hot temps bearable. The deep blue sky hovering over the top of the green trees off our back deck. Collapsing into a comfortable chair after a long walk, chugging from an ice-cold water bottle, knowing that work is done, and play can commence. Watching the sun go down from the front porch, armed with a blue-tooth speaker and a killer playlist. Feeling the relentless heat finally dissipate, replaced by a cooling breeze. The right song at the right time. A cold drink that’s not water but every bit as refreshing. The well-timed nap…..always best unannounced and unplanned. Catching up with friends via a flurry of fun-filled text messages. Hearing my girls upstairs, together and laughing, best friends even if they still won’t admit it. Finding that one movie you wanted to see pop up all of a sudden on Netflix. Strumming the guitar and finding an expected melody. Finally finding the right word. Playing fetch with the dog…..watching his tail wag as fast as a propeller blade. Our dogs gives the kind of love we could all learn from. Pandemic? For them this is a dream come true. All us, all the time. His tail hasn’t stopped wagging since Mid-march. All these things. Little moments. Frivolous even. Added all up, they are what makes this all bearable. The retrospective good stuff.

All this isolation. Our senses are heightened now. The stuff that made us feel bad pre-covid makes us feel worse now. But the stuff that always made us feel better is even more welcome in this strange new world we’ve build around ourselves.

Hang onto all of it. Somehow we’re gonna get through this.

In a bit..


Categories: Uncategorized

From Selma to Montgomery (For John Lewis) (new song with Bret Alexander)

August 6, 2020 Leave a comment

From Selma to Montgomery (for John Lewis)

written by Tom Flannery and Bret Alexander
download mp3

Bret Alexander – vocals, guitar, piano, drums, bass
Tom Flannery – vocals, guitar

If your tale has not been told
keep moving on keep moving on
feeling young while you’re growing old
from Selma to Montgomery is a mighty long road

Time will move and time will tell
keep moving on keep moving on
see through these eyes then you’ll know me well
from Selma to Montgomery is a mighty long road

The lord and the devil at 2am
working through their differences as best they can
the hate is always tempting without a plan
but I’m a man

All the lies bought and sold
keep moving on keep moving on
take your time ’till love takes ahold
from Selma to Montgomery is a mighty long road

Oh no….baby please find your way
to believing in me
believing in me for just one more day….just one more day

Redemption washes away the sin
keep moving on keep moving on
of judging by the color of my skin
from Selma to Montgomery is a mighty long road

The ghosts of those who’ve come before
they tip-toe across your bedroom floor
now that I’m gone they need you more
they need you more

If your tale has not been told
keep moving on keep moving on
feeling young while you’re growing old
from Selma to Montgomery is a mighty long road
from Selma to Montgomery is a mighty long road
from Selma to Montgomery is a mighty long road

Categories: Uncategorized


August 4, 2020 Leave a comment

isaias-20202161651-goes16-abi-se-geocolorThe rains have come. Hurricane Isaias is barreling up the east coast…..causing all sorts of havoc. We react to such things the way we do with most things. To those not directly affected with danger, it’s “well we needed the rain” and that’s that.  To those in peril, it’s hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. After all, it is 2020. They ain’t expecting anything but chaos. I just wish those not personally affected by any kind of danger, be it violence or poverty or sickness or extreme weather, were a bit more empathetic to those who are. It’s why so many of us have trouble sleeping at night, and don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. A sort of casual meanness that might even go unrecognized by the person being casually mean. To those of us who feel the hurt of others, it’s like being used as a voodoo doll. And it can creep in……that sort if disassociation. Insidiously. I could wall myself off, protected by assorted privilege. And perhaps get a better night’s sleep. And maybe I do sometimes. But then I see something….or hear something….or learn of yet another injustice. And it’s like instantly being re-thrust into Monty Python’s fish slapping dance. Jolted back to the way I was raised. To give a shit. Damn those good parents of mine. Damn then to heaven.

With Covid-19 wildly out of control right now, hurricane’s spawning tornadoes and flooding in the midst of it all seems dirty pool. Teachers and children prepare to…what? Return to school? Not return to school? Online? It seems madness to pile kids together on buses and in classrooms right now. We expect them to handle masks and social distancing when the grown-ups spectacularly failed at the same things? Sometimes it seems we’ve lost our collective minds. To all my teacher friends out there, whatever they’re paying you ain’t nearly enough. Anybody who doesn’t place all of you on a symbolic civil-war-type-statue pedestal should be forced to teach their own kids the new math.

(I’m checking the weather app on my phone, and it’s telling me that it is currently raining (true story), and that over the next few hours there is a an 100% chance it will continue, and at the same time projecting that overall the chance of rain today is 30%. Surely a bug, no? It’s these types of things that make me feel better about myself. We all suffer from impostor syndrome to some extent…..assuming that we’re in over heads in what we do, and are just kinda clinging to the ledge with fingers, desperate to hide our shortcomings. So whenever I think I’m about to be outed at my job for stunning lack-of-qualification fraud, I think of something like this weather app and the folks who developed it and think, “well…..I think I’m kinda like a resident of Lake Woebegone…..slightly above average…so maybe I won’t fall and die”.  Not sure why I felt the need to share this but then, there you are.)

I’m thinking of friends today…..the ones who have helped me get through this. The ones who’ve been checking in and working alongside me remotely. The ones who are helping me feel connected to something other than the walls of my house. Some nights I’ll sit out on the porch and carry on multiple text conversations at once…..sharing this and that and sometimes just saying “I’m doing ok I think, thanks for checking in.” Mundane things mostly, because that’s what we miss the most. The kind of things you mumble to each other over while elbow to elbow at the bar. Our kids. Our work. Our music. “Let me buy you one. No, I got this one. Put your money away”.

I’m trying to make music. But I don’t want to do it alone. So I’ve been reaching out to others. Friends. Co-writing. Trading tracks. Building new songs from the ground up. Again, desperate to feel connected when everything seems intent on keeping us apart.

This storm has killed people. Destroyed lives. It’s currently cutting a swath up the coast. And when it’s over folks will get back up and have at it again. They’ll rebuild. Because there are multiple fights going on right now. And no one can afford to lay down and not get back up again.

And if there’s a way any of us can help, we should find it.

In a bit..


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