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Thursday, August 30th, 2007
10:06 am - Back in the saddle!
I just got back from my first bike ride since my fall, and it was a delight. Thanks to lostraven loaning me his training stand for rehab, I wasn't totally cold. I'm definitely weaker than I was before, but hey that's what those low gears are for, right?

The new apartment is, I kid you not, about 500' from the north end of the Meramec Greenway! I rode fast down Marshall Rd S to Valley Park and then gently cruised the (mostly empty on a Thursday AM) trails back home. The amazing thing is that my feet actually feel better than when I rode out. I suppose the pumping action helps disperse the internal bruising. Whatever it is I'll take it and go back for more tomorrow, perhaps with a camera. ;)

(Big thanks to Lostraven for the trainer and to St.Elegius for pimping my ride)

current mood: energetic

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Monday, August 20th, 2007
5:09 am - Nightmare for a lame 32 year old.
I awoke at 4AM this morning deeply upset. I had a dream where there was some sort of reunion concert for my college marchimg band. Everyone was thrilled, the music was going to be great. We were all boked in a hotel and having fun being together again.

When I got my sheet-music, it wasn't my beloved tenor drums, it was tympani and xylophone. I'd been sidelined because I couldn't carry the load on my bum feet to march with the drums.

Is it more lame to have difficulty walking or to be upset by nostalgic nightmares about largely pointless musical ensembles of many years gone by?

Stupid double entendres.

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Saturday, August 18th, 2007
3:23 pm - Help my gimpy ass move?
Wendy and I are moving to Kirkwood on Aug 25'th, and while I'm on my feet again I'm largely useless when it comes to extended lifting and/or carrying, so we need all the help we can get. Especially so since many of the fixtures of moving buddy lore are going to be out of town that day.

We get our truck at noon on Saturday, and hope to get it all done in one trip (apart from a few pieces like my guitars that'll get their own special trip later). We've been packing for weeks and weeks now, so the move itself shouldn't be too bad. THE FILE CABINETS ARE NOT COMING! As far as I'm concerned they will be in that attic forever ;-). We will of course provide refreshments and such.

Our new place is here, if anyone's curious.

Thanks again to anyone who can help, any questions, just give me a call.


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Friday, June 1st, 2007
11:48 am - I STAND!

I stood up. I took a step. I sat back down. Small progress in and of itself, but it is (as they say) a step.

current mood: drained

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Thursday, May 24th, 2007
2:35 am - What remains?
I took my camera out today for the first time since "The Fall." It felt good. I rolled out onto my ramp and took some mediocre shots of my roses (I wasn't close enough for my lens) but is was nice to get out under the sky and do something I love. Met a new neighbor who seemed cool.

They tell me I can move up to crutches in the not to distant future, as my not-as-badly-broken right foot is almost ready to bear weight. For some reason the doctor keeps letting me come back to the awesome orthopedic center out in Chesterfield where all the pro-athletes go rather than shunting me to the poor/uninsured clinic down in the city, even though I'm uninsured and mostly unemployed. It'll take half my life to pay all this off, but it'll be half my life walking tall. I got a bit choked up when he told me I might stand up soon.

Profound Catch-22: I cant get unemployment since I technically "quit" for "personal reasons" after I fell, but I can't get disability because I'll be back on my feet in less than 12 months. Should I have gotten myself wheeled in to work on a gurney and tried to work until they told me not to come back?

At any rate, I'm getting serious about looking for work again. I've got enough savings to last through June, but as of now I've got no income until school starts up again. Anyone know of anything within gimping distance of a bus line?

I've pretty much weaned myself off of the pain pills. No addiction for me thanks, and I'm mostly just uncomfortable rather than in agony at this point anyway. I'm sure I'll start popping like mad again when it's time to start wrenching my joints back to life, but best not to build up a tolerance before then right?

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Sunday, April 29th, 2007
11:17 pm - Life imitating art imitating life...
The haunted mansion of which I am in small part an owner has been cast to play the part of a haunted mansion in a Kris Kristopherson/Skeet Ulrich project currently filming in Louisiana.

Sadness: While not falling down and beautiful in the lived-in areas, the place had gotten dilapidated enough that it was chosen for the role of the run-down ancient plantation house.

Coolness: The plot of the film (a creepy psychological thriller) involves the protagonist buying the place and fixing it up (in spite of blood flowing from faucets and that sort of thing). This means however, that Robert Duvall (whose production company is making this) is picking up the tab for long overdue renovations, wiring, paint, etc; with sweet matching funds from the Feds since the place is an official historical site.

Wierdness: While they never stood out in day to day life down there, the film crew's agitation uncovered the presence of a massive infestation of millions of bees in an unused portion of the structure. In one room the ceiling weeps honey. How's that for your southern gothic? The legend of the ghostly overseer Mr. Miller who was slain by the Union troops who burned the place during the war will no doubt now be amended to include his hitherto unknown abiary duties.

Funny: My uncle's car is used by a character in the film.

Sobering:: While the bones and such in the basement scenes are fake, the ankle-stocks are in-fact original vintage.

current mood: awake

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Saturday, April 14th, 2007
9:25 pm - Things I'm doing while stuck in bed:
Watching movies

Playing video games

Writhing in pain when nerve clusters awaken

Hitting "Random Article" on Wikipedia

Pacing my fluid intake so as to not overflow my pee bottle when home alone

Posting in the livejournals of obscure actors and screenwriters

Re-arranging my pillows

Sitting on hold with bureaucracies

Getting it on (that's right)

Leg lifts (maintains muscle and helps block out the pain)

Reading bittorrented comics

Keeping my mortgage out of forclosure

Working on my new book, "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do"

current mood: recumbent

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Friday, April 13th, 2007
12:10 am - Healing is cool.
For the past day or so I've been treated to periodic sparks of pain throughout the tenderized meat patty commonly known as the bottom of my left foot. I was alarmed by this at first, but after a bit I realized that after each wave of pain-sparks, I was regaining a bit of sensation in the traumatized area. As the swelling abates, my nerves are waking up. They're just complaining as they're dragged out of bed. Yay for nerves.

Bring the pain. Every spark is a tiny bit closer to walking.

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007
10:51 pm - So, I'm not dead...
So this past Sunday, I fell two-and-a-half stories off of my own roof. Little bit of overconfidence (I've been up on most every building I've lived in since helping my Dad re-roof our garage when I was a kid, what could go wrong?) + little bit of bad luck=a whole lot of falling onto some nice soft concrete.

Miraculously, I entered that Zen-like bulet-time awareness and managed to land on my feet and roll to the right. However, since I'm not a Ninja this broke my left heel, broke + dislocated my right ankle, and lightly fractured my right arm. That's it. No paralysis, no concussion, no cracked ribs, no hemorrhaging, no brain damage, no ruptured organs; not even any cuts or bruises except around the bone-breaks. By rights, I should be some combination of n-palegiac, vegetable, and/or a dead man. In a few weeks I'll have my arm back, and in a few months I'll be walking again. I am one extremely lucky SOB (inasmuch as anyone with three out of four limbs in casts can be considered "lucky").

All that is mind blowing enough, but what has been truly amazing is the overwhelming flow of love and support from my loved-ones. Every time I blink I'm greeted by a new act of kindness or friendship beyond the call of duty. I am humbled by their (your) love for me. I must strive to continue to be worthy of it.

weneh continues to live the title of "Best Girlfriend Ever" At the hospital, I told her how brave she is to stand by me though all this and she's like "What do you mean, I'm terrified." Yet she hasn't once hsitated to do what was needed. That of course is the essence of true courage. Now that I'm settled in at the house, a kind of peace floats between us. We know we're on a winding road, but have faith in the sharing of the journey.

For now, I get to spend a few weeks in bed with my legs elevated waiting for the swelling in my feet to abate to the point where reconstructive surgery can take place. Boredom and loneliness will be worse foes than pain in this phase. Visitors are welcome.

current mood: indescribable

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Monday, March 19th, 2007
9:58 am - Waxing rather than Waning.
I think my depressive kick bottomed out last week. All isn't hunky dory, but I'm starting to deal with things a bit better. I'm starting to return phone calls from weeks ago, and write music again. I'm not being tormented by dreams on a nightly basis, nor loosing as many days to self-induced oblivion. weneh gave me some good advice on self cognitive-therapy, and it helps. I cannot count the ways in which she enriches my life. I hope I do even half as much for her.

My band and my work were among the things of which I was most proud, and loosing them both so suddenly was quite the kick to the existential balls. Being rejected by two of my greatest successes shook the foudations of my self worth.

At Schillers, I had worked my way up in 3 years from retail clerk to skilled professional by skill, tallent, and hard work. Then, they fired me citing problems I've always had with flakiness (if it was such a problem, why the promotions? Peter principle at work?). It probably had more to do with budget, they fire somebody every January almost like clockwork. Just the same it made me wonder if ADD issues would always hamstring my best efforts. It was also the only job I ever had where I really connected with most of my co-workers. I wasn't an outsider or a novelty there. I was one of the gang. My days have been colder without them.

Getting kicked out of The Bureau was even worse. Music's what I've been best at for as long as I can remember. Through many changes, the band we started back before the turn-of-the-century had been a source of joy to me for much of my adult life. Frustrating at times sure, but the music and the audience always made it worthwhile. We were deeply cool. What made my sudden axe-ing even worse was that it was coming from old and dear friends. They saw me as an impediment to their ambitions and pushed me aside. Never in my entire life had anyone for whom I care deeply chosen to hurt me like that. I know they felt bad about it, but not enough to stop. Tidying up rights and so forth just twisted the knife. The justification for reducing my cut of the publishing was that a lot of my parts on the album were being cut or re-tracked. Great, as though I didn't feel worthless enough already, I'd put a lot of heart into some of those parts and now that was being cut out too. I've hardly spoken to them in months, not because I don't ever want to talk to them (Hi guys), but because I don't want to talk to them when I'm still so hurt and angry about it. It's gotten better, along with everything else, but it's a slow process. I had an easier time getting over Kathy leaving me than getting kicked out of that band.

I know this was a lot of bitching and moaning after I just said things were getting better, but i think I needed to get some of this out, and I couldn't really do that until I'd healed some. Now I can heal some more. This is catharsis, not more wallowing in misery. I've had enough of that to last rest of the year.

On to the good stuff!

My divorce is finally settling. Like any successful negotiation, nobody got exactly what they wanted but nobody got screwed. We'll have the whole thing inked this week, knock on wood.

Might be starting a new band, got together and jammed with a guy last night and we seemed to have some decent chemistry. He's a prolific lyricist and seems to dig the way I like to approach songwriting. He's coming from a very different place musically than I am, which is good. We shall see. Any drummers/bassists out there looking for a new gig?

I saw a ton of people I wish I saw more of over the weekend (and not just the dear-to-me-yet-extraterritorial Ms. cavum_oris). I think I'll reach out to some of them. You can never have too many friends.

My brother is getting married next month, and I'm totally psyched. My dad's family is a huge bunch of Irish/German Catholic party hounds, and they're descending in force. I cant wait to see them, and for W. to get to meet them. Peter's fiance is a gem, and she'll be a great addition to the family (she areadiy is really, tis just makes it official).

The third of my perilous perils remains. I desperately need a new dayjob. At this point I have to find some anything-just-to-pay-the-bills type of work. My "career" can wait until the bills are current. Anyone heard of anything?

Ok, off to look for work.

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Saturday, March 3rd, 2007
10:50 am - Big Night: Eclipse, Concert, Welcome All....
There's a total lunar eclipse tonight, visible in North America starting from moonrise and clearing throughout the night.

Any would be watchers, feel free to join Wendy, my spotting-scope, and I at Junior-High park here in Maplewood about 5:45 to see the red moon rise with an excellent vantage of the eastern horizon and the STL skyline (it's so high there, you can see the Arch from Maplewood). Bonus points to anybody who can bring a tall thermos full of hot cocoa, as I don't have one.

Later, there's a $5 show at the Pagaent were cool cats Discount Firearm and the Daybreak Boys are both playing, and Jesse Irwin is hosting it. All good stuff.

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Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
5:10 am - Alienation, loss, insomnia.
I had to come down and write this after lying in bed clenching and unclenching for an hour.

I've posted before about how I have very vivid dreams which I often remember. Lately this has been more of a curse than a blessing. By day I try to not get caught up in the things I've lost, to stay positive, find a new job, successfully settle my divorce, not loose my house, keep up with teaching, and otherwise not get caught up in depression and or escapist distractions. By night, my subconscious ain't havin' any o' that.

Dreams I've had lately in no particular order:

I'm Superman, but I cant control my vast powers. I destroy everything I touch, crash though places I try to go, and burn people at whom I look. Wracked with hopelessness, guilt, and frustration, I flee to my fortress of solitude and sit with my head in my hands. The walls shake when I fail to choke down a sob.

The band calls me up. Somebody wants the Bureau to be in the background in a TV show, but they want all four of us for some cinematographic-balance-type reason, and could I come back for this one thing. I reluctantly agree. It's real tense the whole time with almost no eye contact. I make a lame joke about Trotsky's pictures vanishing from the USSR's Myspace. There's nervous laughter and then nobody talks after that. We play Life in a Secondary Market then I go outside and smash my beautiful red guitar to pieces.

Flashback! Years ago, Kathy and I attend the wedding of a friend of hers and I run into a couple of people I knew in college. They don't remember me at all, despite the fact that I hung out at one of their houses a ton and the other one dated one of my best friends for some months. Even when I point out specific events and conversations we shared, they don't remember me at all. (This actually happened IRL)

I visit my old job to see the friends there that I miss terribly, and discover that I haven't been replaced as such. They've just spread out my duties among two or three other people and everything's running along just fine. I was in fact completely redundant, and now it's like I was never there. The guy who fired me tries to be all buddy buddy and I try to make conversation without jumping across the couter and strangling him/bashing his head into the tile. I forget how this one ends.

Several variations on this theme: I see an old friend for the first time in years. It's great. We're different now, but we still giv a a damn about eachother's lives, and we have a great time talking like it was just yesterday. I wake up an miss him/her terribly. (I've had this one about 5 times in the past month, with a different person each time)

I go back to the Bureau's rehearsal space to get the last few of my things from there. It's super awkward, lots of smalltalk but nothing said. I break down in tears kneeling on the floor to put something into my duffle bag. I cant stop crying. No one's sure what to do. Somebody starts to say something but then stops, then they retreat to the break room. I'm left alone, wailing uncontrollably.

I'm driving around the highway in my old minivan through some sort of crazy interchange and no matter what ramp I take, I end up back in the interchange. Someone is next to me about half the time, but I'm not quite sure who it is.


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Monday, January 8th, 2007
12:59 pm - Long time, no viddy.
Last month, I got booted from my band.

Friday, I got fired from my job.

What, I wonder could be next?

Otherwise, life is good. I've got love, health, friends, family, etc.

It's quite odd to have very little idea what one's practical environment will be like after say, next month.

Ah well. Hopefully niether Friday's divorce settlement conference (yes, after over a year, it's still not final), nor the unemployment will result in me loosing my house.

Wish me luck.

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Sunday, September 24th, 2006
9:29 pm - Life's rich pagaent continues.
This was a weekend for finding people I hadn't seen in forever. From catching a Bunnygrunt show for the first time since the Wabash Triangle burned down, to seeing a guy I played jazz with in high-school, to randomly being spotted by my old partner in avant-garde electronica crime thanks to Weneh having a bike malfunction.

This led to catching a New Music Circle show in which I heard every possable soound that can be made with a flute. This was sometimes more interesting than good, but the good parts were great.

I'm super busy with school back in session. It's all good stuff, but I miss seeing weneh more. She is truely a gem.

Come one come all to the Tap-Room Thursday night if you feel like some tasty Bureau goodness.

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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006
12:34 am - Been a while...
I'm still here, just busy.

The Bureau is recording. It will amaze.

I have the best girlfriend ever. She is smart, funny, passionate, kind, has excellent taste, and makes bad sports-teams win by her very presence.

My van may have died, but I'm almost looking forward to a post-van existance. Hopefully I get a few more months out of it. I've used more than my share of the world's fuel long enough.

My grandfather died. He was 89 and happy, but I'll miss him. I saw several dozen loved ones thereafter.

One of my roommates moved out. I will now be poor.

Teaching this Fall, I'll only be so poor.

My friend Jim wants me to play on his upcoming songwriting project.

Life is good.

current mood: happy

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Thursday, June 29th, 2006
7:41 pm - Somewhere, on Myspace...
...There's a 17 year old who's "Music" list is as follows:
Bloc Party

The Bureau

Death From Above 1979

Franz Ferdinand

Hot Hot Heat



The Killers

Modest Mouse

The Presidents of the United States of America

System of a Down

Tenacious D

The Vines

The White Stripes

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

(emphasis mine)

Sometimes, all the crap is absolutely worthwhile.

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Wednesday, June 21st, 2006
7:24 am - Spies, Damn Lies, and Statistics!
In at least one way the frieze in Union Station with "New York, St. Louis, San Francisco" is not out of date. it turns out We've got our very own secret NSA net-tap room right here in town! Suck on that, Chicago! It turns out that in addition the Gateway to the West, the strong AT&T presence also makes us the Gateway to a Third of All Internet Traffic.
It's a good thing that "our" government never abuses surveillance powers.

(Amusingly, Bureau Headquarters is located smack dab betwean an AT&T NOC (not the one in the article, though obviously they're linked up) and the local FBI field office.)

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Monday, May 22nd, 2006
6:49 pm - "Can't talk to a psycho like a normal human being."
A week or so back a switch flipped in my estranged wife's head and she desperately wanted to get back together rather than divorce. Was it because I'd been helpful and nice to her and her family? Was it because it was the end of her semester at work, and that brought her back into the moment where we split up during her previous round of grading finals 5 months ago? Was it fear of being alone and 30 as woman who wants a family? Did she realize that she still loved me so much that in spite of our problems she wanted to work things out? Was she beginning a depressive episode and grasping for me as the only one who ever really comforted her? Probably all of the above.

Just the same, I've moved on in five months. A season neither living in fear of her mood swings nor feeling down on myself for not living up to her expectations has made me a healthier person on a number of levels. I do still care for her, but I could never get back on that rollercoaster. Some problems counseling would never fix, and some of those we had.

And of course, there's weneh. Even after any window of infatuation or "rebounding" or whatever has closed, I still find in her more than I'd ever dared to hope for in a woman.

The X did not take this well. She's completely flipped, sending me messages at first that were alternatively pleading and threatening and now just threats mixed with insults and rants. She spent a couple of days in the hospital on a suicide watch. (All the above reminding me why I finally stopped talking her out of leaving me every six months or so.)

So much for the amicable spit. Thankfully it'll be months before she can afford an attorney, since she now wants to contest some assets. That'll give me either...

a: Time for her to cool off so we can work out a reasonable settlement of our affairs.


b: A reasonable person grounded in reality with whom I can work things out in the person of her attorney. As long as one person on her side of the table can look at how things add up and don't add up regarding our property and debts I'll be fine.

Screwing with me on the house would only guarantee that there's nothing for either of us, as a realtor's commission would exceed "our" equity if we sold any time soon. Trying to squeeze any money out of me apart from that would mean that I couldn't afford the house and the bank gets it and any value she might have gleaned from it as well. She'll get what's reasonable, but she can't go beyond that out of spite without shooting herself in the foot.

Catch-22 is my sword and my shield.

For now I am angry at her, sad for her, and tired of her; but she cant do much to hurt me any more.

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Tuesday, May 9th, 2006
6:08 am - Pagaent_W6W5714.jpg

Originally uploaded by Laminator_X.
Look at us, playing the big room! Anyone who want's tickets for this Saturday's show at the pagaent, come on by the Royale tonight for the Bureau's ticket give-away party. If you can't make it, let me/us know. We WILL get you your ticketts.

Thanks again to everyone who voted for us in the KDHX/Playback Music Awards! Best Indy-Rock! Woohoo!

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Monday, May 8th, 2006
10:28 pm - Tower!

Originally uploaded by Laminator_X.
Here're some highlights from recent visits to the Resovoir Park on South Grand.

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