Still more Spring in Winter
And it's really throwing me off my game. I'm not exactly complaining - I had four days off in a row and all were sunny and dry, the highs near 60. I HAD slated the time to hole up in my studio and get some serious chicken painting done. I did hole up for one day, ignoring the brighty bright bright outside, but I made pillows, struck by a sudden need to replace squished, soggy or dog hair infested pillows. And for the remainder of my time off I dinked around outside. Yesterday I'm sure I provided fodder for ridicule from neighbors as I dragged out my adirondak chairs and big red umbrella. I even went to the nursery and was put out by their diminutive selection until remembering: oh, it's fucking February. All in all, I had a lot of chicken time, which is very therapeutic. And during the nights I worked on songs for upcoming shows. They are beginning to fall in something of a pattern: 3's, to be exact. I love it when you get out of your own way and let the Creative just do it's thang.

Saint Peter don't you call me, cuz I can't go...
..I sold my soul to the company store. And so have you. And you. And yes, you. Actually, I'm less in a 'Oh, God, I'm a wage slave*' mode, than I am casting around looking for good songs to sing. And 16 Tons seems as current as ever, perhaps less the schlepping of coal and more just to our consumerist society.
Yesterday I made my tri-yearly trip to the feed store for feed, scratch and straw. Lugging around 50 pound bags of the shit and trying to upend them into pails is always fun, as is the dragging of the heavy, unwieldy and spiky bales of straw, leaving a long trail behind like I murdered a scarecrow and drug his body to the compost bin. At the store, they were passing out fliers advertising that in March, for purchases of $35 or more, you get 5 free chicks. Now, here's where I'm weird: I want to buy my chicks, because it's a demonstration that I value their little lives**. But this, of course, spun out into, hmmmm-ville, where in my head, I add to the flock, which results in scenes of bucolic peace and harmony. Except not so much, when you're dealing with chickens. Right now with the three of them, the order is solid and un-tested and, as such, un-enforced with any brutality. Add just one chicken to that mix and it all goes to hell. But I'm sure my brain will launch a campaign (chicks! chicks!) and I will seriously consider throwing all that accumulative knowledge out the window and bringing home two or three peeping poopers home.
* It was long ago, riding on a bus at the crack of dawn on route to a shitty temp job that I first saw the term 'wage slave', sprayed onto a parking garage wall. A blisteringly depressing snapshot.
** And yes, I'm self aware enough to recognize that I've become overly righteous where chickens are concerned. Someone has to.
Contrasted weather drama
I'm getting a little uneasy with all the epically crappy weather the rest of the States seems to be having, while here in the NW our bulbs are coming up, the sun is shining (well, not today) and I have to throw off blankets in the night. It feels like payback is coming, although they did say we would have an El Nino year. However, if that translates to a summer as hot or hotter than what we had last year, first off, crap, and second off, I'm in the process of modifying the only factor I can think to make it easier: losing weight. Remembering how last summer wiped the floor with me and put me away wet is more compelling motivation than fitting into my summer outfits (like I have any).
Distribution of energies
So, hey, yeah, I know, to my legion (3) of loyal readers I apologize for my sucky work ethic or whatever it is (discipline: say it!) that keeps me from posting daily. Or it could be just as simple as I don't have anything that wouldn't make your eyes roll back in your head and possibly encourage drooling in your extreme indifference and boredom.
On Saturday, I beat the odds and had another birthday. I also held my first (in what I hope to be an ongoing series) musical salon. It was the first time in a while that I'd sung before an audience, albeit one of (mostly) supportive friends. I find being close to my audience extremely nerve wracking: I'm happy as a pig in shit on a big stage with blinding spotlights so essentially it's just me and a sea of faceless energy. But I did get my first spotlight in the mail yesterday - via eBay and a psychotic seller - so my next salon I will be happily blinded. I will also have a PA, a small little job that has an iPod dock that is working it's way to me via UPS Ground, because I've never been a fan (nor it of me) of singing into dead air.
All this has taken me from painting a bit - I'm able to juggle several disciplines (that word again), but one always takes the driver's seat, leaving the rest to flip for shotgun. I'm still figuring out what this new musical foray will entail. I'm not interested in doing anything I've done before, but if it ends up a mashup of everything I've done before, well, jolly good.
Head in sand, not feathers
Driving home last night I found myself yelling back at the radio. Typically, I reserve my in-car yelling for my fellow car-bound travellers (and the odd pedestrian), but I was so stunned by the level of stupidity and ignorance spewing forth that I found myself fumbling for a writing implement so I could note the name of the addlepate that was speaking. He turns out to be a Republican - please catch me as I swoon in shock. Portion of the transcript below.

All Things Considered, MELISSA BLOCK, host:

This week, we're going to hear a variety of perspectives on what to do with Don't Ask Don't Tell. Today we turn to California Congressman Duncan Hunter. He is a Republican and a former U.S. Marine who served both in Afghanistan and Iraq. ...You are not in favor of a repeal of DADT. Why not?

Rep. HUNTER: No, because I think that it's bad for the cohesiveness and the unity of the military units. especially those that are in close combat, that are in close quarters in country right now. It's not the time to do it. I think it's - the military is not civilian life. And I think the folk who have been in the military that have been in these very close situations with each other, there has to be a special bond there. And I think that bond is broken if you open up the military to transgenders, to hermaphrodites, to gays and lesbians.

BLOCK: Transgenders and hermaphrodites.

HUNTER: Yeah, that's going to be part of this whole thing. It's not just gays and lesbians. It's a whole gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual community. If you're going to let anybody in no matter what preference - what sexual preference they have that means the military is going to probably let everybody in. (emphasis mine...) It's going to be like civilian life and the I think that that would be detrimental for the military.

Oh sweet Baby Jebus, give me strength. I know these people think these things (although 'think' would seem to indicate some degree of contemplation went into the process, but methinks not so much...), but when you actually hear them, it still gives one considerable pause. My theory: this rampant ignorance, this insistence of labelling with words like 'choice' and 'preference', is their subterranean envy of what they envision as this big old melting pot of sticky fun that others are having that they would dearly love to participate in, if they weren't ruled by fear. Just a theory, mind you. But I think the Confederacy of Dunces has a new president.