A reminder from the book The Good Creative by Paul Jarvis

“Chapter 2: Share Your Ugly Process”




I have been slowly reading my way through a collection of Ray Bradbury short stories. In the beginning of the book he writes about how occurrences in his life lead him to turn it into a story. And maybe this is a method I need to explore and experiment more with in the future. My current circumstances have to be material for something.


However, there is always something.

Right now I have to paint an apartment unit to hopefully get rented soon. An unrented apartment at the moment limits the finances of what I can get done with upkeep of the place. So right now there is “holding pattern” going on.

I also hate painting. It is a lonely, slow and monotonously boring work to do. And after 8 hours of painting, I have to do a second coat on the whole unit. Plus I have to do all the painting of the trim work still which probably is another 4-6 hour process alone. So I am a bit pissed off.

And when I am doing this work hearing the phrase from people, “Are you having fun yet?”

How do I explain it to people? When I am working on boring shit alone my mind seems to go into “hyper drive”. There are lot of ideas and insights flowing. I cannot write them down. I wish I could hire a person to sit in the room just to be a stenographer for my thoughts. Afterwards, when I am done painting and I see that blank sheet on the notepad. And all I can do is draw a blank. I get even madder.

Plus, the project of decluttering my own apartment has been put on the back burner. I really wish I had someone to trade “Offense and Defense” with to conquer this. But here there is no division of labor to be had here.


Trying to explain this is a waste of time and energy.


“What did I say to you?” is the phrase that if I had a dime every time I said this lately would actually allow me to afford the fore mentioned stenographer.

Plus, how I get people to understand that getting this out the way will help with the writing and reading time?

Especially, when they do not even notice the results of that time when they happen.



This is how it has been going (in a nutshell)

Other person: “I don’t understand what you are doing?”

Me: “Why don’t you ask questions?”

Other person: “Because I don’t want to know.”

Me: “Have you seen my hammer?”

And I will not go on the issue of “returning phone calls” or “How many times have I given you my cell number?”



I am not going into the Robin Williams story. However, before the news came about him that day. I was listening to Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast in which he was interviewing the comedian Bob Newhart. They were having a discussion of his albums that cane out between about 1958 and 1963. And at the end, he attached Bob’s bit about “What if Abraham Lincoln had an agent?” It still worked. So I went and downloaded one of his albums. I wanted to start with the first one. However, I had to actually order the CD version of his first album The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart. So I had to start listening to him with the second album The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back because it was available for download at that moment.

This was the clip that later day would become a strange coincidence.





I don’t think there are people who want to be “talked down” for the ledge.

The Media Outlets demonstrate daily that “Talk is cheap”.

Rather, they want to be “Listen To” in order to get away from that ledge.

Engaging can be a more valuable service.

But for now I have laundry to do.


And to close with another reminder.


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Slight Touch of the Hunger

I have to say I have been feeling a bit of “The Angst” lately. I am not going to go into the details of it because honestly “no one cares”. Nor should they. It is kind of reminiscent in a way of the angst most of us experienced in our younger years. What I know now that I did not know then is most of it is “just temporary”. So why can’t I just get “over with”? People you know become people you knew. Social Media becomes more about “name recognition” than anything else.

It is all just Temporary.

So why do I even bring this up. The main reason is it is the only thought in my head at the moment to write out. (There is more coming up though in future postings).

I also browse through the $5 album sales that are posted on Amazon’s website. It is just quicker and easier way to get music. And this month’s was selection was Twisted Sister’s album Stay Hungry. Yes, the heavy metal band that featured men in women’s make-up. In the early, 80′s this image was “sign of the end that was happening”. It freaked people out then. It probably helped them get played more on MTV at time. Those “Olden Days” when the station played music. Crazy. Besides Heavy Metal was being attacked all other the place at the time. And controversy always helps to increase the ratings. The song We’re Not Gonna to Take It was the “Anthem” hit at the time. Now, like the song We Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who it seems more of an “Irony” than a “Prophecy” after time.

The other hit song on the album was I Wanna Rock. I still like the song. But instead of turning up the volume to “drown out” the neighbors or co-workers, I just want to put in the ear buds and “tune them out”. I rather listen to what I like than spend time “explaining and defending” it.

I probably have not listened to album as whole since the late 80′s and could not find my cassette copy of it. (Yes, I still have them. And one day I will transfer them to digital). I have to say as whole this album holds up. And Hidden Gems are on the B-side. I am not going to explain this to anyone under 30. It would be like this video that makes you hate the children of today. And DAMMIT I do not want to be that old guy in the future yelling at kids to get “Off the Lawn!” I can still see the memory of the Old Man across the street that from April to September set out his lawn chair at 2:30/3:00 every day just to yell at kids coming home from school who might inadvertently set half a footstep on his lawn. I also remember he had THREE heart attacks one summer pushing his lawn mower. Some people just do not understand the significance of a “Clue”. That would come with the FOURTH heart attack that year while he was on the roof of his patio that took him for a “roll” and gravity did the rest. He did survive though, to never do yard work again in his life.

Here are the other songs featured on the album.

The first, the mandatory Power Ballad required on most albums at the time. However, it kind works out the “angst”.

The second could have worked well as a song in 80′s action movie. Possibly.

Finally, I know Heavy Metal takes a lot of criticism for being filled with angst.

Well, they do not have that “market” cornered.

Frank Sinatra made it a cornerstone of his music too. “Heart Break and Longing” was found in many of his songs too.

The Tune may change over time. But when you down to the “essence” there really isn’t “anything new under the sun”.

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Finding Joe

There may be a point in which information is too accessible. I am not calling for censorship or regulation.

It is very easy to get to with a few mouse clicks and keystrokes to get it. I remember when having to research for a term paper that it was actual physical exercise. It was a trip to the library and then walking up and down aisles to find the books. If you could even find the books at all. There was no overnight shipping for them.

Today, no one remembers the cardio work out of just picking up A volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica. My parents had a set from 1979 in the house and it was outdated from there. My parents were never going to pay the money to update them on a yearly basis. And there was not computer in the house but I did have a Commodore 64 to play some games on. Printers were too expensive so what was the point of typing a report on one. How about the other cardio / carpal tunnel exercise of actually writing in long hand. Followed by the scent of White Out to fix written typo areas. Term papers were a Dread. Especially when the sadistic teacher said it had to be 15 pages. And include pictures. So then my papers were based on what I could find in the basement collection of old National Geographic issues. I am curious to the statistical knowledge of how much of my time of my youth could have been saved by the “Click and Paste” function.

The Internet was only getting started when I left college. Also the cost of owning a home computer was not yet feasible. So you had to sign up for time to use the one at college. It meant most of time it was a very early morning or very late night to get to use one. You had to pay for college in order to access those “tools” for acquiring information. However, today you do not need college to be that “middle man” in the quest for knowledge. If you are going into a “Creative Art” field you should consider skipping them all together. (But I might get on this point in a future posting)

You had to actually go and seek knowledge if you wanted it.

Here is example.

In 1998, I found myself at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. A picture does not always give you real context. In the entrance was (if I remember right) the Mercury Capsule. It is not as big as you think it is. How 2 men fit into that and then flew around space for a week is incredible. Just walking around seeing the actual planes people flew. It made me think that their flights relied more on “Courage and Conviction” because the technology really did not exist then as we know it today.

The other reason, I was there for the Star Wars Exhibit. They had on display the costumes, the models of the ships used, and some the concept art. There was 20 minute documentary to watch before the tour of the exhibit that gave some background information. It was about how they did not at the time the impact of what they were making.

And with the Internet the display has not been archived online. And you save the gas and parking costs of DC.

The end of all such tours has to dump you into the Gift Shop area. I am not one for such areas. I do not need souvenirs that nobody cares for anyways when you get down to it. However, there was a bookcase which will always get my attention. Star Wars : The Magic of Myth by Mary Henderson. I have always been fascinated with myths and mythology. This book broke up the story of Star Wars into story elements that exist within other tales too. It is here for the first time I would read the name of Joseph Campbell.

Joseph Campbell was famous (at this point I had never heard of him) for his research about how all the tales mankind has told since the beginning were all basically the same “arch” which he called the “Hero’s Journeyor “Follow Your Bliss”. It is almost some “Spiritual Transcendence” of the Human Condition. I had never heard such a premise before. I went to a Catholic grade school so there was one book that was ever going to be referenced on this matter. And in college, any such notion was considered to just “bullshit”.

SIDE NOTE. Here is how I am going to approach such matters. I am taking Mulder/Scully of The X-Files. The idea that the “Believer” and the “Skeptic” can work together to challenge and support each other in a quest for “A Truth”. I am not here to support or deny one side over the other. Or even make any recommendations for one. I am just saying that “Mythology” and “Science” are not necessarily “Mutually Exclusive” from each other.

It would be another year or so, before I got a copy of his book The Hero with A Thousand Faces. I finally found a copy in the Bargain Shelf at Barnes and Noble. So I could finally get to read the whole presentation of his premise. I look for it in action all the time when I am watching movies especially in sci-fi, fantasy or comic book adaptions. I also like getting in my news feed some quotes from his work.

I never really thought about the Hero’s Journey outside of literature or the movies. And then this documentary came out last year that changed how I thought about it. Here that arch is illustrated to actually being representative of our journey. It is worth the price to download.

If I had children this is THE FILM I would have them watch.

And after that give them a copy of Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl to read.

Tell them to ignore their Guidance Counselors.

Not to get over “worked up” over their possible SAT scores.

There is “Their” Journey and the travel brochure for it has yet to be written.

Posted in Human St(r)ain, Life's Experiments, Movies, Reading, Reference, This I Believe | Leave a comment

The Fault in the Stats

I have not been very productive “writing” wise the last week or so. Interruptions and frustrations. That I would rather not get into.
There is one thing I have learned over the years about writing. Using Web Stats to “gauge” my work is still (even at this point) practically useless. And yet every day I find myself pulling them up on my screen. Feedback and validation are “elusive”.

I know something is out there going on and yet the stats are not showing it.

So I went looking for a metaphor to use as example. Something to illustrate that “Don’t You See It!” Frustration we all experience.

This all might sound a bit “Extreme”.

So Cue…..The Shatner

Posted in Brain Fried, Just a Thought, Life's Experiments, The Mind Wanders, Web Site Postings | Leave a comment

ROCK! Be There Shall


This is another posting about some of the music that has been on the playlist recently.

Metallica-poster ttn

I finally had a chance to watch the Metallica concert film Through the Never. (Streaming right now on Netflix) I have to note that in a way it reminded me of the movie version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I have seen something here. There is something go with this. However, do not expect for me to explain with “precise clarity”. That sounds like a bad thing. However, for me it is a good thing. I like rewatching things to gather the “clues” I might have missed. In this movie, there is the real life concert of the band performing. At the same time there is a fictional narrative of a young road crew member sent to take a can gas to a truck that is broken down. This young man finds himself caught in a showdown between what appears to “anarchists” and the police. I am not going to try to explain it any more than that. I have even done web searches trying to piece together without obtaining any “satisfaction”.

Metallica is one of those bands that invoke a “Love/Hate” relationship. This is especially true amongst their own fans. They have had their “Highs” and “Lows”. What I find interesting about them (besides the music) is their willingness to attempt things that appear to “be outside their own scope or grasp”. Example, The S/M live album where they were able to balance their music while performing with a symphony orchestra.  Or their cover of a Bob Segar song that almost makes it one of their own in a sense. I like seeing how people evolve in how and what they create. I just realized I have been listening to them since I “discovered” them around 1983/84 when I first heard them on a local college radio station. College radio stations in the early 80’s really used to play about anything back then. Then the College Radio Format changed to in the wake of the Alternative Music break out of early 90’s. I do like some of the music but what this did was to let loose “the douche bag music hipster”. You know. The guy playing a band only hand full of people know about and he wants you to hear them to expand “their horizon”. And once they achieve some popularity he goes and “shits” on them because of that popularity. Heavy Metal was peaking then so those stations had to get away from it. Ironic. The stations set up on college campus to “break the rules of format” had to then go establish their own. Was it a good thing? 20 years later it seems to be getting worse on the campuses. And I am not talking about the tuition prices.


Every now and then you hear something unsuspected. And it works.


A Thing that should not be. And yet, there it is.


Heavy Metal is the genre of music in which the articles proclaiming its “death” are always being written. And yet it is one the more “enduring” forms of music around. This is music that one must seek out. It does not get handed to you by the “radio”.

In my younger days, the local paper had the music sales report in the Friday edition. I would see the top list. And when I saw Metal band in there such Iron Maiden it meant something. Mainstream radio and MTV may be ignoring it buy out there were people who were not about to let that stop them. And there were sales numbers to prove it.

Black Sabbath is clearly the big part of the foundation of what is Metal music. blacksabbathmanWhen I was growing up this band was the clear “whipping post” for people who feared their music. I wish I could go back in a time machine and announce, “In the future, Ozzy is going to be better known for a time as  a “TV Dad” and when it happened. The Earth DOES NOT BLOW UP. The guy you should have feared is the one running through the airport in Hertz car rental commercials. No one saw that coming.”

I like this song from the Masters of Reality album


In a genre, that gets criticized for making its listeners supposed to “turn off their minds and be subservient.” And they have the lines, “Is you mind so small? That you have to follow the pack where ever they roam.”

Or when the original members (minus drummer Bill Ward) reunited a couple of years for the album13. And with the placement of “?” at the end of Sigmund Freud’s declaration took that question for a modern day.

Not just Sabbath but many Metal bands the music takes on ideas what is “damnation” and where does “salvation” take place. And where does the line between the two. This probably why organized religion every now and then gets the masses “frenzied” over this music. Besides the louder the music the easier it is to grab attention. The reason is that if any group is going to discuss (or in this case sing) about these ideas then it had better go “though them”. In other words, “This is OUR territory. SO STAY OUT OF IT.”

I just want to say. I know there is “Extreme” content within this genre. Please do not ask about the Norwegians. Although the Botswanas’ are peaking an interest for me. Most of it is not for me. I just find it so “over the top” that it almost borders on being a “parody” of itself. And for me a lot of it really does not “distinguish” itself as being any different from one to the next. Plus, I believe in “free speech” to the point where “shut the fuck up” is not a phrase that I use when it comes to those I disagree with. I just change the station and move on.

There are two types of people I feel pity for when it comes to music. The one who’s taste never “evolves” and is stuck in only one genre. I really feel sad, for the other type who “gave up their music collection” in order to achieve admission into adulthood. Which more times than not meant the wife hated the music and they have kids.  However, I do believe there is a time and place for everything. Blasting Motorhead at naptime will cause trouble.

This is the opening to album Angel of Retribution featuring that “Banshee Wail” of Rob Halford. And the dueling lead guitars made the sound of the Judas Priest distinct.

When it comes to live music I feel there is a difference between a “performance” and being able to “perform”. The first being able to lip synch and dance. The second being able to play. Iron Maiden’s members are now in their late 50’s, early 60’s and still going. This clip is how they start a show.  I cannot see Justin being able to do this in 30 years.


I never know why this band got labeled as “dumb”. Their references to mythological and historical references made me want to read and research them. I had to start with the 1979 edition of the encyclopedia set my parents had. Here I am a teenager in the 80’s and had “older” information as a starting point. I cannot explain to a teenager today how much finding information was complete “manual labor”. A trip to the library, the card catalog and walking up and down aisles to find out the book had been checked out by someone else. Another “point of contention” teachers who discredited what I was reading based on the source that got me interested in reading to begin with. Once again, teachers are another group that hates outsiders moving in on their territory. “We shall be the only ones to dispense knowledge based on our approved reading list.”

I also wanted to say that I saw many in high school who did indeed act like Beavis and Butthead. It was a stereotype that was embarrassing. I never knew why they had to ingest a lot drugs and alcohol before a concert to the point they forgot what happened at the concert. I had a paper route then and made about $30/ week. And that $15-20 ticket was half my pay. There was no way I was “incoherent” for the concert. I also had to sleep on the sidewalk to be able to buy the ticket. I was not going to waste that effort either.

I like the latest Mastodon album Once More ‘Round the Sun. I like the music video for the single High Road.


The narrative of the video shows that music like this will always be drawn towards by the “awkward”.

Soundgarden’s album Superunkown is the one get all the attention because it is there biggest selling one. However, the one that really does it for me is the previous one Badmotorfinger.  This is the song that is resonating with me a bit more now.

Do you ever find yourself in a room of people who know well? Or you used to know well? And you realize that time has a “disproportionate” in distance amongst those you find there. The “historical timeline” has taken a turn that may not be coming back.

This song from Tool in a way relates to the message of the previous Soundgarden song. It is found on the Lateralus  album.


I think the title relates to something I am currently in the midst of sifting through. “I know the pieces fit”. But the reality is they no longer “fit” like they did. Things have definitely shifted. They are being “reassembled” into a new configuration. It is hard to say. But. If the only thing holding your relationship (whether it is a person, place or thing) is because of having a “history” then it is most likely for the most part over with.

One of the things that happens where I live in Western New York region is I get music from Canadian radio stations. Canada has a rule that their radio stations must have 60% of the music performed by Canadian artists. So I get a lot of rock bands from the region on the playlist. Many of those bands play the Buffalo region to decent side crowds. But here is the part that drives me nuts. The local Buffalo stations do not play most of that music at all. Exception being Rush. However, when you go to the concert those same radio stations will plaster the venue with advertisement that they are sponsoring the concert. This is the latest song from The Headstones.


I find it healthy to play music that has to be turn up a bit. It also clears the room. And that lets you know who your real “allies” are. People who are willing to listen to this music are the ones who are more “open-minded”. And just more “willing”.



Love/hate is all the same. In the end, it is a “zero sum” game between the two. And this is the song for it.




And then there are the times when I just listening to the music to either get refocused or to decompress. People usually tell me that I am a “bad mood” when I am doing this. It is usually the ones who never take the time to understand anyways. So why waste time trying to convince them otherwise.

Henry Rollins may have retired for the most part from playing music. However, it still has many spots in my playlist. It still works for me. And I like the Taxi Driver reference in this final video.

Posted in Human St(r)ain, Listening To, Music | Leave a comment