Let the idiot be heard!

Welcome to my blog-thing, where I record and share my creative endeavors.

Every pixel, drawing, song, music clip, poem, musing, rant or rave are all things that have fallen out of my brain, with the exception of a few songs which were collaborative efforts. There are millions of people already out there that do an infinitely better job at aggregating neat stuff far better than I ever could, so I’m not even going to try.

I’m just here to clutter the Internet up with new stuff. Because, you know, the Internet always needs more stuff. Although I’m sure to fail spectacularly at providing at least one thing you like, I will always be here trying, writing, playing, drawing, and rhyming.

I. My Art

This is a collection of things I’ve drawn from all the way back in 6th grade up until present. Click on my prismacolor drawing to the right to see more.

All of my “art” is done in pencil, ink or prismacolor. (I’ve recently been trying to digitally color things)

    see my “art” gallery
    read about my “artwork”

I hope you see something you like.

Julia Roberts Portrait Attempt

what:prismacolor (black) when:Mar 16, 2012

II. My Music

Most of the music for now is just little bass jingles I’ve recorded over the years, however, there are a few completed songs with help from others.

I play bass, guitar (acoustic, classical, 12 string), piano, drums and I record.

And I suck at all of them.

    about my music

A few samples are to the right.

sample bass jingle
Happy” (bass solo)
The Impossible Gift” (piano)
A Better Time” (full song)
III. My Writing

Who doesn’t write nowadays? I’ve got all kinds of garbage just spilling out of my decrepit, emaciated brain. I attempt to write goodly things like thoughts, poems, musings, philosophy and opinions.

You know, the stuff you don’t wanna read.

Anyway, there’s all sorts of goodies just waiting to be ignored. Which, in all honesty, you prolly should.

Except for, iunno, maybe this. You might like it.

poetry
social commentary
my quotes
my stupid guide to life with too many words

If you ever get lost, or confused as I always find myself to be, be sure to check out the tabs at the very top of this page, or the category links to the right.

At any rate, I hope you find something here that you like. Enjoy your visit!

[every single piece of creative media on this site is original (to the best of my knowledge) unless explicitly stated for a specific piece. Please do not steal, plagiarize, mutilate, bend, fold or eat. For external use only. Thank you.]

Goodbye, Hugh

As I embark on this music journey, I felt it appropriate to christen my trip with a send-off to the man who nudged my boat out of drydock, Hugh Ferguson.

As I look forward to what may come, I will never forget to look back on occasion to remember the man who not only told me it was possible, but instilled within me also the notion of playing for playing’s sake, critics be damned.

This piece, like many things from my heart, is of course flawed; but at least I can say it is sincere. It is a guitar tapping solo played on the high e and b strings. I couldn’t tell you the name of a single note I play or what key it is in, if it’s even in a key.

Listen to “Goodbye, Hugh”

Getting back on that music horse… (music upload)

After being bucked off the music horse when Hugh passed, I’ve been slowly — but surely — working myself back up onto that very same horse. In an attempt to do so, the mentor baton has been passed from Hugh to Jake Hill, another heavy-hitting audio pro from Nashville. He’s picked up teaching me how to produce music like Hugh did. The lessons are going great and figured one way to get back into making music is to share what we’ve been working on. It does no good collecting dust on my hard drive, right?

Click this thing to hear what we’ve been up to:
Sunset Sneakers

I laid down the bass and the guitar tracks, sent it off to Jake and he laid down a drum track with some killer organ. He sent it back to me and showed me how to glue it all together. I can’t think of anything else to do with it, so it’s more or less “ok,” or “done-ish,” for now.

Enjoy!

The Valley of the Shadow of Death: The Big Question

When Hugh died, I was left to process some pretty heavy stuff.  As a result, it nearly killed me as well — had I not reached out to the appropriate channels when I did.  Hopefully this explains the vile posts and the hole I fell in several months ago which I am only now finding myself slowly but surely crawling out from.

When my mother passed back in May of 2000, it was a matter of course.  You see, she had a very rare form of terminal cancer that was only held fast by a unique and risky type of procedure.  Because of this intervention, we knew that each day we had with her could easily be the last.  This, of course, cast a pall on everything except her.

It was when she died that a very troubling, disturbing and very real scenario presented itself; a scenario I’m sure not too many people have had the pleasure of observing.  Here’s what it was:

My mother was a devout Catholic.  Her faith was palpable.  It was by God’s will that she had survived each and every day.  She also had enough Near Death Experiences walking with Jesus himself in heaven to galvanize her love of the Holy Trinity beyond any shadow of any doubt.  Her faith became stronger each day she woke up alive.

My father on the other hand is a militant atheist, well, except for those times when he conjures God just long enough to deliberately blaspheme Him out of spite.  If there is a god, there is no more hatred anywhere on this earth than in my father’s heart for God.  My dad would say the most unbelievably blasphemous stuff I have YET to hear ANYONE say ANYTHING like it in person, on TV, in the news or in the movies.

“Animate that clay, and then promptly SMITE it because it did exactly what you knew it would do because you’re God and you know everything.”  That’s the tamest one I can think of.  (This line of thinking, incidentally, leads to some very disturbing revelations when you apply it to, say, a war, or a particularly brutal dictator.)

My mother’s love for my father was literally unbelievable.  My father’s love for my mother was equal if not moreso.  He belied a profoundly tender and gentle nature frequently with a cantankerous exterior.  When he tended to her afflictions, there was no question you were in the presence of an ancient soul — whether you believed in reincarnation or not — who truly, and honestly, and deeply understood exactly what love really was.

I do believe the friends I have left can attest to my testimony above.  Now, let’s begin.

My mom dies. Splat. Now what? Ask yourself logically WHAT MUST NECESSARILY HAPPEN?

We assume that my mom goes to heaven.  Yay.  But what happens to my dad?  Remember, we’re not dealing with a passive agnostic here, we’re dealing with a deliberate blasphemer who will NEVER accept God or Jesus or Allah or Shiva or whatever, simply on the basis that all human suffering exists because of whatever you want to believe created us.

We must assume that he goes to hell, right?  Now think about this: If we assume my mother is in heaven and we assume that she loved my dad, then we must assume she is in heaven AND she is waiting for her beloved.

If we assume that they are honest in heaven, then, when my dad passes, my mother is going to get The Bad News. “Sorry, your husband isn’t coming..”  Now, how can heaven continue to be heaven for my mom?  If you knew you’d never see your beloved again — and worse — knew that they were going to roast for all eternity, what kind of heaven would that be for you?

They can’t just conjure a simulacrum of my father for her benefit either, because that would be deception, a tool of Satan.  If they do conjure a phantom for her, then God does the devil’s work.  Period.  Either that, or get accustomed to lies being “a thing” in heaven.

Oh, but God’s love is so encompassing, you’ll forget all your life’s loves for His Eternal Glory will burn away everything you’ve ever loved down here on earth.  Well, then don’t bother loving anyone — it won’t matter in the long run, after all.  And this logical argument necessarily destroys the sanctimony of marriage.  Be a dick to your fellow man, so long as your love for God is true all will be right.  No wonder the world is in such sorry shape.  There is no incentive for human beings to be good to one another following this logic and it would  therefore be reasonable to assume that this premise becomes a fundamental argument when we justify the pain we inflict upon one another.

And if they let my dad in (remember, miracles are God’s work, after all) for my mom’s benefit, then he gets off on a technicality.  You can hate on God all you want, just make sure someone out there really, really loves you.  The logic here hurts my brain.

And finally, my dad cannot be in heaven AND hell at the same time.  This one is important because it illustrates religion’s capacity to adhere to logic.

As we can clearly see, The Whole Fucking Thing begins to simply fall apart.  Everything gets called into question and any sense religion could offer utterly disintegrates under this scenario.  Permanently.  This isn’t some theoretical situation I conjured out of the aether just for the hell of it, like that stupid “can God make a rock so heavy he can’t lift it?” thing; this is a very real scenario that I was forced to process when my mom died.

What all this essentially boils down to, is that if there is some kind of God, then this entity is ultimately unknowable until time of death.  And even then, we still may not know.

I stuffed it in the back of my head and ignored it for the most part.  That is, until my best friend’s step-mom died.  Then I had to process it again to a degree until I could beat it back down to a point where I could comfortably ignore it. 

And then Hugh died.

But this time, I had begun to notice, that if there is a God, he seems intent on culling the gems from this earth with a ferocity and efficiency equal only to his propensity to replace them with no end of awful, miserable, wretched people.  It’s as if the genuinely decent, beautiful people are not supposed to be here…like, they managed to slip through some kind of perverse quality assurance team whose sole purpose is to ensure people like that don’t make it here.  The rest of us are varying degrees of borderline, but they seem to be made to be promptly undone, like an editor swiftly backspacing over a typo.  The moment decency is detected, the gremlins are dispatched post haste.  And if you’re a good person reading this, congratulations! They haven’t found you … yet.

I’m beginning to find my own meaning in things now.  But they are coming from within…from within my heart and my mind.  And I am beginning to accept that when the questions matter, and I mean really matter, we simply cannot know. 

That is something I can have faith in.

For anyone who has read this far, and/or cares, I hope I can be better understood with what I have said.  There is a reason for all things, and there are reasons why I am who I am.

I will hopefully get back to posting regularly scheduled derp.  For all those who have hung in there with me…thanks.

 

Understanding Death & Coping With Grief

Anyone who claims to understand death has either a forked tongue in your ear or a crucifix at your throat.

The less we understand a thing, the louder and emptier the psalms become; and the louder we cry, the more deafening the silence.

Nay, no solace may be found within scripture, or within the contrived meaninglessness it advocates. Nor will it be found within the calcified hubris of academia, which, ironically became the very thing it sought to destroy. For, when it comes time to explain why those whom the world needs the most are seemingly extricated from us with surgical precision and swift prejudice, we’re left with what we started with: nothing. Both clergy and laboratory become uncomfortably similar in that they merely proffer masterfully articulated answers to questions that were never asked.

No, the meaning of death is just like the meaning of life; understood only from within.

In this regard, the failings of both scripture and formula alike are truly spectacular…do not seek meaning within either.

Seek meaning within yourself and incorporate that meaning into the very fiber of your being.

Do not let those whom the world lost be truly lost to the world. So long as we carry them with us throughout our daily lives, we ensure that the world comes to know who exactly it was that made it a better place to begin with.

People only die if we truly let them.

We Will Ultimately Pay For The Time We Think We’re Saving

So I was thinking again…yeah, that really bad thing I do that winds up costing me friends. I have the most important meeting of my entire career tomorrow, and I’m trying to meditate during the calm before the storm, and I figured it was time to jaunt down something that’s been rattling around my empty head now for a coupla months.

And that something I’ve been thinking about happens to be time, and how we just don’t have any of it anymore. Who has time for anything nowadays? Kids, deadlines, chores, this, that, the other thing. It never ends…we wake up, and a few blurs later, it’s time for bed. The day is gone, poof, forever. Just gone in a sea of busy, busy, busy.

However, if you stop and look carefully around you – at nature, at life, at energy and mass, and things of that sort, you begin noticing something. Well, at least I have. And that something is this:

You can’t cheat. You can’t cut corners. You can’t conjure an advantage out of thin air. Nature will equalize all our efforts to cut her “Conservation of Energy” corners. It’s going to be tricky explaining this, so I need to be very careful with how I do so, so please bear with me.

Let’s say, for the sake of providing an effective analogy, I live my entire life eating McDonald’s. I eat this fast food morning, noon and night for breakfast lunch and dinner. Now, just bear with me here, as I’m simply describing an analogy for the sake of illustrating my thought clearly. I eat this food because it is extremely convenient; it saves me time, money (well, sort of) and effort. I can eat on the go, in my car, or right there at the shack, very quickly and conveniently so I can get back to doing all that stuff that necessitates eating quickly.

What this means is, in terms of not being able to cheat, is that, in the long run, this will ultimately cost me MORE time later on than I think I’m saving today. Let’s say that I save 1,000 hours over my lifetime by eating McDonald’s every day. All those hours were obviously saved by not shopping, preparing, cooking, eating properly and doing the dishes afterwards. What a pain in the ass! Who has time for that?!? But think about this: by eating McDonald’s every day – to save time, mind you – how much time will I lose at the doctor’s office? Sick days? Falling ill? Hospital visits? Possible bypass surgery and time spent in the hospital? What about the time I lose by simply being dead?

And all for what? So I could get back to whatever it was that was so important I’m willing to literally kill myself over it? What could possibly be so important that you’d be willing to kill yourself over doing it?

We have to make the time, folks…somehow, and someway, time must be made, because all that time we think we’re saving ourselves is doing the EXACT opposite of saving time. Those time-saving corners we’re cutting are going to cost us more time than the time-saving corner cutting was supposed to yield in the first place. Nature tends to equalize things – you can’t get something from nothing, you can’t conjure energy from nowhere, and she is always there, waiting to bring equilibrium to any system she finds any irregularity in. If you’re not spending the the you’re supposed to be spending making your food, nature will find a way to spend it for you. You’re gonna have to pay for it ANYWAY…may as well pay for it on YOUR terms.

For some reason, I know this in my gut as one of those “truths.” So, I am now very cautious about illusory advantages…I now ask myself, are there any strings attached? What’s the catch? There’s always a catch, and that catch is There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. And if there is, it is likely too good be true…perhaps this is the reason why that statement fundamentally exists.

Anyway, that’s the dumb thing that’s sort of been on my dumb mind lately in between all the work, chaos, depression and what-not.

I’m still here..

Hello, blog…it certainly has been a while, hasn’t it? This’ll just be an update sort of explaining a little bit about what’s been going on lately, and my recent absenteeism.

A coupla weeks back, my Windows Vista machine finally forced my hand, by doing something incredibly retarded. I had been having difficulties so extreme with that operating system, I basically couldn’t use my computer – I didn’t WANT to use it, as Vista had this magical way of turning the most trivial of work-related tasks into colossal ordeals which taxed my time, patience and sanity.

My Vista box finally did something so incredibly retarded, it served as the final straw which broke the back of my tolerance camel, and I was forced to get a new computer – a new computer that I couldn’t really afford.

So, I was going through the motions of loading all my old software onto my new machine when something happened. It was time to load my music/studio/recording software and get my “recording studio” set back up on my new machine. On my Windows Vista machine, I had been using Cubase as my recording software. However, Hugh used Sonar to record his music, and one of the really big important things we were going to do, was, when the time finally came for me to ditch Vista for Windows 7, I was going to get Sonar so our music files would be the same format. Hugh was also going to show me how to use it like a pro, and give me lessons on how to get the right speakers for recording working, how to use the equalizing software he uses, and then ultimately collaborate using the native software he liked.

This was one of the biggest and most amazing things I was looking forward to..having the master show me how he worked his magic, so moving from Cubase to Sonar upon a new Windows 7 machine was sort of a big deal for me. And I had thought that we always had the time…maybe after work took off we could really grind on it…I was really looking forward to picking his brain, and having the privilege of working with a true, gifted master..I was finally going to learn how to do honest-to-goodness real music. Inside and out.

Needless to say, I haven’t loaded anything. I stopped drawing…I stopped writing, and work came down like the Hammer of Thor on me the past of weeks. I’ve been tasked with essentially filling his shoes in the company at an executive level. So, his passing not only fucked me up in my personal life, his passing also did a number on my professional life as well. I’ve been forced to grow, and mature prematurely in ways that I have no genetic predisposition for: the responsibility, the image, the management, addressing and speaking with affluence to billionaires and directly collaborating with high-caliber business people to help them broker high-level deals.

That was all Hugh’s domain…I don’t have his wisdom, charisma and experience, and now I’m finding that I’m being forced into a position that demands – somehow – doing what he did, not because I like it, or because I’m good at it, but because I HAVE TO. Sure, at some point, I would like to naturally grow as a person and maybe mature NATURALLY into the myriad of executive roles he held, but being thrust into it with nary a life-preserver has been a bit much, on top of all the personal affectations his passing inflicted upon my life. We could not have asked for a more perfect CIO…Hugh was razor-sharp, disarmingly friendly, super magnetic and personable and HIGHLY technical. He had mad skills in a suit and in the trenches. He could talk the talk AND walk the walk (he did the math in aerospace engineering by programming the EDM machines with all that scary angular math and geometry)…there is just no way he could ever, EVER be replaced.

The Vista => Win7 => music thing snapped something in my brain, and I fell into a spot of depression, desperately trying to keep my head above water with work. So, between the two, the drawing simply stopped, the writing stopped, and basically everything stopped. I was using art, writing and music to help cope with the depression, but something about the Cubase => Sonar thing just tripped something up in my brain. Do I install Cubase…or do I get Sonar…? Do I even want to look at music again at all?

So, in between getting fried at work, what little down time I’ve had I’ve spent playing Starcraft. Starcraft ONE, mind you, and single player to boot. I came across it loading up my new computer with all my old software, installed it, and I’ve been using it to decompress from life.

Starcraft 1, the original, ancient Starcraft from 1998 has been a sort of “surrogate buddy” for me throughout the years…I played it convalescing from all my major surgeries. It was just engaging enough – and FAMILIAR enough – it was perfect. I was always on painkillers, so I couldn’t really read, or write, or use Cubase to effectively record anything and new, bright and shiny video games were hard to track with the medication. Starcraft was familiar enough to where I could play it through the fog of pain-killers, but yet engaging enough to help get my mind off the pain.

So, I have basically been using Starcraft 1, and it’s single player games to convalesce from the grief…I thought I was doing fine using art, music and writing – this whole blog thing – to manage my grief…but something about not having Hugh around to show me how to be a Sonar master just sort of snapped something inside.

I’m still here, and I will still draw and write and do music an’ stuff…but I think I just a little more time, at least until work lets up a bit.