Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Shawn Robinson (Goat Boy) and I got together last night and jammed for a couple of hours. The product of our jamming was a little pop tune I've entitled "Ephemera" and wrote the lyrics to. I also came up with the chord structure, but Shawn played most of the evening.


Freestand freewheel
jump fly through the air
all rocked out with nowhere to go
and plenty of time to spare

Fool's scam fool's gold
only fools follow the dream
future is past present is gone
nothing is what it seems

Can't be seen by naked eye
gone before you recognize
stigmatize or lionize
It will not be satisfied (2x)

Big man big deal
doesn't matter in the end
all I know is the moment is real
and it's all I can comprehend

Bird on wing butterfly
fleeting moment so soon
faded print and passersby
nothing is ever immune

Chorus -- instrumental break

Doggone dirty deedle doddle de do
Boom shocka beedle de bay
rim rocking ride in the afternoon
burning off another day

Grow so fast someday I'll be old
hair growing out of my ears
bury me deep in the ground so cold
after I have used up all my years

Chorus -- outro

But Shawn won't go with me to Mary's Place, where they have open stage, because he had too many bad experiences there. Said he tried to get up there for open stage and it was too cliquey, and they would only let their friends play, and they would play for an hour at a time. So I have my apprehensions about the experience. Esther says she'll come with me, and I guess I'll have to tell the guys that run open stage that I have to get up early in the morning, so let me play.

I wasn't called in to sub today, so instead finished reading Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls," and also edited part of what is going to be a guidebook for the Ice Age Trail. Sharon Dziengel is working on the project and asked for my editorial assistant. So we have brainstormed together on editorial and layout matters, but the overall project is her baby. Glad to help out anywhere I can. Also went to the YMCA and worked out for a little over an hour. Stepped on the scale and I haven't lost or gained any weight in the five weeks I've been going regularly. Must alter my diet, I guess, if I'm to totally lose the gut and experience significant weight loss. That's the real, real tough part. But I feel fit and yesterday when I wore my dress pants I had to move the belt up an extra notch. So frickin' way am I starving myself to lose weight. Maybe I could string together a few low-calorie days. Enough of this talk of diet. Too effeminate for me.

I gotta admit I'm somewhat depressed, but also elated I worked out my first original song in like forever. When I was a regular church-goer I wrote a devotional song, but have since misplaced lyrics and forgotten the melody. This is my first finely-crafted pop tune, complete with bridge and outro, verse, chorus, etc. Only thing it could really use is an intro. Fun again to fuss around with music. But not working today for school district brings up age old concern about money. Maybe the itinerant nature of my employment will force me to live frugally. But typical me, with the promise of fundage, I spent money frivolously over the weekend. Or, if not frivolously, certainly without care (ahh, simile humor).

I must be careful attending all these open stages to avoid spending too much on drink. I was good last Wednesday at Lungo's Landing, nursing a $2 beer. Would like to attend one of these and spend no money. Hey, they say in the newspaper it is free.

Also this afternoon I interviewed the Winnebago County Administrator re: a story on the public safety referendum article I'm working on for the Beloit Daily News. Still want to write for magazines and do more creative writing. Alas, to never be satisfied is one of the hallmarks of capitalism! But the referendum story pays $25 and is due tomorrow. I'm still expecting a check from the BDN for the three stories I wrote for Stateline Business. In the works: an environmental story for a literary magazine in Rockford that doesn't pay diddly, and a $100 short story contest, also in Rockford, that I have to pay $5 to enter. Everybody's a writer. Few know how to write, including nascent me.

Childhood Memory

I used to attend church and Sunday school at North Love Baptist Church. I also went to their school in the week. It's where I first met my wife, Esther, when we attended pre-school through second grade together. She transferred to another school her junior year.

But on Sundays they drive all around Rockford to pick up children and take them to church. Still do, in fact, driving these beat-up red and white painted school buses. And they'd corral all us kiddies into the gymnasium for the lesson. And sometimes there'd be so many kids you couldn't make any sense what the instructor was saying. They'd try to impose order, but the gym is so echoey, even two talking kids out of the hundred could drown out the Good Word. Plus, you know how kids are, all fidgety and crazy. So I don't remember much of the lessons. I do remember hanging out under the bleachers looking for spare change meant for the offering that would drop out of kids' pockets. That, and once tripping over the accordion bars that held the stands up so hard I saw stars through my tears and had a big welt on my ankle that was three shades of purple.

The only other distinct memory I have is when they would throw out candy to the kids, there'd be such a scramble and kids would fly over each other in the mad grab. Once I got a whole pack of zebra stripe bubble gum and this little black girl in a pretty yellow dress and tight ponytails with rubber bands that had what looked like marbles tied to them keeping her braids in place punched me in the mouth hard and took the gum away from me without looking.

And the lesson I learned then wasn't about the golden rule or suffer the little children, but that sometimes even cute little black girls can pack a wallop. And that Sunday school is all about noise and greed and craziness and none of the good lessons those crazy Baptists were trying to impart to us.

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