You Do You(Or Whatever)

It’s Thursday night and I’m enjoying a couple pints and listening to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. It’s a brand new piece of vinyl that I procured just this afternoon. First Flight To Tokyo : The Lost 1961 Recordings to be precise. It’s stunning. I never really got into Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers because I always lumped them into “old timey” jazz. Big band stuff that wasn’t “cool” or “hip”. Of course once I heard “Moanin'” I realized what an idiot I’d been and now I’m on the Messengers train and never gonna look back.

I’ll talk more about this amazing album another time. Right now I just want to lay something on you that’s been on my mind lately. I’m less than two years from 50-years old. I’m past over-the-hill and am currently on a comfortable descent into the fall of my life. Burnt-orange leaves and falling pine needles and the continuous raking of the mess that comes with life moving on whether I’m ready or not. I’m a middle-aged neurotic that worries about everything and can’t even relax in my own living room unless things are picked up and tidy. That first pint can’t be enjoyed on Friday evening until the floor has been swept, shelves dusted, bathrooms cleaned, and a candle lit. That’s me. I was raised in a clean house. I was born of mild-OCD tendencies and I’m good with that. I love Friday night for that.

What I’m getting at is that you should follow your own vibes. You should never delay a passion or an interest because you think it’s silly or not practical. Fuck practical. Practical never made you tingle. Practical never opened your brain and dumped love and passion in it. You can be practical, but you have to feed the passion. And that passion can be anything. Take up painting, write a novel, learn to play the drums, take night classes, throw a pot, smoke some pot, or rewatch Lost from the beginning. I don’t care what it is, just don’t delay scratching that itch in your brain.

I want to start painting. I started back in 2020 and loved it. I’ve got everything I need(except for maybe talent?), but I’ve been putting it off. A couple weekends ago the wife and I sat at the dining room table and painted with watercolors on paintable postcards. It was an amazing way to spend two hours. It’s lit that artistic fire under my arse and I’m ready to go for it.

Self Portrait in watercolors on a postcard

I’m also planning to start a podcast with one of my oldest friends. We tried it a few years ago but after maybe three episodes it petered out. This time it’s going to be off the cuff conversations over the phone. He’s living in Bessemer, MI which is about 9 hours away. I bought a handheld digital recorder to record these conversations on and we’re just going to go for it. We have a lot to talk about and when we just riff it’s pretty damn funny and real and amazing.

I also want to write more. Not just about albums, but more stuff about my life. More stories from my childhood, both good and bad and indifferent. I also want to talk to more artists. I love interviewing and learning about what makes musicians tick. I know what makes me tick(anxiety, fear, and an overactive imagination), but I want to know what makes artists I admire tick.

Last but not least I want to dig into writing, playing, and recording more music. I’m becoming a guitar nerd all over again. I want to buy a Gibson SG Standard and a Fender Tele. Those are really the last two piecs to my guitar puzzle. I had a Fender Tele for almost 20 years but sold it to help send my oldest to Canada on a school trip in 2017. I’d like to fill that guitar void. And the Gibson SG? Well, Angus Young, Frank Zappa,Tony Iommi, and Clapton in Cream I have to blame for that.

What I’m getting at here is don’t waste another minute putting off something your itching to do, learn, or dive into. The end is gonna be here before we know it. Don’t waste another minute just doing the thing. Be responsible in your life, but don’t forget you’re a person with wants, needs, likes, loves, and passions. Don’t deny yourself. Nobody loves a martyr, despite what religious zealots say. Open your head and heart and let something new in. Or dig out that old passion and ignite it once again.

Love every minute, and don’t waste a drop.

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