2.20.2015

Four Straight Hours of Zen Discipline Starts...NOW!

For the next four (4) hours, starting now, I will be writing. I will not be writing this blog post for that entire span of time. That would be ridiculous. In point of fact, I will be writing this blog post for somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes, most likely, in an effort to warm up my mind for a marathon of homework for my writing class. Optimally, I will finish my homework tonight, or at least generate some decent rough drafts that I can tweak a couple of times before Sunday night, when the assignments are due. There are only two assignments this week (Week 4 of the class), whereas normally there are three. However, the word count is the same (two 750-word exercises vs. three 500-word ones).

The focus this week is on pure non-fiction. The assignment is to generate factual non-fiction that is still interesting and fun to read, but we cannot draw on the tools of creative non-fiction (adding opinion or coloring the truth to embellish factual events). This is a challenging assignment, but I think well within my bailiwick.

I'll take this opportunity to stretch and warm up my mind by telling you about this past week of mine in a non-fictional manner.

It was a light week as far as band practices. In fact, there were no official band practices. As I said in yesterday's blog post, GUPPY EFFECT had a band meeting on Wednesday night, during our regularly scheduled band practice time, to discuss ideas and goals, underwritten by a $50 cash surplus left over from a fairly recent fundraiser show. However, no music was performed. EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE had the week off from practice (normally Tuesday night) in part because we played a gig last Friday night at which we performed all the songs in our repertoire and also to save the bass player, who lives in Kenosha, from having to commute to Madison. The country band, DRIVEWAY THRIFTDWELLERS, did practice last night (Thursday) but not with me. The backup bass player is playing the next two gigs with DWTD, a Johnny Cash fest on Friday February 27 (sorry you will miss that, mom!) and a happy hour set the Tuesday after the Cash Fest, at the High Noon Saloon. I stopped by country band practice last night, but only so I could get my gig money from the show we played last Saturday at the Port Huron Brewery in Wisconsin Dells. I generally do not have band practices on Monday nights, although that will be changing soon, because BABY ROCKET, the cover band, has some fortnightly Monday practices scheduled in anticipation of some summer gigs. However, the last three such practices have been canceled for a variety of reasons, including the one this past Monday. That was fortuitous, because my friend Sherry wanted to hang out after her Jazzercise class. We hadn't gotten together in a while.

Sherry and I cooked a gigantic winter squash of some type that was given to me a few weeks ago by drummer MG from the Funk's Open Jam. I had let one of his side projects use my basement jam space to practice for a show and my payment for that was the squash and some beer.

We cut the massive gourd into four pieces and drizzled the exposed insides with olive oil, as well as some garlic salt and pepper, after disemboweling it of its seeds. Then we baked it for an hour on a cookie sheet Sherry had brought and when they were done, we scraped the delectable mush into bowls and topped it with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. In addition to the squash, I had also whipped up one of my specialty spinach and tofu salads. We watched Netflix while we ate and then Sherry went home.

I had planned to get a start on my writing homework earlier in the week. Things have gotten busy at my day job as a technical writer and I made the discovery that after eight hours pounding out grueling IT policies and procedures, I do not have a lot of brain power left in the evenings to do much other than veg out. Today (Friday) is really no exception. I was at work until almost six PM working on the same project I had been working on all week. However, being that it is Friday and I don't have to be at work tomorrow, I was able to drink some coffee when I got home from work to re-activate my fried neurons. That should power me through these next four hours and even if I can't fall asleep afterwards when I go to bed, that's OK. I will read for a while and whatever time I fall asleep, I know I can sleep in tomorrow because it is Saturday.

I have tomorrow blacked out for writing homework as well, if for some reason I do not get the bulk of it done tonight. But if I do get the bulk of it done tonight, then tomorrow is blacked out for February Album Writing Month (FAWM.org), which I am pathetically behind on (although, one of the three songs I composed so far this year, "Punk Rock Unicorn," did get a very positive write up on a blog that reviews FAWM songs).

Tomorrow night, I have a date, and after that said date and I are going to a rock-n-roll show at the Red Zone rock club in Madison. GOVERNMENT ZERO, one of the other bands Tim from EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE plays in, is opening for a band called CIRCLESWITCH, for whom my buddy Peter (a former GUPPY EFFECT drummer) is the drum tech.

The plan for Sunday is to make Art Pancakes in the morning. In the afternoon, the Madison Skeptics are having what passes for church among atheists at 3 PM, and in the evening, I will attend the Funk's Open Jam, where I hope we will be showcasing some new material, including some Led Zeppelin songs. This is very much wishful thinking, but it will not be for lack of wishful doing on my part, because I will have the bass parts honed by then.



Well, I am pushing my 30 minute time limit here, so I had best get cracking on my writing homework. I will be radio silent until further notice.

Donate some money to my coffee fund on the right. I need it!

Ciao!

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