Half Day

I got up before everyone this morning, as I usually do, following 3 or 4 snooze cycles of Deborah's phone alarm. I brewed coffee and prepared a breakfast of rice gruel. Actually, it wasn't gruel. I am not really sure what to call a bowl of brown rice and sauteed grass fed beef burger.

Foster was up second, slowly descending the stairs and shuffling into the kitchen, his nails clicking on the wood floor of the dining room.

"Are you a good boy?" I asked, hoisting him under one arm so I could administer his glaucoma drops in both eyes. He barely resisted the medication, having learned it is best to just get it over with and take the treat that comes as a reward afterwards.

I filled a bowl with his dog chow and he set about eating it. I finished my rice gruel and poured myself some coffee with cashew milk to "take the edge off." I let Foster outside and then went upstairs to prep for work. Basically this comprised filling my backpack with work clothes and donning bike commuting wear.

The forecast had called for drizzle today with big clouds to the north on the Weather Bug map, but seeing sunshine in the morning, and living only a half mile from work, I biked commuted. A stiff southerly headwind assured me the rain would likely stay far to the north for the time being.

I decided about mid-morning at the office to take a half day in the afternoon. I had a writing group workshop in the evening and my plan had been to do some writing ahead of the meeting. My submissions for group critique were already uploaded to the group file site, but I had a hankering to do some creative writing of my own, perhaps on the subject of my next (and first ever) book.

As it turned out, I bit off a bit more than I could chew in the limited time window. Deborah and I had decided to open a joint checking account together to serve as a kind of "piggy bank" for any random cash we came into, like the $50 we made acting as murder victims in a low budget slasher horror flick a week ago (although we had already spent that windfall on a fancy dinner out at Granite City). But we had $200 bones left over from the sale of Deborah's drum kit and decided to open the account with that as the baseline amount we would always leave in the account.

Opening the account took way longer than anticipated, after which we collected my CSA box at work and on the way home foolishly stopped to check out the Carr Cheese shoppe near Deborah's house. So many cheeses...so little time. We tasted a few, then bought a few. By the time we got home, I still had over an hour before I had to leave for the writing workshop. That wasn't really enough time to do any quality writing (I try to write in 3-4 hour blocks to be more productive). Instead I worked on acoustic guitar and vocals for a setlist of songs I am putting together for some upcoming solo CACTUS JOE shows. I am playing at the Cardinal Bar in Madison for Art Nest on Sunday Rocktober 25 at 4 PM (during a lull in the Mad City Horror Film Fest I am attending for most of that weekend). I am also performing for happy hour at the Bos Meadery in Madison on Rocktober 29 from 6-8 PM. I enjoy performing these somewhat unconventional venues. I am really sick of competing with a million other musicians for limited access to the few quality music venues in Madison. I prefer quality over quantity these days. Plus, I have the whole Internet at my fingertips as a music venue. I can perform in my music room in front of my computer with a nice microphone and camera and broadcast it to basically EVERYONE (assuming everyone can find it).

But I digress. The writing workshop was pretty good. They liked my flash fiction submissions. We also did some exercises, writing impromptu on the spot with some cues from the meeting leader, Adrienne. These turned out OK too. I will probably publish them right here on this blog eventually. That's another great thing about the web and having a blog. I can publish whatever I want, whenever I want, beholden to no one.

Also paid by no one, which is why I get underwriting via my day job employer. It's kind of sad actually. I have so much potential as a writer and musician and so much of it is squandered away laboring to make someone else rich. But plans are in motion to eventually bring to fruition my vision of artistic free agency, the only missing element in an otherwise pretty awesome life.

After I got home from the workshop, I sat down and wrote this post. In a minute, I am going to work on solo acoustic songs some more before I go to bed. Tomorrow is Friday and after I slog through a few grueling hours at the office, my weekend is pretty much wide open and I plan to maximally exploit it for artistic growth...that is after I mow the lawn at my old house, which is still on the market (but has some interest at present), and take care of any other chores, though they should be nominal.

A bike ride or two is definitely in my vision for this weekend. I think a Riley pancake ride on Sunday morning is most definitely "in the cards." Stay tuned, dear readers.

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