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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday

Hey everybody welcome to what I am going to call "The Stream". I hope that you are well. I am not sure what is going on but I am sure that what you are going to be getting from me on Sunday is a little experiment I am going to call "Stream of Consciousness Sunday" or "The Stream" for short. I am going to put on a playlist that I use at work when I am doing data entry and I am going to write for a while. I am not sure for how long and I have no idea what I will be writing about. I just know that I am going to be writing and whatever flows from the depths of my soul and out of my fingertips is going to end up in the blog. I will be going back and fixing spelling errors and things of that nature but as far as grammar goes that is about it for me. So once a week prepare yourself to have your mind blown as I spray my wisdom all over you. Welcome to.........



                                         THE STREAM


Today was a pretty good day. Actually the whole weekend has been pretty good. The day started off with a little bit of Bundesliga (German Soccer) followed by the EPL (English Soccer) and for me any day that starts off with some European soccer is a good day. So I enjoyed my coffee and watched a couple of good matches and then I journeyed down to the Broadway Coffeehouse and met my parents for Sunday brunch. There are not a lot of great choices in Salem. Unlike Portland which is filled with amazing places to brunch. I would say that Salem has less than 10 places that really serve a good brunch. They are good though do not get me wrong. I am not complaining I am just trying to show you the realities of the brunch experience in Salem. So after a tasty bacon and egg brunch I headed over to Archive for some coffee and to visit with my friends that work there. I do not need to tell you stories of Archive as I am sure most people are bored to tears already. But suffice it to say that if you want a good solid cup of black coffee or a traditional macchiato in  Salem you can't go wrong by getting it at Archive. If you want something blended or icy and full of cream then find someplace else to go. They are not the place for you. I do not say that to be rude but just to say that if you are looking for a cream filled and blended drink there are plenty of other coffee houses that would be glad to serve you. I would hate for you to go to Archive and leave disappointed. That is all. 

So after spending some time drinking and chatting. Oh! Also being introduced to an amazing local band named 'Will O' The Wisp' and I just can't even say enough about this band. I was literally moved to tears as this music filled me. Now I am moved to tears by lots of things but that does not make it any less special when it happens. I do not know of anyway to say it anymore clear then to say that I fucking love this band. 



Do yourself a favor and sit quietly, close your eyes and just listen to it. Please. 

I think that it is impossible for me to end on anything better then this. So good. Have a great day folks. 


Sunday, August 02, 2015

Keeping It Going

Trying to get back in the habit of writing regularly may be harder to do than I thought that it was going to be. It isn't that I do not want to write because I do but I am not sure what I really have to say. Things are going well right now. I am not angry about things and often I am able to use anger as fuel for my writing but honestly more and more I feel like that is not good blogging and is really the easy way out. It is easy to be snarky and sarcastic and often just plain mean. If you spend much time around the internet looking at and reading different blogs you really start to notice a pattern of mean spiritedness in the more popular blogs and often the more popular the blog the meaner the blogger and the meaner the commentators as well.

I am just not that person and I do not desire to be. It isn't that I do not think that there are rights and wrongs or that I do not have an opinion on things. I totally do. But I also know that I do not know everything and that is okay. It seems like when I read these different blogs what drives them is this idea that they have an answer for everything and that their answer is the only correct one. Maybe they are right and they do have it all figured out. But I do not. I know what works for me but that doesn't mean it is going to work for you or anyone else.

This is where I meander for a while because I am not sure what I am trying to say with this or even what my intentions are. Perhaps I said all that I needed to say last week and there isn't anything more to say. What makes me think that people are really all that interested in my musings in the first place? Though I do get good feedback and that always makes me feel nice. It is an interesting process because while I rarely get actual comments on the blog itself I do actually often get comments on my facebook page or people send me messages which I like. I think that the majority of my readers know me in real life so that is kind of cool as well. At least it is for me. It is nice to know that some people are actually reading what I am putting down. Not that I do it for the feedback but it is still nice to have some.

I purchased this little beauty on Friday


I am not sure if it is a boy banjo or a girl banjo as it has not told me its name but I am looking forward to learning how to play it. I have been a fan of bluegrass for a long time but I hadn't ever held a banjo until July 4th at a neighborhood party and after doing so I really felt like I should get one. I do not think that there is ever a wrong time to pick up an instrument and that you are never too old or too young to do it.


That is one of the masters of the banjo a Mr Roy Clark. I will never be that good. But I am going to have fun and for me that is all that really matters to me. So far I have really enjoyed the process and I haven't done much at all but just work on some drills that I am supposed to be doing. No chords just drilling in open G over and over again. It helps hat I like the sound of the banjo as I play it that is for sure. Who know maybe one day you will at least get to hear me play. Be well this week folks and take care of yourself and others around you.

Thanks for taking the time to visit and to read. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Starting All Over Again....



Hey everybody. I haven't written anything for awhile and I suppose that is actually a good thing. It usually happens when I am working and staying busy and it means that I am spending less time inside my head. The thing is I miss writing. I like it. I like telling stories I like opening myself up to peoples opinions and thoughts. I like being transparent. So I am going to work on doing this at least once a week for now and hopefully I can get back into the rhythm of doing this on a regular basis. I think that it is a healthy thing for me.

I am not unhappy. I am fully aware that for some of my readers this may be a little to "woo hoo" for you. But this is my reality and it is working for me. It has been basically 5 years since I got divorced and a little over 2 years since my friend committed suicide and in dealing with those events I basically lost my way. But one of the ways that I found to get back on my feet was meditation and reading some books by both Pema Chodron and Elizabeth Lesser. The books are "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron and "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser. Now I can't speak for anyone else. I can only speak for myself and for myself these books along with some unexpected friendships that I stumbled into at Broadway Coffeehouse healed me or I should say started me on this path that I feel is healing me.

I meditate now and I focus on loving others and trying to do what I can to take peoples pain away. I try to be the kind of person that leaves people happy to see me. I want people to feel loved and cared for when I am around them. I want them to know that they have value and are accepted by me regardless of gender or skin color or ethnicity. Oh sure I make mistakes but this is what I strive for. I try to live in the present without to many expectations for the future. I try to not say no to opportunity and to new experiences. I have realized that it is okay to say that "I do not know". I have realized that I do not have to know. In fact all that I feel like I have to do is to live authentically and to love others. It has become very boiled down for me to the simplest of things and it is working for me. At my core I really do just love people. I always have but also I was always a little afraid to be honest about the intensity of my feelings for people.

But those days are over. I love people and I strive to love people. I hug people I place my hands upon them and I do so intentionally with the desire to show them that I love them. If I could I would send my love energy through my hands and into them. I want them to feel my love for them without reservation and without worrying about the social structures and filters that society has put in our way. I drive a van for a running team in the neighborhood that I like to call home and so far we have done Hood to Coast and the Wild Rogue Relay and I love those experiences because the close proximity and lack of sleep really tears those walls down and people get to know each other in a deeper way. I would highly encourage everyone to try to take part in such an experience if they can. It is worth it.

That is all for tonight folks and I hope that some of you have stuck through all of my ramblings and it wasn't a TLRD for you. If I can I want to leave you with this and that is that I love you. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing. I love you. If you need someone to talk to or someone to scream out or just a hug do not hesitate to message me. I will do what I can for you. Do not worry about shocking me or driving me away. Be well and hopefully we can visit again soon.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Musings

Today was the first day of my third week of work and it went well. It is nice to be back working and to be on a schedule and I find agreeable. But if I had one concern it is that I am having a hard time figuring out how I can do my writing. I am hoping that Monday afternoon and evenings are going to be a time that I can devote to writing and listening to music and continuing to explore my journey through life on both a physical and emotional level. Now, I realize that this may or may not be interesting to some of you. But, I also realize that as far as I am concerned I need to have the freedom of writing to express myself and that by writing I am able to keep myself sane. Writing allows me to get the voices out of my head and allows me to say things that I am not always able to say and for that I am profoundly grateful. I do not know how people live who are unable to have an outlet like I have.


Pretty Girl from Feltre - The Avett Brothers

Today is March 24th and I am basically dreading the coming of April, I am dreading it because in the middle of April it will be a year since Eric's death. And while I have made some pretty significant strides in dealing with this I am in now way ready to deal with this anniversary and I really honestly do not know how I am going to be able to process it. The very thought of it as I write is bringing tears to my eyes and I do not even feel all that emotional at the present time. But I am can feel them swirling around behind the small blockade that I have thrown up as a weak defense against being overwhelmed by them.


Warning - Black Sabbath

I have noted before that I do not fear my feelings and I have learned to embrace them and to ride them and in some ways bathe in them. That may not be the best way to word it but I am not sure honestly how to word it. I know that it is unhealthy for me to close myself off and to pretend that the pain isn't there and that if I fight against it the pain often lasts longer then it would have if I had just faced it head on and let it overwhelm me for a time. I think that is the strange nature of grief and loss. It can come upon us without warning and then leave again without a trace for a time. But that is just an illusion because there is always a trace. It is in the world around me. It is in the music that I listen too or the books that I read or the television shows that I watch. Or even how I carry myself and respond to certain situations. I am unable to look at my bookcase without seeing a book or two or three or more that Eric either inspired me to read or gave me directly to read. I love those books and I have not regretted ever reading them. Nor have I or will I ever regret reading them.


Only in Your Heart - America

There are films that I have avoided watching since his death. It isn't that I dislike there films. But I am not sure that I am ready to face the feelings that these films are going to bring about in me. They are not good or bad but they are sure to be intense and overwhelming and I am not sure how ready I am for such a thing. I want to say 'What the hell, just face it head on." But I can't. I want too. I want to sit down and watch 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and 'Almost Famous' and 'Fight Club' and other films that remind me of him. But I just can't. I want to so badly and I the idea of it just locks me up and makes my chest tighten with pain.


No one Knows - Queens of the Stone Age

On Saturday night I had my, what I call, my philosophy group. It is more like a fellowship group of some partially like minded thinkers and we discuss all kinds of things. I normally leave the group energized and fed and group was good that night. We did a question can thing that I always enjoy doing. But once it was over I wandered into the coffeehouse and had myself a drink and also ran into two of my good friends. These are two people that always make me feel welcome and also are really good for conversation. So I am always happy to see them. One of them asked how I was doing and I thought about it for a bit and realized that I was feeling rather aimless and basically at a loss. It was a beautiful evening Saturday. The air was still and warm but not too warm and everything was very nice. But I was not feeling nice. I wandered out to my van after saying goodbye and I was really at a loss.


Every Dog Has Its Day - Flogging Molly

I finally decided that the only smart thing too do was to go home. It wasn't like I was going to hurt myself. At least I do not think so. But the air felt almost swollen with anticipation and I do not know what I was expecting but it really felt to me like there something waiting to drop and when it dropped it would overwhelm me and I wasn't sure if that was going to be good or bad. To me the air felt like it does just before a thunder storm is about to hit. I drove home in near tears and by the time I made it into my inner sanctum the tears had begun to flow but I did not know what was driving them. They were just flowing. I tried to do some writing but was unable to achieve anything close to getting out what I was feeling. So I watched some very stupid television. It was Tosh.0 and anyone who is familiar with it knows how stupid it can be. It may not have been the healthiest choice but it allowed me to move beyond the gloom that was hanging over me.


Salty Dog - Flogging Molly

So that being said. I am not sure what was going on. I just do not know. But Sunday was a better day and so was today and now I am writing and that is a good thing. The act of writing just makes me feel better. It helps me to feel like something is coming out even if it is something that doesn't totally make sense to other people. But it works for me and for the moment there is some calm in the storm that swirls inside of me. I will never forget Eric. He will always be with me and I will always love him and I will continue to get tattoos upon my body that remind me of him. That is how I choose to remember him and to honor his life and his memory. He left permanent marks on my life and leaving permanent marks on my skin is how I can remember and honor that.


The Worst Day Since Yesterday - Flogging Molly


 I know that April will be hard for me and I apologize ahead of time if I seem distant and kind of out to lunch. I apologize if my writings are overly emotional and weepy. I am an emotional guy and this is my canvas for processing theses things. Thank you for reading my thoughts and for caring about me. I love all of you and I hope to continue to share my love with you in the months ahead.  So remember, be kind because the journey for all of us is a hard one and please keep on dancing.




Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Musings....

Today marked the beginning of a new thing for me. I started my new job at the Willamette Dairy Herd Improvement Association (WDHIA). It was a good day. I think the job is going to be interesting at times and I think that I am going to enjoy working with Joel and the rest of the other people there. It is going to be nice to just be actually working again and to actually have a schedule to follow as well as have a little bit of income coming in.


Down By The Water - The Decemberists

As much as I enjoy having the total freedom to do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it I also like to actually have a place to go to everyday. So this will be nice. The best thing about working again is that I will be able to go back to visiting the Broadway Coffeehouse on a regular basis and that will make me very happy. Though the happiness will also come with a touch of sadness.  The sadness will be there because one of my favorite baristas will not longer be working there and I will miss her greatly. She was the best of the best and a true artist and miracle worker when it came to latte art. But the best thing of all was that she was super nice and cool and things will just not feel the same without her there.


Yankee Bayonet - The Decemberists

That being said, and I do admit to having the tendency to being maudlin and overemotional at times, and in all seriousness I really will miss her. She was very nice and a good barista and I consider her a good friend as well. I am hoping that she has great success in her upcoming ventures. Though come to think of it. I am really going to miss having someone to share graphic novels with here in Salem. She had great taste in comics!!


Leslie Anne Levine - The Decemberists

The home opener for my beloved Portland Timbers was last Saturday and while it was seen in a torrential downpour and while it ended in a draw. It was still a great game to watch and it was great to be part of the experience. The expectations are high this season and I would argue that for some they are far to high and they are unreasonable.But, that being said, I do understand why some pundits and fans feel the way that they do about the chances for the team this season. We had an amazing season last year and the team feels even stronger. I am trying to be cautious about my feelings for the team because it is only Coach Porters second season and I think that we may have surprised some teams last season. So for this season I am hoping for another trip to the playoffs and a top 3 finish in the West and hopefully in the whole league. Along with an extended cup run. So we shall see. That being said. I hope that if the team hits a rough spot that the fans stay reasonable and do not seek to scapegoat any players or coaches in the echo chamber that is the Timbers Army.


We Both Go Down Together - The Decemberists

I am hoping to be able to continue my blogging. It may be hard to set up a schedule since I will be working from 7:30 to 3:30 but we shall see. Right now I am hoping that I can do some nighttime writing like this after work. But I am not sure if that is always going to work or not. I know how important it is too everyone that I continue to spread my wisdom to all of you and I wouldn't want to leave any of you deprived of my wit and wisdom.  So you know what to do. I need some time alone!!




Thursday, March 06, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

At the coffeehouse drinking an Americano. As usual it is good. I have never had a bad one here. I can be sure of that point. In fact the only complaints that I have ever had here have been because of the other customers. The coffee is always good. The baked goods are always good and the service is always attentive and friendly. Is it too much for me to ask that the other customers behave like the members of the functional society that we live in. This isn't Bosnia or Somalia for Pete's sake. Is a little civility too much to ask?


Lover's Eyes - Mumford and Sons

Look around before you sit down. Take notice of the other people both in the coffeehouse and in the line. Take the time to actually read the board before you order. You have been standing in line for 30 sec to a minute maybe two at the most and that is plenty of time to make up your mind. This isn't Starbucks. Do not ask for something blended or whipped or extra foamed. Get your coffee sit your ass down and be happy that you are lucky enough to live in a country and a state and a city that really appreciates a cup of the good stuff. If you want a damn milkshake then take your ass to the Baskin and Robbins and get a damned milkshake.


Shaman's Blues - The Doors

Better yet. If there are a total of three seats at a bar location. Do not sit in the middle seat and spread out your gear so as to take up the space in front of the other two seats. This is akin too going in to the restroom and upon seeing a line of empty urinals stepping up next to the one other person using a urinal and peeing right next to them. This is clueless and rude and betrays you for the savage that you are. It does you a disservice and brings shame upon your family and your friends and any right thinking person would at this point choose to stop being your friend and just end the relationship entirely. Trust me. They are better off without you in their life.


Paranoid - Black Sabbath

Oh...and another thing. I get that you may be an a date of some sort with your lady friend. And good for you if you are. I get it the couches here are very comfortable and cozy. But seriously. This is a public place and you two are obviously not highschoolers. GIVE EACH OTHER SOME ROOM!!! I do not need to see your intimate relations in public. The baristas do not need to hose down the couches with disinfectant when you eventually untangle your entwined limbs and slither out into the darkness. That kind of shameful behavior belongs in the darkness and not out in the light among the decent people.


Isle of Avalon - Iron Maiden

This has been Lance's Coffeehouse Etiquette class for today. Get it together people. The world will be a better place for all of us.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Thoughtful Tuesday

It is interesting the things that can pop up that cause sadness. To be sure there are some things that seem pretty obvious to me when I get sad. But there are other things that at times can leave me almost blindsided by the origin. Sometimes it is because the level of sadness seems almost above and beyond the cause of the sadness and it makes me feel like my response is out of proportion to what triggered it.


I Could Be Dreaming - Belle and Sebastian

I have been divorced for nearly 5 years now and most of the time I do not think about my being divorced or even that I am single. My relationship or lack thereof does not bother me. I also rarely think about my age. I do what I do and my chronological age is really not an issue in how I live my life. I am old enough to vote and to drink and as far as I am concerned that leaves me old enough to do anything that I want to do. I rarely feel old. Though I have friends who while their chronological age may be younger than mine they also seem older than me. They may seem either more mature or just more tired and uptight. I also have friends who are older than I but seem much younger than me because of the way that they live their life. To be honest once you get past 25 or perhaps 30 everyone just kind of seems all the same nebulous age. If you are living an honest and authentic life you are going to live and do what you want to do regardless of what number is tacked on your existence.


Roy Walker - Belle and Sebastian

That being said, while I rarely feel or think about my age there are times when I distinctly feel my age. When that happens in can cause some angst and often what makes it worse is that it is so pointless for me to feel angst about situations that are beyond my control. But as is often the case with my crazy brain. I sometimes wonder is my angst truly because of the situation or is it because I think that I shouldn't be feeling angst about this and because of that I create a self fulfilling prophecy concerning things. Because despite my angst and confusion I also feel that I should be honestly feeling and experiencing whatever it is I am going through and if I do not then I am doing a disservice to myself and to my friends around me.


For Prayer - Wye Oak

It is one of those questions that I suspect I will never have an answer too. For good or bad. That is my reality. All that I can do is strive to be authentic and to be present in my pain. Because to hide from it and deny its existence will, I believe, lead to a much deeper unhealthiness and a much deeper emotional sadness that will impact my life in far worse ways. Sadly knowing that does not make it any easier for me to do it. I am a passionate man. I love things and people and I get excited about them and I invest in them. That is who I am. I feel things deeply. I would not trade that for the world. But there are times that when feeling deeply also means you feel much pain when things do not go like you thought you wanted them too go. Even when you did not realize that you even had expectations at all and even worse when those expectations were so far beyond reason that you had not even realized that you were thinking them.


Sun It Rises - Fleet Foxes

It is at that point, for me, that the self loathing begins. Because I should know better and I do know better then to grow attached to people that I can't have. So too speak. But for me the frustration comes because I do not feel like I am going out there and searching for things that I can't have. By and large I am who I am at this point in my life and I let people engage with me who want to engage with me. I do not hang out searching for some sort of unattainable manic pixie girl to fix me. As much as I would like it to be, life is not a Wes Anderson or Cameron Crowe film and I am never going to find either Margot Tenenbaum or Penny Lane.


And I am not nor will I ever be Richie Tenenbaum


Or William Miller.

Though perhaps I am. Because much like them I am unable to gain closure on this.


My Beloved Monster - eels

The disconnect that I feel about this is also frustrating because I know that I shouldn't bee feeling this way at all. One of the things that I would say that I hate about myself and I have actually very good self esteem because lets face it. I really do know how awesome I am. But I hate that my emotions and feelings have a very tenuous relationship with logic. When my emotions come to town they either drive my logic away or they lock it up in some sort of hole in my sub-basement and force it too put lotion on it's skin for when they make the inevitable skin suit out of it. Thankfully logic usually escapes the hole for a little while at least. I hate to think what will happen if emotion is ever successful in its quest for supremacy.


The Chimbley Sweep - The Decemberists

 Thanks for listening folks and always your likes and comments are welcomed and appreciated. I will keep on doing what I do. Listening to good tunes and loving others. We are all in this together and caring for each other is the best way to get through it together.