quick content update

I've still been writing songs, oh yes. Of the last month or so's crop, however, only two are worth writing down.

The first, [be the one], I composed the same night as [Ithaka], when Dave realized that he'd have to stay with his mom for awhile for me to be able to afford to get by. Needless to say it was a sad night, but since then most of the uncertainty in the song has changed into hopefulness. I didn't want to post it until I'd had a chance to play it for Dave. He liked it, so you get to see it. The prettiest parts of it are the "ahh..."s, which are each a string of notes as long as a line. I was going to write words till I realized it really didn't need them, and given the tone of the song the chorus is better without excess verbage.

The second, [player to be named later], I wrote yesterday. It's a happy bouncy song which has a lot of triplets on the lyrics. Which means the syllable emphases fall in odd spots sometimes. It was a classic example of revise, revise, revise--the lyrics, tune, everything got completely scrapped and rewritten at least three times to make the tight little ditty I have now.

[be the one (to decide)]

lover you think that I'm wrong
you would not have waited so long
but I chose and I choose you
I'm not gonna lose you
I'll choose you long after you're gone


if you don't deserve to be mine
if you think I've wasted my time
then don't write and don't visit me
online or physically
you be the one to decide this time

you be the one to decide this time

promises are easy to break
orgasms are easy to fake
but we know the price of being coy
is a future that you destroy
a place inside you that is always going to ache

tip the bottle and bite the lime
and don't pay your mirror no mind
though I'm right and you're perfect
my opinion's worthless
love, you be the one to decide this time

you be the one to
you be the one to
you be the one to decide this time

[player to be named later]

every morning as
I'm walking out to catch the bus
I wrestle pride and worry down
try to wrap my hands around trust
it's always better to surrender to great love without a fight
but oh my invisible friend
I just got myself working right

player to be named later
I hope that you can hear my prayer
player to be named later
I hope that you can hear my prayer

I can smell a demon
all the way across the street
they taste like bile and sweat and panic
but chewed up they make good eats
it's dangerous to go believin'
when believin' makes things real
so I ain't choosing a religion
based on how it makes me feel

player to be named later
I hope that you can hear my prayer
player to be named later
I hope that you can hear my prayer

I'm not the kind of gourmet fool who feels contempt
for a reality from which I'm not exempt
cook up points of view until I taste the scent
of the thing that all the symbols represent
whether I came to be here by design or chance
I'm here now, I'm here to make you dance

player to be named later
I hope that you can hear my prayer
player to be named later
I hope that you can hear my prayer

2009 wrapup: the name of the year

Starting in January 2008, I got in the habit of giving a name to every year. It was partly inspired by the way, in the book Redwall, the abbey's chronicler gives each year a name based on a memorable event which took place during that year. Except I give the name to the year ahead of time. Kind of like doing baseball pre-season predictions, except much more vague. And as we all know from newspaper horoscopes, fortune cookies etc., the more vague a prediction is, the more likely it is to seem accurate!

2008 was the Year of Great Change. I'd been hoping for the "good" kind of great, rather than the "your father dies and your life is altered irrevocably" kind. Still, it's important to have lots of ways in which to appreciate the irony of life when life is difficult. So that counted as a plus, to me, for the "name the years" idea, which is why I decided to keep doing it.

2009 is the Year Without Disaster. At the beginning of this year I was unemployed, living with Dave in the West Loop in an apartment too rich for my unemployment checks to cover. And, having gotten all the mileage I could out of the painful irony of 2008's name, I felt a strong desire to pick a more hopeful name, even at the expense of vagueness, because the facts on the ground were pretty grim.

As it turns out, Year Without Disaster was a fairly decent name for the year I've experienced. The closest call was when Dave and I had to move out of our place. However, thanks to Mom's help getting movers, Mom, Amber, Pearl and Paula helping us pack, and the surprising fact that I found a good housemate on Craigslist on short notice, it wasn't actually a disaster - just very, very difficult.

Rather than terrible events, my Year Without Disaster was instead characterized by things that were good, but still less than ideal. Getting free state-sponsored psychiatric care--for a few months. Getting a permanent job--at a grocery store. Writing better songs--less often, and with fewer opportunities to play them. Deepening my relationship with Dave--because he had to move back to his mom's and we both have to work harder at staying close. Oh, also things that were unpleasant but could have been much, much worse, though I won't enumerate those. That would be a bummer, and is beside the point.

So to come up with a name, a theme for myself for 2010, I've got to put my thinkin' hat on, step back, and ponder the current situation. It's impossible to know exact events ahead of time, of course. (At least, not without losing all touch with the context of the present, without which that information is meaningless.) The best insight you can hope for is something like the way a master chess player has a vague, intuitive hunch how the board will look twenty or twenty-five moves from now. You can, at most, find yourself a reference framework, a set of mental filters, a way of looking at what's around you that is likely to be useful in the times ahead.

So I will name 2010 the Year of the Cheese Procedure.

Oh, that would make so much more sense if I'd made a few "tales from the deli counter" posts. Maybe I will; I've got a little time off next week, though I'll be doing a cheese procedure (a sampling--excuse me, "dynamic selling"--event) till we close at 6 on Christmas Eve. However, it's late, I'm on the morning shift tomorrow, and I promised Dave and myself I'd get good sleep tonight. So a full contextual description will have to wait.

Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, joyous Eid (okay, okay, Eid was back in September, bu I don't think Islam has a December holiday), blessed Solstice, and wonderful winter family togetherness time to all. And to all a good night.