Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Prick Story and Other Anecdotes

Sound Bites

I decided this morning I would do sound bite observations to see how the short form works. I'll try to stay positive but can't tell yet what will come out.

I'm having trouble dealing with time right now, especially with the mid part of the day. I'm trying to understand time, how it works and how it affects different people. Once I get to work, time seems to fly by. I've watched the documentary where Albert Einstein talks about time, but I still can't really understand it. (Maybe I'm obsessed with these things because I'm so mentally challenged by physics).

I had another run in with a police officer, who yelled at me for steering into a lane he was closing. The problem was he had all the cones near his vehicle but had not placed the cones yet to block off the lanes. I pulled into the lane, he came running over to me and started chastising me for not reading his mind. What I said to him next was incomprehensible, even to me, (who said it!) I told him he was being a 'prick'. I don't think I've ever called anyone a prick in my life, for that matter, I've probably said the word only a few times. You know how you get to the end of a sentence in a heated exchange and a word comes out that you wish you could immediately take back? Well, it happened. He said, "Did you just call me a prick?" I said, "Well, you are being a prick." And he stood there, mouth agape, and said, "I can't believe you just called me a prick!" I said, "Are you going to arrest me for calling you a prick?" He said, "Quit saying that word!" After almost backing into a car behind me, I maneuvered my truck into the next lane and took off. He said, "You have a nice day, too!" I said, "You too, you prick!" Now, mind you, I would not have said it if this guy was not being really rude and talking to me like I was a six year old, but I guess no one deserves to be called a prick. After I had left the scene of the 'prick' exchange, I felt guilty and thought I should go back and apologize, but my common sense told me that it would come to no good end, and that I would get arrested. (You know, that argument that ensues when you try to apologize for something you really are not so sorry about?) Yup, I drove on.

The irony to this last story is today I'm going to the court-house to watch a jury selection for a job I just got coaching an attorney on his opening and closing statements in a re-trial of a death row inmate whose conviction was overturned. I can't tell you anymore than that, (maybe later) but I can tell you that already this is summing up to be a great little job. And, today, I'll get to meet the inmate who has been on death row for eleven years. I got the job through singing at the hotel. When I can write more about it, I will. I can tell you, that it is again, a great irony in my life right now. (Not just because of the 'prick' story, although I hope I don't see the prick…)

For the last several months, (thanks to Josh Roundy) I've been thinking about starting a shirt company, (truth) but only snap western shirts of both blue collar, (Bohemian Cowboy label) and high end shirts (King Shurtz) and in my head its just crazy enough to work! I can never find the western shirts I want to wear, and it would be fun to interview designers and get it off the ground. I've pitched it to several people who love the idea. I think its also the magic of wearing Alfred Jepson's snap westerns that he gave me after the fire in Utah. (Having the last name of 'Shurtz' gives me an edge on my competitors, or, at least I think).

I got asked a couple of days ago if I wanted to be on a fire crew and fight fires up in the North country. I thought, "I've never fought fires before, and maybe God is giving me a chance to fight the still remaining trauma of exploding in my own fire." It seems like I've done everything else, maybe I need to fight a few fires. He said he would call me when there was a good fire going. I said, "Okay." (Maybe he'll call, maybe he won't. He said he's having trouble finding people. Hmmm, maybe that is a clue.)

On Songs:

I love nights when I'm singing and I can hit any note I want to. (Usually when the air has just the right moisture). Some woman told me I sounded exactly like Neil Young when I sing his songs. Maybe I'm just a mimic and not a real singer at all. I love to sing Summer Wind by Frank Sinatra. It has to be one of the most lyrically perfect songs about summer love ever written. (Although summer love has been difficult to navigate for the last couple of years). I also think Sunday Morning Comin' Down is a lyrically perfect song.

I love to sing Mr Bojangles but I have a little trepidation singing it when there are African Americans in the audience. To me, it reads just a tad racist. Sorry, Jerry Jeff.

I also love to sing Wild Horses, except while I'm playing the guitar, I can't do that thing that Mick Jagger does with his hands.

I'm trying to ad more upbeat songs to my song list, but its tough. A drunk guy said he would be at the Hotel for awhile and wanted me to learn Turn the Page, so I did. I sang it for him last night, he tipped me two dollars.

Some drunk lady from Canada told me she wanted to slit her wrists after hearing me play my songs but she said, "That's a good thing." I learned The Boxer for her. She tipped me one dollar.

Everyone knows the songs of Johnny Cash, even people from China. One even danced. However, I still don't get Ring of Fire, except I know it's about love. I used it for my song about the eclipse the other night. Then I understood it.

A lady asked the manager why I was singing a song about Best Western motels when I was playing at an Embassy Suites Hotel. When he asked me, I said, "Because Embassy Suites Hotel is hard to put in a song, but Best Western works." He said, "Okay."

I sang, 'The Silver Tongued Devil' one night and another drunk lady said she didn't want to hear gospel songs… It was pretty funny, God is never mentioned, only the devil. (I guess that could be construed as a gospel song).

The high dollar tips, (usually twenty dollars) always come from the people you never expect. They are the quiet ones. And, that's okay.

I've been learning scales, something I never did. (I never had lessons). And like Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, music is mentally challenging for me, even though for some intuitive reason, I know how to play it. I love song lyrics, and I learn by ear. But, I want to understand what I am doing, so, I play the scales, (even though I don't really understand what I'm doing there either), but I know it will come like a spring rain eventually. There is usually two or three times a year when I can feel myself jumping a level, and it is a good feeling.

I learned Moon River, its another beautiful song. Its kind of like my song, Out Stealing Horses, only on a river instead of on the border of Mexico.

On Facebook Posts:

Sometimes I'm just amazed at the things that people are thinking and doing.

Sometimes the stories about babies and the endless photos are a little much for me. I like a photo once in a while, but the play by play is a little too much. Stop it.

I admit I've been infatuated by a particular person, and the things they post. Especially when every post is somehow beautiful.

I'm always wondering whether the friends that appear at the top of your friends list are the ones that are reading you the most, or if they just get stuck up there. I'm glad though, that I don't know.

I'm convinced that Facebook has saved lives. Every once in awhile, someone will come unglued on Facebook and I think, they are either drunk, high, or suicidal. The suicides I wander into, but I stay away from the drunks, you can't reason with drunk people. I always tell my brother, don't drink and Facebook.

I love the music that several people post. I've probably listened to more music on facebook than anywhere else. (I'm still trying to stop listening to CD's and get an ipod).

I love the photos that people post. I'm the kind of guy who just met you and the first thing I want to do is look at all your old photo albums. Is that creepy? (Maybe it's my Mormon blood, but I love how families are tied together. I know my family tree for eight generations).

The only time I've had to delete friends are the ones who are pushing tea party politics. It's unbelievable what people really believe. I always keep in mind that Galileo was almost burned at the stake for his scientific convictions. Yes, Virgina, the earth does revolve around the sun.

On Health:

The last week I've been thinking about working on my health. That sounds funny. I've worked out, tried to eat healthy, walked or ran, all of my life until the last couple of years. Its amazing how quickly ones health spirals down the drain.

So, the other day, a friend of mine suggested starting with juicing. Call it timing, but suddenly this appealed to me. The type A personality and addictive nature I've always had is telling me that I can't do things in moderation, so I might as well go all out. I'll start juicing…tomorrow.

I did stop eating read meat, and although I'm not going all vegetarian, I have to admit, I feel better. Processed sugar is next. Kurt told me that I have to eat all the colors of the rainbow every day. I said, "I don't even know what colors are in the freaking rainbow."  I don't think I can do the rainbow eating spectrum.

I swam yesterday. I like stretching my body in the pool. I did used to take yoga, but maybe it's also the redneck blood I have in my back, yoga made me sick and made me cry. (One time, my buddy Kent, who is a yoga master, did a physical yoga session with me, and I broke out in tears. Then we laughed so hard we couldn't do it anymore. Yoga makes me cry.) I didn't mind the crying, maybe it’s the man in me, but I wanted to know what I was crying about. I didn't know.

I like hiking, but, as I always told my students, "Its always easier to climb the mountain than it is to get there." Since my truck is running on borrowed time, I can't really go climb mountains.

Kurt, I did eat some strawberries this morning. One color of the rainbow down. Is red even in the rainbow? See, I don't know.

Hodge Podge:

I'm fascinated with the Civil War and World War II. To the point of obsession. I sometimes think that I fought in both wars in another incarnation.

I love to dream, even a good nightmare. The other night I was getting shot at by some people I know. Don't worry, I wasn't harmed, I was dreaming.

I watched an old documentary about James Dean the other night. It was produced by Robert Altman, (must have been very early in his career), and it was haunting. Such an awful ending to a great talent. Did you know he wanted to be a writer? I didn't know that. I noticed he looked better in black and white than in color. He was made for black and white. The still photography of him is extraordinary.

I'm excited to go to jury selection today. I'm not in the line-up, I'm watching the selection of the attorney I'm going to coach. The man who is getting re-tried has been on death row for eleven years. I'll get to meet the defense team and the defendant.

My dog is the best dog, EVER! I've had several people say to me recently, "If you ever want to get rid of that dog, let me know first…"  Get rid of? Are you kidding? I'd have them get rid of you first. My dog perks her ears up every time I speak as if she is trying hard to understand me, and sometimes she does! I'm forever amazed. (Although she's shedding now). In the mornings, when I let her out, I come out and find her sitting in the chair I sit in when I go in the back yard. And, I really do think she has a people complex. When I practice guitar, she lies down and goes to sleep. Get rid of??? She is my child! We take care of each other! I would never give her away. She's brilliant. Honor roll student. The pick of the litter. The queen of my heart.

Although I write lots, I still have no concept of the word, to. I read about the difference between to and too, but I still don't get it. I guess everyone has their issues. I wish someone would explain it to me in a way that I can understand it. We moved a lot, I missed the 'to' 'too' session. Although I have no trouble with the Spanish 'tu'.

I wish I could find my June Carter. She doesn't have to sing but she has to love music, theatre, and at least appreciate writing and know what it is. Long walks on the beach. Cooking. Adventure. Traveling through monsoons. Must love the things of the heart rather than temporal things. Must love to two step. Smart and funny would also help. Some day, she will be there, sitting in the audience…

That's all for today. Jeez, this was pretty fun writing this way, but I do like the long form thought a little better. For some reason, digging in deep is essential to my well being, as long as I don't cry 'too' much. See, I know that 'too' can't be right.

Peace and Infatuation.


Caroline said...

The 'too' was right. and the rainbow is, orange, yellow, yadda yadda. the short form is great, Raymond. you shine either way, though. waving from btown.

chuckh said...

The to and the too. To is used when you are going somewhere, too is used in place of "also." That's an easy way to remember. Great post Raymond. You're the Larry King of posts. Actually, you're much better than Larry King. Wonderful observations...

Gerry said...

Raymond told me I was not going to like what he said to the cop, and I am surprised he did not get the book thrown at him for it. He was just lucky. I think he likes drama.
I was thinking last night that if you give people something they really can't get any place else some will appreciate it and support you. I always like to hear what you are doing because it is different from what almost anyone else I know is doing. I think singing for people night after night would take incredible nerve. As a kid you spent hours learning to walk on your hands because people were startled when you would walk clear out to the street with your feet waving in the air. One time I took you to the grocery store when you were about 10 and I glanced back to see you walking on your hands behind me in the aisle. A little kid rounded the corner, his mouth fell open, and he almost stuttered to his mother, pointing to you and said, "I want to do that!" So you have been startling people a long time!

Ellis said...

Jill has been wanting to learn a back-handspring, so in the process she talked me into a front-handspring and hell I can stick it every now and then! Volleyball at the museum last week turned into a gymnastics session, even Roundy did a backflip off the picnic table. Who knew?!?

dianesef said...

I agree with Chuck on the 'Larry King of posts' comment...always the style