I've always been confident in my ability to express myself, and I've always been a talker. I have a report card from when I was in first or second grade, and the teacher actually wrote something like "needs to shut up" in the comments. While my youngest has described me as "blabberous", I'm not just a talker--I've always been an avid reader, and I'd like to think I'm a decent listener. Me and words, written or spoken, we've always gotten along great.
Until this week.
I find it difficult to read, difficult to talk.
There have been more times than I can count in the last week when I've gone to say something and either forgotten what I was going to say, just staring, or even worse, started to speak and instead of words just...sounds...came out. When I did talk, every conversation ran the risk of devolving into ranting or sobbing. I haven't picked up a book or magazine since August 29, and I haven't been reading the news or blogs like I used to. I don't know why, but I just can't.
I did manage to read all the comments you folks left on my last post, and I read them a bunch of times, too, usually late at night or early in the morning. And I read the emails you sent. My brother and his beautiful wife came through with free tickets to the Renaissance Faire and gave me a perfect day with my niece and nephew walking around that glorious freakshow on Labor Day. That's the only day in the last week I really remember clearly. What I wish right now is that I could see each and every one of you, in person, so I could grab you by the hand and look right into your eyes and say "thank you." Thank you.
After the events of the past week, it just doesn't seem right to go back to posting the same bullshit I usually do. Sometime, soon I think, as I get back to my routine, I'll start visiting blogs again. I've tried, but what happens is that I see something that entertains, amuses or moves me, and I want to comment, but I can't. And then I feel dull, and guilty for not commenting.
Fortunately the Interwebs provide opportunities to engage in ritual behavior like the posting of random song selections from your MP3 player. Like memes or quizzes, it gives the opportunity to do something without really doing much. Like going into the office, being there physically for 8 hours, and essentially just moving some papers from one end of the desk to the other.
So here it is, today's random ten:
When You Get Drafted—Dead Kennedys
Nothing like starting with angry thrash.
Trouble's Braids—Tom Waits
Of course there's Tom Waits. A few days ago I went to an all Tom Waits, all the time, format in my car driving around. I just came out of it yesterday. This one is a great poem from Swordfishtrombones.
A Pistol For Paddy Garcia—The Pogues
A spaghetti western instrumental that I got as a bonus track on a reissue of Rum, Sodomy and the Lash.
Ball and Chain—Social Distortion
Boy, is this one perfect. At least I didn't end up locked up or alone in a cheap motel room this week. I have some hard thoughts about my choice of career these past 19 years, but that will pass. This is a great sing-along when you're down: "You can run all your life, but not go anywhere..."
All Mama's Children—Carl Perkins
The good thing about being from Irish and hillbilly stock is that you're allowed to transition, seamlessly and enthusiastically, from maudlin to raucous. Carl Perkins is here to help you do that. Now rock!
I'm Still Here—Tom Waits
Red Tan—The Raveonettes
A few years ago I heard about the Raveonettes and bought a CD for my eldest, and now she's got everything they've done. I love it when my kid's music shows up and surprises me. At their best the Raveonettes remind me of Jesus and Mary Chain or the Velvet Underground, but poppier. How often do you hear brooding guitars and dreamy vocals combined with sleigh bells?
I Need Your Lovin' Kiss—Harold Jenkins
Harold Jenkins was an artist on Sun Records and he does some classic stuttering, hiccuping rockabilly here.
I Can't Find My Mind—The Cramps
Holy shit. Lux Interior got inside my head.
A ridiculously upbeat, nearly twee song at the end of the brilliantly grim Street Hassle. Not a bad finish to this random ten.
Thanks for stopping by. I'll see you around, I promise.