"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


All You Need Is...

...meh. You're still getting hate today. Especially today.

Why does Congress feel the need to get involved in matters that don't concern them? Yes, they theoretically might have passed some legislation that makes Roger Clemens' alleged actions illegal, but now the proper course of action is through the courts. This is all just another way for them to posture, sniff, huff, berate, and make grandiose statements for soundbytes, all the while procrastinating their Constitituionally mandated duties to the point that when it's actually time to do their jobs, it's a nothing but a clusterfucked, half-assed effort. Sorta like I'm doing...right...now....hmmmmmmmm. Moving on.

Is there anything more depressing than an innercity McDonald's before 7am? Grumpy old men demanding extra butter. High school dropouts grabbing pre-cooked egg patties out of a warming drawer with plastic tongs? Restrooms only accessible with the manager's key, which she cannot find? (Be glad. Very glad.) So why does their coffee have to be just above mediocre, enough for me to get a cup on my way to the Blue Line and subject myself to that tragedy?

Next, enough with the Goddamn cupcakes, and cookies, and candy on the top of every Goddamn file cabinet. I'm trying to lose some Goddamn weight, already. No. You know what? Check that. Bring it on. Give me some temptation. I'm better than that. Goddammit.

And now to some meat:

Band drama. Enough said. I finally did the deed last night. The Midnight Shows and I are parting ways. It started pretty ugly but, by the end it was a hugfest. These last few weeks, as the magnitude of my training and racing commitment for this summer became obvious, I felt like Cowboy's character from "Full Metal Jacket", after he'd been shot by the sniper just before the climactic scene: "I can hack it! I can hack it!" I can't juggle three balls at one time, so why was I trying to do it with five?! Because it was a very talented group of musicians of which I was an integral part, but I simply had other priorities that were going to come first. There were also chemistry issues, and creativity issues, but the stress I was putting on myself was poisoning the well before I ever had a chance to draw from it.

I was planning on initially getting to rehearsal early to talk to Rudy about it, but I needed a workout on the bike first, and then to have a proper dinner. As I boiled the water for the pasta, I put my winter bibs on. And in between chopping onions I packed my bag with clothes for work the next day, since after rehearsal I was heading to Katy's. My life had turned into a game of Tetris. I finally rolled out for Logan Square at ten to eight. I was literally bursting the seams with dread at how my news would be received, and couldn't wait to get it out of me, as though I were pregnant with some alien seed. When it became clear rehearsal was going to go to 10pm that night, I didn't want to spend another hour on top of that discussing my situation afterwards when all I wanted to do was get some sleep. As we casually moved between songs, dwelling on such topics as the Grammys (I know, horrible - who would think to talk about that at a rehearsal?!?) my impatience and stress started boiling over, making the cracks visible to everyone in the room. I snapped at Charita, and then it was out in the open. I sat on my bass cabinet and spilled my guts, expecting vitriol and anger coming back at me for myself selfishness.

Love and understanding was what poured forth instead. We hugged, and agreed that I would still record with them that weekend in late March, between camp and Hillsboro. It was agreed that I'd contributed too much to The Midnight Shows not to be on this EP. Those songs have me in them. The reason I was so stressed about telling them my plans was that they wouldn't want me on the recording, since I'd be gone afterwards, and then they'd not be able to do it at all. They thanked me for having the character for not just running out and leaving them hanging.

It seems obvious to me, but experience has shown me in life that this is exactly what most people will do to avoid any sort of conflict. But I only wanted to please everyone. To keep experiencing the sunlight, that to me, is what playing music is all about. It shines on your soul, giving it life and power. And speaking the language of music keeps your brain sharp, like a sword, with which to attack all that life can throw at you. I love music. I also love my girlfriend. And my bike. And my team. And my other band.

Starting to make sense?

Well, I guess today will have some love in it, after all.

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