Too Old To Rock N Roll?

Last week I went to The Clearwater Festival, also known as the Great Hudson River Revival. It’s the biggest folk festival in the New York area and one of the oldest in the country, and I’ve been going for 20 years. But sadly, last weekend reminded me that I’m not a kid anymore, and I can’t have fun the way that I used to.

Camping out is not required for the festival, but there are campgrounds that me, my friends, and several dozen people use. Traditionally every night has a “hoot” (a big singalong and jam where we sing folk and old classic rock songs) that goes on way too late. Of course I joined, and I was up singing and stomping and drinking (a LOT of drinking) until 2:30 in the morning Friday night.

I woke up shivering at 6 the next day, which is amazing in itself. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that for the past year, my brain has decided that 4-4:30 was an appropriate wake-up time. My head was pounding like I was in a drum circle all night (which I kinda was…there were drums along with the guitars, flute, washboard (!), saw (!!!) hand clappers, and singers). I looked in my cooler and realized that in about 4 hours of singing, I drank 10 beers. You have to keep your throat wet for a proper song circle. There is magic in a song and alcohol is one of the spell ingredients.  20, 10, even 5 years ago, I would’ve have flinched, but I am 41 now. I was dehydrated. I was headachy, and I could barely drag my ass out of the tent.

I still had a great time on Saturday and got to see all the bands that I wanted to see (Ani DiFranco, They Might Be Giants, The Mammals, Willie Nile leading a tribute to Dylan and Springsteen, the Neilds), but on Sunday morning I felt awful. I didn’t get much sleep, it was going to be 90 degrees (it had been almost 90 the day before, and I hate the heat), and I knew that if I stayed I would be miserable to the miserablist power. So I struck camp, and I drove home.

It was the first time I had ever left Clearwater early, and you know, I’m okay with it. I made the adult decision. A younger me would’ve toughed it out for the sake of toughing it out, but I weighed the options and made what I feel was the right choice. Sure I missed Jeff Tweedy (front man for Wilco) but hopefully I’ll see him else where. Sure I missed The Mavericks, but I’ve seen them 3 times. I accepted that I’m older now. I can’t forced myself to party just to party.

Also, I should learn to pace myself with the beer. I had no idea that I drank that much. They just disappeared down my throat.

Totally worth it.

doge in space card redux


Where am I going, where have I been?

Sometimes I go through phases where I’m just not moved to post here. I don’t know why. It’s not like I don’t have anything to say. I always have something to say, and I usually say it at length, out loud, and until I piss somebody off. Maybe I’m just tired.

June has been a weird month. It always is. June is the month when my mother died. June is the month where I realized how much I loved Valerie, and always would.

I shouldn’t dwell on either of those, but I always do. Every time I watch a scene in a hospital, I fight back tears.

June also begins The Starving Times for me, and every other teacher. No work, no pay. At least I picked up a couple of big editing jobs. I don’t usually get many editing jobs. I charge union prices, and most people on the internet charge half that. That’s fine, you get what you pay for.

It’s also Michelada time…I’m betting that most of you don’t know what it is. Picture a Bloody Mary, but with beer instead of vodka. It doesn’t get you as messed up, and the carbonation makes it a bit more refreshing. It’s my official drink of the Summer.

I went to the Clearwater Festival on the 20th and 21st. The weather was pretty bad, but if anything, it made things even better. I camped out for the first time, I had good friends there, and made new ones as well. Clearwater is so different from the real world. People actually give a damn about each other. You might write it off as hippie bullshit, but it’s true. I suppose it’s something you have to experience.

The music was pretty damn good too. Check out this amazing band of teenaged brothers called Sleepy Man doing the bluegrass standard Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

I’m inching closer publishing day for The Watchmage of Old New York. I just rewrote one final scene. Now to do a line edit, format it with ToC and acknowledgements, get a proofreader, and get my awesome layout artist to put it all together. I’m still too nervous to set it all up myself. I know I’ll fuck it up somehow. All I really know how to do is write. I’m helpless when it comes to publishing.

I dunno. I’ve been dragging my feet on it. I’m a perfectionist, and I’m afraid of even little errors. Maybe i’m subconsciously making excuses for not publishing. I’m not worried about the actual writing, it’s all the little things that I don’t know how to do that scare me. I’m still aiming for a September or October release, so keep an eye out.

Maybe July will be better.