Open Mic

guitar

Signups were at 7, I strolled in at 7 after and was 7 on the list. My name in pencil as a testament to this little car-wash of fear for my soul.

I sat down in a chair next to a person I knew from a past life – he was already drunk  – I used to be his boss – he reminded me that I was his best boss and I was a good guy ~ life takes strange twists and turns. (drunk may be his normal state- he did not look well)

A snarky old guy with a leather hat approached and grabbed his coffee from the table next to me – Oh no, I sat in his seat! I apologized; he snarked back “I’m standing right here!”

This is a great start – my alcoholic ex-coworker drunk off his ass and I’ve pissed off one of the regulars here in this little theater –  Somehow all this is good with me – I mean; the water you swim is the water you swim – but you swim anyway.

We are told that instead of the three songs, we will only do two, due to the large amount of sign-ups— Maybe 11 total? And then go around a second time for one more.

I’ve moved to a new spot in this little theater – away from all the strife at the entrance – I meet another new guy  – he is a drummer, seems to be a good guy.

Let the show begin –

And it did.

By the time it got to me – I was ok with going up on stage for the first time – I had trouble getting my guitar to work  – but the host was very gracious in helping —–

I sang and played “Mississippi Kid” by Lynyrd Skynyrd – My version bears little resemblance to the original – I go straight 12 bar blues on my acoustic guitar – I love the song and the snarling attitude of it – My version is closer to that of Jerry Lee Lewis (but I humbly submit that my performance is just a wisp of smoke compared to the fire of the original “killer”).

I told the audience that it was my first time and I was only good for one tune –

And I did it!

By the time I got to the last verse, I was dancing a bit and enjoying myself.

It won’t be my last

I will be going back.

For a few moments that night – I was the “Mississippi kid”!

 

Notes: I bought a new acoustic guitar last March for my birthday and I play it every day –  (maybe I’ve missed a total of a week if you add all the days I couldn’t play in the last 10 months)

On February 1st (exactly 14 months to the day I lost my wife, for those of you that know me) I stepped on a stage and did an open mic.

It went well – I am not ruining this post with actual video; but that is probably coming!

I did mess with guitar in my earlier life, never anything past the tinkering stage and never complete songs.

And I never tried to sing before.

But, so what?

Life is to live.

Go live.

Question: What would be your song if and when you do (did?) this?

 

 

Advertisements

Reboot ~

cofff0009-header

The Cave is Undergoing a Revamp for the Spring

I want to:

Stay SFW – edgy yes – funny yes – fired for visiting – no

 A Reblog once a month – I don’t think we, as bloggers, reward good content enough.

Post my own photos and art as much as possible – a free-range chicken, all organic with no copyright infractions is the goal.

More projects and challenges with other bloggers. This is the center of the blogging watermelon – it really is! Making connections and friends. Sweetness!

My own challenge of hitting every type of blog genre in 2016 with an attempted post.

I mean all the favs:

Fashion- Music- Art – Photo – Food – Healing – Religious – Political – Conspiracy – Poetry – Sports – Books – Fiction– Redneckism (is that one?)  – Travel – Fitness –  Love – Sex – Collectible Coins – Movies –  Cartoon, Antiquing, Geek, Ancient Greek … etc., etc., and etc. (yes – I will take suggestions)

I want to do as many as I can – with no limits on if something is too edgy or too sketchy — How far can I push myself? Don’t know? Are you scared? — yeah …me too…ain’t it grand!

techno-dude

If you want to know why I want to do a blog genre mash-up bust-up house party with strobe lights and underground techno music

I think that we should all write about *everything – in the writing and discussion is where answers and clarity come from.

The web is better when we make it better – so yeah –I am going to write about it all!

I guess the short version of the above is:  I’m doing everything and some of it twice – so keep up please – and enjoy the ride!

* Not to worry – I will give fair warning if it’s going to be something that would shock you!

jarbeach1

tiffanybeingfree.com/…6/02/15/golden-jars

This is a drawing I did for a poem by Tiffany @ tiffanybeingfree

It was great to try a sketch from her idea. The poem deals with some intense subject matter and the process of healing. It is an honor to help in this small way.

Bloggers working together –  Always a rewarding experience. For me, it knocks me out of my comfort zone and makes me swim a little harder. I need that because it is too easy to get complacent and start doing boring stuff — Helping others makes my own work better! So if you have an idea for a little co-bloggery with the cave — Please send it my way and maybe we can do something!

 

Next, we head to a blogging challenge with my friend Mek from Australia @ https://10000hoursleft.wordpress.com/ who likes to write stories based on artwork.

And I got to pick one — So I took a trip to Maine for a little Wyeth theme.

Chambered Nautilus by  Andrew Wyeth

The challenge is to write a short fiction piece based on this painting – I will leave the length of it up to you (I’m thinking 500 words or so?)  – this is a no stress “walk about” kind of challenge. I am going to try fiction for the first time (yea- me!), but if you want to write a poem or something else, that is cool. I only ask that you do it sometime in March and let me know so I can link them all together. This could be fun.

————————————————————————–

And finally:

This is my home and you are all welcome in for a virtual cup of tea, coffee or beer anytime. We are always open!. No need to remove your  shoes or make a fuss – you may want to pet the dog so she knows you are cool. Other than that — relax.

I want everybody to just enjoy the cave.

Mi casa su casa

Cheers and here we go!

 

 

Groundhog Day – My Favorite Holiday

cave-groundhog

Groundhog day (German-Penn) evolved from Candlemas Day (Christian) – which evolved from Imbolc (Celtic) —-  which evolved from a few cave guys knowing they were passing the mid-point of winter and needing to jump around and do something.

“Stoke up the fire  – it’s ON!!!”

“If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,

There’ll be twa winters in the year.”

This is an old Scottish poem about February 2nd – Twa means 2  

Basically saying that if the sun is shining on this day then winter will be longer.

candlemas

Candlemas – A mass of candles – all the candles in the church were fired up to help bring light and hope to winter wary folk. There is also a 40 days after this or the other with the virgin Mary and some other mumbo jumbo to help validate it.

– which make me a wee bit suspicious.

 Because they needed to add more validation – they were trying extra hard to secure a claim.

 

bridget

On the left is the Saint Brigit and on the right is the Celtic goddess Brigid – Notice anything similar in these incredible hastily done illustrations?

Thig an nathair as an toll
Là donn Brìde,
Ged robh trì troighean dhen t-sneachd
Air leac an làir.
The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bríde,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigid

They both carry the fire of spring.

The ancient pagan festival of Imbolc in honor of this goddess of early spring is celebrated on February 2nd (it includes a little weather prognostication) – Christianity kept her fire and made her the Irish Patron Saint Brigit who has her day on February 1st.

I am totally OK with the practice of stamping  new traditions on old ones – this one is very cool because aside from replacing the wild hair with a halo – they keep the entire package together.

Anyway- moving on to my debilitated history mixed with folklore.

 

The groundhog or ~ ah ~ hedgehog or bear or badgerhog7

Somehow a rodent got in the mix—-blame it on the Romans – blame it on an over zealous priest or wizard – blame it on what you want – there are a few different theories.

But at the base of it all – It’s a simple evolution of the “sunny weather or cloudy weather” theme — turning into “see my shadow” because that is far more poetic.

The hedgehog is in the mix—can also substitute a badger or bear in a pinch, if that is what you have lying around the house.

The Germans later settled in Pennsylvania and found no hedgehogs —but lots and lots of groundhogs.

So here we go with a very sketchy explanation of how we arrive at  Punxsutawney Phil.

Disclaimer: I cannot defend my last few statements with any reference material whatsoever – please believe or not believe at you own risk.

Taking liberties from “see my shadow” to “I am a rodent that can only tell the guy with the tallest black hat what the future holds” — is all Punxsutawney shabby theater —and take it from this blogger – Well worth the trip!

me-sign

 From an old English poem:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

http://www.groundhog.org/about/history/

The basic theme is always the same —- a nice sunny day  – be careful! Don’t to be lulled.

And a cloudy stormy day  — take heed – spring may arrive sooner than you think.

Either way – Winter is coming to an end and we are looking forward to the next season.

This is the turning point – we are on the way out of the darkness and the cold.

I love this day.

Happy Groundhog day to all!

[All accidental illustrations done by me, if you would like to use any (really can’t think why) just ask me]

 

 

 

 

David Bowie

redneck-stardust-1112

Ziggy Stardust

ziggysd

I was 11 and I was a little boy in England — I was not a happy child – I was an intense and deep thinking young dude.

Music was not a thing to me.

I sorta liked the Beatles and T-rex and Slade (ok, I did like Slade)

But – I didn’t have anything to really connect me.

——– Until the day I would not forget

“Spiders from Mars” arrived at the house.

And it was the Album Cover that mesmerized me.

This was a weak-artsy–deep-thinking-cool-dude. And he had arrived.

The impact of this cover and that day stays with me.

And it had nothing to do with the music – it was this persona – this image —– This ballsy statement of — “I am here, deal with it”

We were waiting for you – This was my pied piper moment – I was hypnotized.

It was my streets with some amazing shift of culture.

If this was ok then I could be ok — We, the new generation had arrived.

This is my last good memory of England; we would soon move to the United States – Ironically – I now live within striking distance from where David Bowie had a home in Woodstock.

This is my upstate NY homage to my hero – yeah…I am not a young dude anymore – And I live in a redneck land.

We become ok with our surroundings and our place in this world or we do not.

David Bowie helped me understand that.

Cheers from the cave!

Just in case you missed what a sublime sense of humor he had.

 

Squeeze-fest 2015

The best country/western band to ever come out of England.

“The past has been bottled and labeled with love“

Squeeze was new wave because the band was born in that era.

That is the only reason – at heart they are pure country.

Take out the cornfield and put in a semi-detached cul de sac neighborhood.

Replace sweet tea with hot tea.

Remove the coyote and add a confused and malnourished stray cat.

These guys sing about where they are with humor and fatalism like no band before or after.

And (just like great country music) – they are not singing to us – they are us.

Us amplified in a poetic and tragic way.

Yeah, right in your kitchen

Jools Holland banging at the keyboards almost looks like he is ready to get his own show!

His talent is great but his real gift is getting the best out of those around him —Yes, I am talking Difford and Tilbrook here. One of my favorites* (I almost spelled it favourites) of all time is ArgyBargy

ArrgyBargy is not a perfect record – it has flaws – but like an old friend that you are always happy to see – I love this record.

Love and hate sharing an awkward bath together – with bubbles!

This band works on me on a few different levels.

They always cut through to the humorous core.

Mostly, they make me feel better – and feeling better is what this blog thing is all about, so one more and cheers from the cave!

Did you notice the western theme? Huh?

*Favorite – I often feel sorry for kids from other countries with a different language who come to America.

As an English kid – it was: Favourite is now Favorite and watch out for Colour, drop the u there too. Also——don’t ask where the toilet is, ask to use the bathroom —America is a land of many toilets but they don’t like the word—-also, forget about getting a good cup of tea anywhere and drink cold soda—–Any Questions? Good — Go get ‘em!

Note: If you keep reading my blog, you will get my whole life story- which is reluctantly doled out in tiny scraps here and there.