The Device

From The Device:

I don’t know how it starts, but eventually it gets to the point where you realize you haven’t used your voice in days because you don’t talk to people anymore, and your giant phone list from college is down to one or two long-distance numbers, and everything you’ve eaten in the last month came from a drive-through or the Safeway freezer section, and you don’t even own any fucking dishes, and you haven’t seen a TV in years and you think you know who’s President and you really don’t care, and then you look in a mirror and see a stranger and then you know that something’s wrong. But you don’t exactly know what is wrong, at least in the sense that if you were coughing up green shit and your nose was runny, you could tell people “I have a cold”, but there’s no simple explanation like that. Maybe some shrink can give you a diagnosis or a number that you can tell your insurance company so you can deduct the copayment, but it’s not like they can tell you “take some vitamin C and give it a few days.” They can put you on Prozac, but that doesn’t really change the problem, it just changes the volume knob on the problem, and makes it harder to keep down food. And there are tons of minor complications, none of which you can solve: no friends, no life, no money, no hobbies, no interests, no hangouts, no social network, no wife, no kids, no girlfriend, no tangible property, and nothing but a stack of 600 CDs and a couple of half-written novels that aren’t exactly ready for prime time. And that’s when you know you’re fucked.

That’s how the book starts. I’m back on this, trying to see how much of it I can finish by the end of the year. I’ve been picking at it for three, four years now and I only have about 15,000 words done, plus about 30,000 words in drafts and notes and other crap I can’t entirely salvage. But it should be interesting, and the above doesn’t even tell you what it’s really about.

I’m happy today – I got the Chuck Greenberg album From a Blue Planet today. I’ve been searching for this for years, and finally found a used copy on Amazon’s marketplace. Chuck was the main man behind Shadowfax, a former Windham Hill new age/jazz band that I’ve been obsessed with since the late 1980s. I have all of the Shadowfax CDs and I really like listening to them when I’m writing or when I just want to relax. The only problem is that Chuck Greenberg died in 1995, so that was the end of the road for the band. Luckily, I found this 1991 solo album, and it sounds a lot like a lost Shadowfax work. It’s still got Chuck up front, playing winds and the wind-controlled Lyricon synth, but it has a stable of other musicians, including some of Shadowfax and some new players. Chuck wrote all of the songs, and they have the same great energy and feel as any of his other stuff. The stuff sounds great, and I know it will be in my player for decades to come.

Another musical find in recent news is that I picked up the new Fozzy album. This is a sort of project band formed by professional wrestler Chris Jericho and most of the former band Stuck Mojo. It’s old-school heavy metal, with a slightly more modern production and styling. I loved the self-titled Fozzy debut that came out two years ago, because Jericho is a big heavy metal fan like me, and covered a cool set of songs, like old Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Krokus, Twisted Sister, and more. This time, it’s half cover songs and half new stuff, and it’s not a gimmick or joke – Jericho can really sing, and the band sounds incredible. So it’s cool to see a band that isn’t just the same Slipknot/Korn/Limp Biskit sort of dreary grime, but is actually some good guitars and a guy singing lyrics.

Not much else going on. It is hotter than a motherfucker in here, so I might give up on any writing for the evening and retreat to the bathtub for a while.


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