hey gang. quick note, in case you're interested. cbc radio's DNTO is doing a show this week called "i quit," and, well, being that our latest single/video is called "i quit (i give up)," they invited us up to the studio to chat with sook-yin and do a little live performance. a great experience, a real pleasure to meet sook-yin, who is super easy-going, fun, sharp and a talented conversationalist. i was a little nervous, sweating a bit, but she put me at ease and then took us downstairs to show us the original/authentic/real-deal tree house from mr. dressup!
here is the info on how to check out the show if you're interested, which, of course, you are...
i'm in an airplane. small one. maybe two other people in it. we're flying over water. i'm a passenger. the pilots are using their plane to fish, somehow. like, dropping nets from the planet that are dragged through the water. for some reason, i decide i want to jump out. so i dive out of the plane, and go DEEP underwater. i'm under for a long time. when i come up, the plane is farther away in the sky. i am treading water. waving at the plane. they either can't find me, or aren't looking. i'm not sure which. i'm surrounded by wtaer on all sides. no land. then i spot what looks like an island. i swim towards it. get on land. it looks like it used to be inhabited. empty buildings. abandoned cars. etc. suddenly i hear/see a car coming. i hide and watch a jeep-like vehicle approach me. no roof. two people in the front. i stand up. they see me. i either realize or am told that this is not an island, but a penisula or something. next thing i know i am in my maternal grandparent's old house (which was also where my family lived for a couple of years in my mid-teens). i am in a rush to get ready to leave for something. the only other person in the house is an older gay gentleman. upon waking, i had no idea who this person is, but in the dream, i must have known him. a family friend or someting. houseguest? friend of my mom's? i'm getting ready to go out, and i go into the bathroom, where, to my horror, i see two children underwater, drowned, in the bathtub. a young baby girl and a slightly older toddler boy. i panic. and pull them out of the water, putting them on towels on the floor, where i start cpr on them. i scream for the guy in the house to help. i run to grab the phone to call 911. i am panicking, wondering who left them in the bath unattended? was it my fault? was i supposed to be watching them? i don't remember anybody telling me they were there. as i'm having these thoughts, i'm screaming for the old man to help me, desperately trying to breathe life back into the children, attempting to call 911. i keep getting the wrong number. my call is not going thrugh. the old man is standing in the doorway of the bathroom, i try to force the phone into his hands, screaming at him to help and call 911. he does nothing. maybe he just doesn't want to get involved? but for some reason he is making me deal with all of this on my own. i finally get through to 911. and i breathe into the boys lungs and he coughs, water comes out of his mouth. then he is unresponsive. then he coughs again. there is hope. i am back and forth between working on him and the girl. i am awake before i find out whether or not i was able to save them both.
the strange thing is, i had this dream sleeping on a floor, and when i told the dream to my friend who had ben sleeping on the couch beside me, he told me that he also had a dream about performing cpr on a young boy. crazy eh?
thu. oct. 1 - LONDON, ON @ moon over marin sat. oct. 3 - BAYFIELD, ON @ the black dog sun. oct. 4 - HAMILTON, ON @ the corktown mon. oct. 5 - TORONTO, ON @ the boat tue. oct. 6 - KINGSTON, ON @ the mansion wed. oct. 7 - PETERBOROUGH, ON @ the underdog thu. oct. 8 - OTTAWA, ON @ babylon fri. oct. 9 - MONTREAL, QC @ a loft party (ask me for details)
sun. oct. 11 - MONCTON, NB @ the paramount mon. oct. 12 - HALIFAX, NS @ gus' pub
wed. oct. 21 - MARATHON, ON @ the bar thu. oct. 22 - THUNDER BAY, ON @ jack's
mon. oct. 26 - WINNIPEG, MB @ the lo pub tue. oct. 27 - MEDICINE HAT, AB @ ottoman lounge wed. oct. 28 - LETHBRIDGE, AB @ henotic restaurant thu. oct. 29 - EDMONTON, AB @ likwid lounge
sat. oct. 31 - CALGARY, AB @ the warehouse
wed. nov. 4 - PENTICTON, BC @ voodoo's
mon. nov. 9 - VANCOUVER, BC @ the modern tue. nov. 10 - VICTORIA, BC @ lucky bar
thu. nov. 13 - VANCOUVER, BC @ the media club
as you can see, we've got a few gaps that we're still working. still looking at booking some more dates on the east coast, saskatchewan, alberta, and plenty more in b.c. if you know of any spots we should contact, please let me know.
i've tried to write this bio a couple of times now, and, well, the thing is, I have nothing to say about me, us, our group, or our music. well, that's not entirely true. i have lots to say about it (and a million other things), but i'd rather do it over drinks in the pub than staring at a computer screen, sitting on my friend's couch, up north in the country, in my pajamas, at 3am, the night before the dude at the label is expecting a finished bio in his inbox.
and yes, i know, i use way too many commas...
so anyway, tim and i have (finally) finished enough songs to call them an "album." it's been a long road. three years or so. not that we were working on our stuff that whole time, 'cause we mostly weren't. i don't really know what he was doing for most of that time, but i know what i was doing, and, well, i was doing too much of it.
after we made the last album in montreal, i moved. a few times. (i am so sick of moving.) not living in the same city made it a bit harder for us to make music together. me being a depressed, drunk, ego-driven drug-fucker didn't help much either. but we did some demos back and forth over the internerd, and every now and again when i could scrape up the change i would head up to montreal for a spell and we'd bang on a few drums.
side note: having travelled to montreal by plane, train, bus, motorhome, hitch-hiking, and those sketchy rideshare vans on craigslist, i gotta say, porter airlines is the shit!
so anyway, after a long time of working on demos and both of us not really being focused and thusly not really digging anything we were coming up with, we both kind of lost interest or just got on with other things. tim was working. he has a real job. he works at a university or something, as the sound engineer for the film department (you can hear it in his music, i think, movie-like...). me? i'm not sure what i was doing. travelling. bartending. i fell in love with a few people. i think i was engaged at some point. i quit doing blow a few times. made a couple of weird indie films. drank too much. started a band or three. moved so much i don't even take my stuff out of boxes anymore. partied myself all the way into the realization that i was living in a black hole and it was going to take a lot of work to pull myself out of it.
after a year or so of us barely talking, i called tim earlier this year and said "i'm coming up there in a few weeks. let's get back in the studio." not to get all new-agey on you, but i had been sober for a couple months (okay, a week), had started doing daily yoga, and seeing a shrink. i realized that this music wasn't going to make itself, and i had to get my head clear so we could do the work.
somehow, we both found a new focus, and put together the entire album in about two weeks, scrapping most of our demos and rerecording everything fresh.
then we went out to celebrate and i got really drunk and ran into some old friends...
"when they told me about the bear, i though they were kidding, i'm like "you're bullshitting, are you for real?" they said "yeah, it lives at the end of our street, where the forest and the country road meet, you might see it, on your way to the beach." on my way to the beach, on my bike, that night, i stopped at the crossing, looked left and right, about an hour after dusk, there wasn't much light, i heard a rustle in the underbrush, and filled with fright, flashed my light like OFF, ON, and OFF, honked my horn, like, HONK, HONK, my chest got tight, heavy breath, i pedaled off..."
my first day in tobermory.
got here last night, after a whirlwind "pack-n-move," something i have gotten close to mastering in my somewhat-nomadic life. "i'll be there in an hour," my brother says on the phone from the road on his way to pick me up in my mom's friend's van. (i haven't started packing yet.)
coffee. music. throw everything into garbage bags.
just get in all into something that we can carry, load the van, grab some brunch and a pint somewhere - this time at mezzrow's, for greek omelets and a pint of creemore - and hit the road. goodbye flatmates (this time "big gay charles" and "holy-shit-do-you-ever-stop-talking damon"), goodbye city (this time toronto), goodbye job (this time the rhino bar & grill, on queen st. west - great place to go for a cheap pint, terrible place to work), and hit the road...
so now i'm here. tobermory.
i was here once before. the summer before grade six. my mom and her friend across the street, vera wren, rented a cottage for a week. the two of them, vera's son mike, and my brothers and i. i don't remember much of it. flowerpot island. glass-bottom boats to look at shipwrecks under the cold water.
my little brother colin, mike and i walked to the nearest store to look for comic books one day. they didn't have any. so we decided to keep walking and find another store. well, up here, it's not like the city where you're going to find a corner store every few blocks. an hour or two went by. mom and vera - freaking out that we were taking so long - come flying over the hill in their station wagon to find the three of us walking along the side of the road. happy to find us - and know that we were safe - but furious at us for being stupid and deciding to go for a long walk in search of comic books without realizing how long we were gone for. ah well, kids, what are you gonna do?
turning over rocks to find crayfish, filling up a bucket of the things, and bringing them back to the cottage to create our own little watery zoo in the cottage's bathtub. i don't really remember how that one went over.
phone calls are expensive up here. i bought a new phone card and made two or three calls and already i'm almost out of time. i'm going to have to be careful.
the view? the air? the water?
well, that's why i'm here.
fireworks tonight. i should finish this beer and climb back on my schwinn cruiser and head down to the harbour soon.
going up north to tobermory for july and august. should be nice. i'll be the guy sitting out on the lake in a canoe with an acoustic guitar that i don't know how to play, a rice hat, and a lava lamp.
day 15 of my yoga 30-day challenge. was going really well, but i either pinched or pulled something and now the entire part of my body from my lower back to my left knee is just one bit throbbing zone of hurt.
going to see my shrink tonight. that's been going pretty well, i think.
i do love this whole "not working" thing. i wish it could last forever. fuck wishing, i'm going to make it last forever.
new 'ok cobra' album almost done. tim sent me a couple more mixes. i like it. wish i could post up here but i think he'd get pissed at me. (i'll probably do it soon anyway...)
booking a cross-canada tour in september with the boys from 'toolshed'.
what else can i tell you? i don't know.
taking another stab at this 'master cleanse' thing. wish me luck.
it's not easy. i quit drinking coffee 6 days ago and i couldn't stay awake for the first few days. i had no caffeine had that big an effect on me/people. crazy. three days of being half-asleep, half-awake, can't stay asleep, can't stay awake.
okay, i'm off, gotta work on this new song i'm doing with some dude in turkey...
went out last night to the jason george for a little get-together for my friend and former co-worker nick, who is leaving tomorrow for a year in dubai. i worked with him for years at c'est what. good dude. wish him an awesome time. hopefully i'll get over there at some point for a visit. wouldn't that be a trip? i got the travel bug hard now, after hitting europe three times in the last two years. i can't believe it took me 30 years to get my ass out of north america. i think i might go buy a world map today and put it up on my wall. (reminds me of a mitch hedberg joke that goes something like this: "i'm going to get a map of the world and put it up on my wall and put pins in all the places i've been to, but first i have to travel to the top two corners of the map, so it won't fall down...")
after spending a month - two years ago - in germany and czech republic, and then going back to czech again for that festival, and then last fall spending a month travelling around france and switzerland, i'm itching hard to see more places.
my english/scottish roots have me wanting to check out the UK (got some distant family there as well). i was planning on going to costa rica this feb./mar., but ended up going to montreal to record our new album, and blew my costa rica travel budget. i could go now, but sort of thinking "what's the point in going somewhere warm in the spring/summer?" save that for winter. i'm dying to check out asia. really thinking about vietnam/cambodia, that whole part of the world. south america? i'd love to do it, one end to the other, on a motorcycle. africa? truthfully, i don't have all that much interest in going there, although i'm sure that would change the minute i got off the plane. egypt - i simply must see the pyramids in this lifetime. china - at some point in my life i also must climb huashan. japan - okinawa... so many places to go.
ran into a couple of guys at the bar last night. rick and glenn. former c'est what regulars. guys i served for years. started chatting with them, and turns out both of them have been spending quite a bit of time in asia over the last few years. rick just got back two weeks ago from a seven-month stay in thailand. he's got a blog about it. good guys to know and brain-pick for info if/when i decide to get my ass over there.
talked to tim on the phone yesterday. his work schedule is finally easing up so he's going into full-on mixing mode now. should be done mixing the album by the end of may. then mastering, pressing, and hopefully you fuckers will buy some copies and help me get my ass on an airplane. i gotta get on top of the artwork too. we got the title for the album picked out, but i can't tell you the baby's name until it is born...
this is a song i wrote late one night (or early one morning, depending on your point of view) after work. it's about being a bartender. it's called "working the wood."
"he stands behind the bar, an undiscovered star, pours another beer, hands it over, saying "cheers," you hand him your money, and he collects his tips, picks up the bar towel, wipes up the drips, he takes a sip of water, he's been sober now, for a couple of months, and he doesn't know how, a crazy way of life, the drunk girls, the fights, it all blends in to one long sleepless night, it's been so many years, the only life he knows, a decade full of booze, blow and cigarette smoke, he wants a change, he craves something else, he's trying to grow out of his old self... but every now and then the past rears its ugly head, it's no longer fun, he's amazed he's not dead, he's been lost and found again, this life hurts so good, he's clocking in at 5pm, working the wood...
he's capable of so much, potential through the roof, nobody knows what you can do until you give them proof, he tried to live the corporate dream, put on a shirt and tie, but it was such a nightmare, he kissed it good bye, he gave his notice, plain clothes chosen, went back into service, a starving artist, with no future, yeah it makes him nervous, but he has faith in his calling, his art gives him true meaning, he measures his success, not by money, but by feelings, and right now he feels full, writing these here words, but they may not be his best, but they're off his chest, that's worth, and don't you dare look down on him, and think his life a waste, the only waste he sees are those from sleep who never wake, they sit at desks, take urine tests, have corporate cards and meetings, car allowances, travel budgets, trying to crack that ceiling, and in that empty world, he'll give you two things that you seek, some music to zone out to, and of course, he'll pour some drinks...
the question is, this thing he does, he had it all to lose, his obligation's to his muse, he's got nothing to prove, so you can judge him, think him dumb, uneducated, worthless, he's living underwater, struggling to surface, at 3am, he locks the door, tired, sore and blistered, another night, another fight for meaningful existence, he makes his way home in the dark, picks up a pad and pencil, and writes it all down in the dawn light creeping through the window, he hears your stories, feels your pain, and shares with you your joys, he keeps your cup full, celebrates your life, gives you a voice, and sometimes in those moments, when you're down and at your worst, he says "this one's on me tonight," and quenches more than thirst, one thing he knows about his life is that he can't commit, to anything more than appreciation of each moment, and ups and downs, the ins and outs, he takes the bad with good, and he'll be here tomorrow night, still working the wood..."
(C) 2009 ryan somers (don't matter just don't bite it)
okay, this is where i'm going to start plugging in my daily numbers. what i do to work out, what i eat, and other relevant stuff. so here it is for yesterday:
woke up at 12:30pm. i would have liked to have gotten up earlier (as i had planned to make it to the noon moksha yoga class), but i didn't get home from work until 4:30am, and it took me at least an hour to fall asleep. doing any sort of work-out on 4-5 hrs. sleep sucks. hard.
breakfast? two breakfast bagels from poor john's, around the corner from my house. whole wheat bagel, egg, bacon, cheese. not the best breakfast, but i caved.
i didn't get a photo of it, but here is a photo of a couple of bagels that i took a few weeks back. okay, so, ryan, one is enough. two? that is just ridiculous. i don't care how hungry you think you are when you wake up in the morning.
oh yeah, and two large coffees that i sip slow over the first couple of hours of being awake.
spinach/squash roti. maybe not the best thing in the world, but i don't think it's that bad. spinach is good for you. squash, has to be good for you, right?
plus, a bottle of vitamin water. good stuff.
and then dinner,
spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and boccancini (sp?) and a poppyseed dressing. and water. not a bad dinner i think.
and later on i resisted the urge to have a glass of wine, sticking to water all night instead.
also, no smoking.
no working out either, but i did do some walking during the day.
excercise: some light walking. smoking: no. (yay!) water: lots. beverages: 2 coffees and 1 bottle of vitamin water. food: two breakfast bagels, spinach roti, and spinach salad.
-i should have either gone to the gym or a later yoga class. -one whole wheat bagel is okay for breakfast, but not two. (and i don't really need cheese and bacon on there. just an egg should be fine.) -happy that i didn't smoke. -also happy that i stuck to water, and resisted the urge to have a glass of wine.
another dream i had, this one a few weeks ago, but i don't think i've told you about it yet, so here it is...
i'm standing outside, talking to two police officers, both of them male (for some reason, i am thinking of the two cops from 'superbad,' but this is most likely after the fact). it's daylight. we're standing sort of in between two police cruisers, that are parked at an angle, towards each other, nose to nose. on the roof of each car, is a large rack, where they are collecting plastic water bottles. we're having a conversation about some new drug that people are using, involving plastic water bottles, and specifically, a friend of mine who they are worried about, someone who i am close to, who is using this drug, and they are asking me if i can help. next thing i know, i am in an apartment, and there is a small party going on. i look around, and people are wearing helmets. what look like the type of helmets an air force pilot would wear, with the oxygen masks attached to them, and the hoses from the masks attached to water bottles. people are breathing in this drug. i put on my own helmet, but it is different than everyone elses. the helmet i put on is a full-faced racing helmet - the type that would be worn by a motorcycle or race car driver. there is no mask/hose/bottle attachment. when i put the helmet on, it is like i am in space - though still very much aware that i am sitting in this apartment, wearing this helmet. but i can see stars, nebulae, space dust cloud formations, galaxies, etc., and i hear classical music. it's beautiful. breathtaking. then i take my helmet off, and see the other people in their air force/mask/hose/bottle helmets and i realize that i am quite happy with my own helmet, and that i don't need to try theirs, though it has been offered...
i think this one is pretty obvious, especially considering the things i've been working on lately... the attempted lifestyle overhaul i've been going through, getting away from the bad food/drinking/smoking/drugs and focusing on eating better, yoga, excercising, meditating, etc. whatever is in those bottles, i don't need it anymore. and i don't need to keep trying any "new" things like that either. totally sober, i can see the stars, and hear the music...
this was a beautiful dream, that i am thankful for.
(i also wonder about the significance of the whole "helmet" thing, as i grew up in a household that was full of helmets. both of my parents had been race car drivers, along with many of my uncles. my father still raced when i was a child, so, growing up, we often spent weekends in our summers, travelling to race tracks such as shannonville and mosport to watch my father race. also, my brothers and i all grew up driving racing go-karts, so, from as early as i can remember, i was wearing a helmet, and racing helmets were always around...)
last night i had a dream that i was in a studio in somebody's apartment, and they kept playing me different beats, and i kept freestyling lyrics over them... rhyming, singing, doing it all, in different styles, even imitating other rappers' styles at times (i remember doing one freestyle in the style of the alkaholiks) and the crazy thing is, even in my sleep, i was freestyling real words. it was crazy, i woke up and for a few brief seconds i could even remember some of the rhymes that i had said. but, like most things from dreamland, when you wake up you can only glimpse a few faint wisps as they fade away...
still, it felt pretty great.
i love freestyling dreams. ciphering with one's subconscious...
you ever notice when you change something in your body chemistry, you get really crazy dreams for a while?
try it. quit smoking. or start. quit drinking. or start. take away or add anything significant to your intake and your dreams will change. at least for a few days.
last night i was in an apartment. there was some sort of a party going on. there were lockers in the kitchen. each one had a different weapon in it. but they were mostly toy weapons. or broken weapons. i was locked in the kitchen. i had locked myself in. the people in the other room were trying to get me. i hid in a closet. a child opened the closet. the door to the other room opened. i picked up a bow to fire into the doorway to stop them from coming in, but i had no arrows. earlier i had been stepping in a litter box without realizing it and somebody had said something to me. now i am crouching down, on the kitchen floor, looking at a kitten. my kitten. it has been accidentally poisoned. it is unconscious. i am talking to it, petting it, crying, hoping it wakes up. it does. it is groggy. i am told that i have to keep it awake. if it falls asleep again it will mostly likely die...
so i decided, at the top of this year, this was going to be "the year i get my life together."
if you've been reading, then you know i've been struggling with quitting smoking, working on eating better, did the moksha yoga 30-day challenge in february. after looking into a few different gyms, i finally decided on joining goodlife, and went in a couple of weeks ago to sign up. i opted to set up six sessions with a personal trainer, to get me started, as i have no idea how to find my way around in the gym. i don't have the slightest clue where to start, what to do, how to do it, for how long, and how often. so i go in, to meet with "jason," my trainer, and i had to fill out what i thought was some standard "rate your health" type of form. well, goodlife is a big company, with i'm sure a number of big-time lawyers who make sure everything is all legal-like. so, when i stupidly checked the wrong couple of boxes on the form, indicating that i had some slight joint issues, i was told that i wouldn't be allowed to start working out until i got the OK from my doctor.
can't you just give me another copy of that form and i'll check the other box instead?
nope. sorry. it's a legality issue...
fast forward two weeks, i booked down to london last week for a quick physical with my doctor (thanks for squeezing me in), and i'm back at the gym with my signed consent form.
i started on monday. got a basic walk through the circuit training machines. biceps. triceps. quads. delts. abs. etc., starting and finishing with some time on the bike. felt pretty good after. i'm still feeling it in my muscles.
i'm hoping to alternate gym days with yoga days, but shitty, i didn't get up in time yesterday to make it to the noon yoga class. (doesn't help that i didn't get home from work until 4:30am - i need a new job, but that's a different story...)
anyway, i'm working with jason on developing a program for me. he took my weight, height, bmi, blood pressure, etc., and we discussed my goals.
he's also got me keeping a food journal. i'm a little embarassed to hand it over to him at this point. i can do better. i WILL do better.
my motivation? i've got a picture of myself on my wall from three summers ago. i was about 20 pounds lighter. i swore i'd never let this happen. not that i'm mega obese or anything, but shit, i just know how much BETTER i feel in life without carrying around that extra few pounds. more energy. more agile. lighter. taller. happier...
so, my goals, as i discussed with my trainer, are the following:
1. just to BE healthier. -this will obviously come from a combination of excercise, better eating, and overall lifestyle changes.
2. to lose 20 pounds. -right now, i'm hovering around in the 190-195 range. i'd like to get down to 175 and see how that feels. maybe at that point, i'll want to go further, or maybe that will be enough.
3. to quit smoking for GOOD. -this one is on me. it's a fight. i'm fighting it. but it's not good enough to be fighting it. you have to be winning it, ALL THE TIME. or else you lose.
4. to achieve better muscle definition. -this can only come from making 'em burn. burn, baby, burn...
i'm sure i'll think of more things i want to accomplish (learning french - and the guitar - are two that spring to mind, but that's another story), but more on that later. for now, i'm going to start keeping a log of my progress on here for you. starting later today when i get home from my second session with my trainer.
i'll be checking in daily with my weight, what excercises i'm doing, and what i'm eating/drinking, in hope that some of you will remind me to lay off the ciders after work, as they surely aren't helping.
i'll be taking pictures of myself, to note the changes in my body (yeah, right now i'm a "before" hoping to become an "after"), as well as taking pictures of the things i eat and drink.
i don't know if anyone will even read this - or care - but just the very act of putting it out there will make me that much more aware of everything on a daily basis. i just know it.
okay, i'm off... gotta get my shorts on and head to the gym... just going to finish my coffee first...
sure, just like every other day. but no, it has to be. do you hear me? it HAS to be.
an open letter to myself:
quit fucking around and get your shit together. those cigarettes are going to KILL you. those chicken wings are going to KILL you. that third beer - the one that leads to the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventeenth ones - is going to KILL you.
make the commitment, to yourself, and share it with your friends. open yourself to the universe, and the people in it. to LOVE. compassion. discipline. commitment.
you are so much more than you are currently allowing yourself to be. and frankly, it makes yourself sick.
it's starts NOW... it starts NOW... it starts NOW... it starts NOW...
these are some new lyrics, i hope you enjoy them. if you'd like to hear the demo of the song, shoot me an email (i don't want to post it up here, but don't mind sharing it with a few friends...)
"waiting for jamie." lyrics by ryan somers aka fritz tha cat [(c) 2009 seriously, don't bite it.]
if this is the first day of the rest of my life, i might as well climb up and take a dive, and do a couple flips, and try to jack knife, and even if i belly-flop, at least i tried, a thief in the night? nah, in broad daylight, i'll take what i need, right, make it mine, take my time, 'cause really there's no rush, no ifs, ands, or buts, there's only do, no try, do you know why? i'm thinking only the gods do, so many people in this world try to con you, look at my finger, no, look at the moon, well, what do we have here? there is no spoon, and this ain't no tune about "do what i do," like i was painting cherry blossoms and writing haikus, truth to truth is, only you can be you, and if i can be me for a minute, then i'll be fine too...
when i was trying to find you, i wasn't sure where to look, you're an unlisted number, the world's a telephone book, my fingers kept walking, for so long, they collapsed, woke up beside you, they started to dance, i got into a groove, kept it smooth like slimkid, jack and jill went up the hill and wrote a dirty limerick, sipped some fine whisky, kissed, hide the hickies, slipped and fell, slid down, feeling kinda dizzy, i missed you for a minute, then i regained consciousness, dug a well in heart, and found it was bottomless, so maybe i oughta just, follow you around, for a while, i like your style, plus you think profound things, to make me sing loud, laughing, i'm clowning, court jester turned crowned king, hey, so how's things? i think i'm doing pretty good, pretty lady, finally, judging by the clouds, and their many silver linings...
like ivy, climbing on brick, like the time ticks, like a fine mist, like wondering "do i exist?," maybe i might just, get it, before it gets me, so stealthy, this thing called empty, maybe the weaponry we've been using is all wrong? maybe we've all been singing the wrong songs? a call to arms, against invisible foes, i fire invisible arrows, i wonder where do they go? well, maybe they know, and maybe they don't, i won't put my faith in hearsay and say-so, say it ain't play, though i doubt it's much more than that, think about the plotlines, characters, format, the whole stage show, it's all for their benefit, a puppet on a string, like what to say, where to fit into the whole thing? i wonder who's writing it, i'll see inside the author's mind, when i just stop fighting it...
[this is the last song i wrote for the new OK COBRA album. matter of fact, i didn't even write it for this album. i spent the first two months of 2009 getting all my songs together for the album. thought i was finished. a day or two before i flew up to montreal to record, i woke up one day and wrote these lyrics in about 20 minutes. (i LOVE it when that happens!) in montreal, on our last day in the studio, we had finished everything we had set out to do, and had a couple of hours to kill. hanging out with mike, paula, and owain, taking some photos, sipping on jameson's, tim started playing a few beats, and i pulled out my notebook... "hey tim, i wrote this a couple of days ago, wanna try it out?" so we did, and i think it's my favourite thing we did for the record...]
i haven't been writing on here much lately. i can't really say i've been doing all that much at all, really. just working, and sleeping. sleeping lots. and watching lots of movies. TONS of movies. i've probably watched about 200 movies over the last four months. city of ghosts. apocalypse now. best in show. the last samurai. w. dogma. garden state. blow. sideways. rescue dawn. eyes wide shut. parenthood. sheepshit.
(thought i'd throw that one in there...)
(i'm not gonna lie to you, it was a bit of an exciting moment for me, when sean emailed me that link... "dude, we're on IMDB...")
(hopefully more to come on that front...)
so yeah, what's been happening?
well, i'm back in toronto.
but you probably knew that already. it's been a while. i can't really remember what i've told you and what i haven't gotten around to telling you yet.
working at a bar. it's called the *****. come by and say hello sometime.
i started doing yoga. did 30 days straight. it was amazing. i haven't been in a week or so. i gotta get back to it. been sick this whole week. stomach cramps. haven't been able to sleep. nausea. spent about three days straight in the bathroom.
i went to montreal a month or so. finished recording all my vocals for the new OK COBRA album. it's going to be called ***** *****. i should have more info for you soon. timbo's working on the mixes. should have a rough mix of the album in a month or so. then we just gotta spit-polish a few things and send it off.
i'll fill you in as i find out what's going on.
can't believe it's been three years since we put out the last album. feels like yesterday. feels like 100 years ago.
i'm excited to get some new music out there.
got some other projects in the works now too. more on that later.
for now? well, trying to stay committed to making a few changes. "lifestyle overhaul" sort of thing. staying away from the drugs. barely drinking these days. quitting smoking (it's a process, working in a bar makes it tough). yoga. hitting the gym. walks/jogs along the lake path.
i hope you're doing well.
want to hear a sneak preview of a new demo we're working on?
let me know, maybe i'll post something up here...
take care of yourselves, it's a big world out there, i just want to swim in as much of it as i can...
got an email a few days ago from my cousin paul, who i haven't seen in close to 15 years:
"Hey man what's going on ? How ya been doing ?
I actually lucked out and got a part in a pretty well established metal band called Absu as the new singer/bassist. Well I do most of the vocals the drummer does some. Anyways I feel pretty lucky and humbled.
But to get to the point were going to be up in Canada this summer and I would be totally stoked beyond belief if any of you and your friends want to pop in to the gigs. I can put as many people on the guest list as you want and I know their will be tons of free booze. Maybe you can tell your brothers to if they are around ? I understand if you guy's can't make it it's a long way off and I know how life is but just thought I would shoot the invite because it would be pretty cool . Bring the ear plugs !
Here's the dates and venues ...
Jun 12 2009 8:00P The Underground Calgary, Alberta
Jun 13 2009 8:00P The Exchange Regina, Saskatchewan
Jun 14 2009 8:00P Royal Albert Arms Winnipeg, Manitoba
Jun 15 2009 8:00P Wreck Room Toronto, Ontario
Jun 19 2009 8:00P Petit Campus Montreal, Quebec
And I think the silver paint thing is hilarious. The drummer has been doing it for a while now and I had to do it up for the promo shots. I told him about how the only other time I have seen it done was my cousin hahah. Funny cooincidences.
Later man hope you have a good birthday, a kick ass year, and that shit is going well !
i'm going to go to the gig, despite my fears, it'll be good to see the cuz doing his thing. check the vid:
you ever see that show numb3rs? i've caught the odd episode. judd hirsch plays the father of two boys who - if i remember correctly - are investigators for some government agency (fbi or cia or something). and one of them happens to be a math genius. there's a quote from one of the shows, where the math guy is trying to explain something to everyone else, and is having a difficult time finding the words, and says something to the effect of "it's almost impossible to explain, because, in my head, it just is what it is, you know?"
well, sometimes i feel like that. i'm sure we all do.
anyway, lately i've been thinking about some numbers...
33: years old last week. (as my buddy paul says: "l'age du christ.") 21: days in a row of hot yoga. 8: pounds lost so far. 5: days without smoking (thank you allen carr).
i can't remember exactly, but if i had to pick an age, i'd say i started really smoking around 16 years old. sure, i'd had a few puffs here and there before that, experimenting with my friends in the playground with a found pack of cigarettes, but at 16, well, that's probably when i started buying them and smoking regularly. i moved out of the family home when i was 16, stayed at a friend's place for a while, and shortly after my 17th birthday, i moved into my first apartment.
what scared me, last year, when i turned 32, was thinking that, well, if i started smoking at 16, and was now 32, well, i'd been smoking exactly half my life.
freaked me right out.
nobody ever starts smoking and thinks they're going to be a lifelong smoker.
when you're a kid, it's a social thing, something you do with your friends on weekends, when you're sneaking beers out of your dad's fridge in the garage and hanging out at the firepit down by the river or at the house of whoever's parents are away that weekend. it makes you feel rebellious, or grown up, or like a character in a movie. it's a prop. part of the role. "hey, i'm a teenager..."
and then, shit, you're hooked.
and then, even bigger shit, you wake up one day and it's your 32nd birthday and you've been smoking half your life and your promise yourself you will quit for good this year, because, god forbid you turn 33 and you're still smoking, because at that point it will be for MORE THAN HALF OF YOUR LIFE and then your goose is really cooked. it's like you've given up. and you're a slave.
so here i was, at the start of 2009, smoking, drinking regularly, eating shit food, 20 pounds heavier than i should be, and deciding it was TIME.
so, i joined a yoga studio. signed up for a 30-day challenge right off the bat. didn't think i'd have a snowball's chance in hell of actually completing the thing.
but here i am, 21 days in, and i KNOW i'm going to finish it. planning everything else in my life around it. matter of fact, everything else has pretty much disappeared in the last 20 days.
i also told myself that at some point during the 30-day challenge i would have to quit smoking. for real this time. i had gotten myself down to 3-4 sticks a day, but i needed to make that final leap of faith across the chasm of withdrawal. so i started reading allen carr (again). brilliant man. i think i actually GET IT this time. (lord, i hope so!)
and then, last wednesday, it was my birthday. 33. ("l'age du christ.") i woke up, and it was TIME. "i don't smoke anymore," i said to myself, and i haven't since.
something about it, this time, at this age, i just feel like it's the biggest battle of my life, and that i've crossed a certain line that, i just CAN'T do it anymore. it feels bigger than me.
anyway, that's my story, for now.
i remember when i quit two years ago (why oh why did i ever start again!), and somebody asked me how difficult it was and i said: "it was the hardest thing i've ever done in my life, but it wasn't nearly as hard as i thought it was going to be."
so now, back to some numbers...
33: you know, i feel pretty good at 33, at this point, i'm just happy to be here. 21: days in, and i am FEELING the benefits. i can feel/see a different in my body, and my mind is calmer, and, well, i am just more aware of my body and breath. i'm taller too. no joke. about a half inch. yoga really stretches out your spine. 8: this is the start. my goal was to get down at least 20. maybe 25. or even 30. basically, start with 20, and see how i feel from there. i'm stoked about this. 5: shit, that was yesterday, i'm on day 6 now. almost a week. and i feel GREAT. seriously, i recommend reading the easy way if you want to quit. instead of "oh god how will i survive without smoking?" this dude changes your mindspace into "oh god i feel FREE, how the fuck did i ever smoke?" and it's almost instant, the change. he just gets inside your head and moves everything around until you see it for what it really is. wish me luck, and i'll do the same for you...
the nope. i first met psy and moka (dave and dan, respectively) somewhere around the same time. oh, ten years or so ago. (has it really been that long?) living in toronto, writing the rap column for vice magazine, my path crossed with both of theirs, back in the day when dudes were hustling tapes. i love tapes. ape nuts. awkward why. durable mammals, both of these cats. good guys too.
a decade later, we've all gone on to experience our share of the rap life's ups and downs. from selling cassettes out of the backpack, to sipping champagne in the vip section, to pushing mp3's on myspace, and taking it back to the people at the underground clubs. the rap game done changed, but the strong remained the same. stayed gold. or got gold again. and that's when it starts to get gooder.
from his early days riding trains up and down the west coast, to winning juno awards with swollen members, to making the best beats of his career, moka only is a canadian legend. he was already a legend in his own mind before the rest of us caught on. this is a good thing. psy, for his part, has been putting it down forever as part of the oddities crew, tightening his flow with multiple releases, writing the kind of lyrics that make rappers wanna hate on him. don't hate. coagulate.
the nope. well, the nope, i guess it's like the opposite of the yup. or the yep. yes. that's exactly what it is. what it isn't. and it isn't what you might think it's gonna be. it's not what you see on tv. it's not trying to be something it isn't, which is exactly what it shouldn't be, which it isn't, which is, again, a good thing.
good things happen to people who are good. good people, good at what they do, being good. more than the sum of it's parts, this is what makes it great. and greatness, well, greatness is what happens to goodness when it ages. ripens. matures. loses itself to find itself again and realizes that it already was what it always wanted to be.