7-27-03, 7:30 PM -

Well, the disc is in the mail to the duplicator. Damn.

Movement. At long last, movement. The holding pattern of the last three years was necessary, I realize, but it feels good--and a little strange--to be back in the business of setting gears in motion.

Not that the album recorded itself, but it's a different kind of movement I'm starting now. The movements of studio work and songwriting, at least the way I've done it, are all rather isolated. The movements of publicity and performance are all-out, wall-smashing, domino-shoving affairs that don't come naturally to hermits. But I've done 'em before, and I'll do 'em again.

Except this time, something's different. My confidence has grown by leaps & somersaults since 1999, the last time I plied these particular waters. So has my focus. Damn, I was 25 when my old band played our farewell gig. I might as well have been 12, given all that I've learned since.

These new movements are somewhat familiar, but only vaguely so. Promotion and performance are a bit death-defying, like throwing rocks at a mountainside and hoping you can surf the avalanche.

But gears are moving. I've started a To Do list, and I'm looking for a pocket day planner. Day planners have gotten fatter since last I dealt with them. People want every damn piece of information they need in one place. I eschew that policy simply because I lose things too easily. If I lose my day planner, at least I'll still have my address book. If I lose the address book, at least I'll still have my cell phone's number list. Divide & conquer. Or at least divide and minimize your losses.

I'm way too unhip to get a PDA. Too cheap, actually. I have no Amish resistance to technology, just a small wallet. I'd rather spend the money on postage and a PO Box. Apparently there's a waiting list for one at my local post office. It's the Radio City Station, so I guess there's high demand. There are a few Mailboxes Etc.'s around, so I'll investigate those. It's always something.

(the disc is out now, have a look - ed.)

In other news...

Still attempting to build the cat track. Crappy drywall and lurking brick have thwarted me so far, but we've decided to just build some creatively-shaped bookshelves so Jehosafat can crawl up above our heads. Yes, I realize I'm inviting stealthful kitty attacks on our hair, but it'll keep her busy.

The bird feeder continues to be a rousing success. In addition to the pigeons & sparrows, it now attracts doves, robins, and even parakeets.



One apparently escaped from someone's cage and is living wild among the city birds. He looked a bit worse for wear, so I'm not sure how long he'll last. Though my friend Arthur tells me that there's a gang of parrots who've lived in Prospect Park for the last half-century or so. They keep warm in the winter by huddling next to these huge electrical transformers. Clever little buggers.

One thing is clear: Jehosafat REALLY wants to bag a pigeon. She'll watch the other birds, but once a pigeon flumps into view, she creeps up to the glass and starts twitching her hips like she's about to lunge. One of the dumb ones bumped into the window last week, and she about killed herself trying to attack it through the glass.

It's rather humorous, because she's really never killed anything that wasn't either newly-born or crippled. When the field next to our old apartment in Fort Worth caught fire, scores of charred and bewildered mice ran into the apartment complex. She nabbed one and brought it before us like she was Lassie saving Timmy from the circus folk.

One time she leapt into a bush and seized a tiny chick, dragging its dying body into the house to play with it so it could bleed all over the carpet. I had to pick the poor thing up and throw it outside, shutting the door behind the bloodthirty beast as she pursued her prey.

Make no mistake: Cats are not peaceful creatures. We're just bigger than they are. And we give them food. If Rick Moranis shrunk you, you'd be cat food in an instant. Hell, they attack you anyway. They just know they can't win, so they hold back, otherwise you'd stop giving 'em food. Quid pro quo, Clarice.

The bird feeder is beginning to make a bit of a mess for our downstairs neighbor, though. They've got the patio, which has recently been getting a daily coat of bird shit dropped on it. Plus, birds are not the tidiest eaters. When they dig in, seed goes flying everywhere, and of course ends up on the patio.

One would think that when the feeder ran out, the birds would head to the patio & eat the remaining seed. But instead, they appear to loiter around the feeder, waiting for it to fill up again. Birds aren't very smart.



This weekend brought the first real summery weather we've had yet. I ain't complaining. Wifely's in the other room watching Tornado Video Classics, which is a good reminder of what I've been missing down in Tejas.

I remember buying that video when I worked at Bigass Books long ago. I used to put it on the TV in the Video Department and watch the customers cluster. No one, particularly not a Texan, can resist a tornado video. Suddenly everyone had a story about growing up in Oklahoma or Amarillo and nearly being sucked up by a twister.

Strange as it sounds, I lived 28 years in Texas and never saw one in person. I've been within a few miles of them and seen their debris paths, but never had a face-to-face encounter. The closest was the big March 2000 tornado that tore the shit out of downtown Fort Worth.

I was driving to Arlington from Dallas and was almost home, but when the rain became blinding and the radio announcer started with the "everyone take cover" talk, I pulled into a the drive-thru tunnel at Woody's Pawn Shop to wait it out. Truthfully, I probably would've been fucked had it come through there, but thankfully it veered elsewhere. That wasn't actually the one that hit downtown, it was another one that ripped up part of southern Arlington. Scared the bejeezus out of me, I'll tell you what.

The last job I held in Fort Worth--indeed the last job I held in Texas--was across from the Bank One tower downtown, and it looked like hell. As far as I know, it still looks like hell, plywood panels plugging all the holes left by shattered glass. They keep talking about rehabilitating it, but they don't move fast in Fort Worth. (it's very nice now, actually - ed.)

Not much to say about my present job, except that it still sucks. Whatever. In case my last entry has given anyone the impression that I'm a Neo-Nazi, I have composed a clarification of my religious stone-casting here.

We entertained a Texan friend of Wifely's last week, which was fun. Went out to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater for some artful improv sketch comedy, and were not disappointed. Though one of the performers looked like a guy I used to play D&D with (shut up, you), and another looked like my pal Shithead, so I had to fight off a bit of confusion. Worlds colliding...can't assimilate...annngggghhh...

Speaking of dorky games, I made casual mention at work of having played a drunken game of Risk a few months ago. Leave it to Tarim to inform me, "Man...that's not a party."

The hell it isn't. World domination and Shiner Bock--what says "All-American party" more than that?

So I asked the Wifely. "Umm...that's not a party."

Communists. Someone back me up here.

Okay, I'm just babbling now. Not much else to say until the big honking cartons of CD's show up at my doorstep in a couple of weeks and I have to figure out ways to make people buy them.

Cheerio, & don't let the city birds peck your eyes out. They do that, I saw it on the tele.



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the matthew show