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Showing posts from 2011

Resolutions

Does anyone really change? I mean really, really change. You can sign up for the gym, you can change your diet, you can pay for match.com. No such actions gaurantee that you are going to lose weight or go on a date. You're still fat and single and before you know it, it's the end of another year.

A few co-workers, over the past year, have explained to me multiple times how this time they are going to "stick to it" (it being a diet or going to the gym regularly) and each time they explain this to me, I laugh and give them two weeks.

I have been wrong. They have lasted three weeks.

People who make resolutions (whether they are for New Year's or other times) and then fail at following through on making a change are not bad people. They are not blights on society.

However, it continues to confuse me as to why someone who continually fails at the follow through of a plan will continue to justify talking about their new plan. In other words, if you suck at something…

Photo Dump

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I have had a bunch of pictures on my phone that I have intended to put up here since back at the beginning of the year.

At work, I have a torn piece of a magazine photo tacked to my cubicle. I got it from a travel magazine and keep it at work to remind me of nice places that I can go when I'm in a place that is the opposite of that.


A co-worker pulled this potato chip out of her bag of sour cream and onion chips. It's in the shape of a heart... how about that?


A friend at Caffe Lena cut the picture of me out of one of my business cards and taped it to the fire escape sign. This was done back a while back... it's still there. (*Note: "I'm" on stage.)


The same unnamed friend drew this on the open mic list.


I drew this at open mic at some point. And added some of the thought bubbles. The aforementioned unnamed friend wrote the description.


At some point at open mic night, I discovered a yellow twisty tie thing. I made a stick-figure playing a guitar and singing …

The D-Bags You Allow Yourself to be Seen With

I can't even begin to express how desperately I need to live closer to a Panera Bread. This town sucks and there is no place to get a warm soup in a soft bread bowl and mooch wi-fi.

I am in the most frustrated of moods right now and nothing in my immediate drive-tooable-distance has what I want/need. So, I'm sitting in my house, freezing (because I need to save some money, so I'm keeping the heat down) and yelling at my cat (because she won't stop jumping up on the dining room table despite the extensive collection of cat deterring strategies that I have employed), which is only resulting in making me more frustrated.

So, I open up an internet browser and log into blogger.com to tell you all about it :)

Something that I can't enough of complaining about, is the occurrence of women who have obviously put a lot of time and effort into their appearance hanging out with a group of or just one guy who looks like he just got out of his cleaning out portable toilets.

Se…

WEXT

I was driving home from work the other day, listening to 97.7 WEXT, when a break between songs occured. A familiar voice popped up in a brief advertisement for the station. It was a friend's voice. The voice introduced itself and added, "For Local Music All Day, Every Day, Keep it On 97.7 WEXT." The next song then came on.

This type of thing occurs multiple times a day when I'm listening to the radio, and even though I've been listen to WEXT for a few years now, I never cease to smile when I get to hear a friend's voice doing the familiar ad.

Of course, the station plays a song by a local musician every hour and (unless it is one of the local music shows that plays much more than one!). And being that I'm a small part of the Capital District's music community, I know a lot of local musicians. I hear their songs on the station frequently and when you are in the care with me, I will completely cut you off mid-conversation and turn the radio excitedly …

Sorry. I'm Occupied.

I wrote a letter to Mayor Jerry Jennings.

Dear Mr. Jennings:

I am writing to you to express my support of the Occupy movement in Albany. I am unable to attend the peaceful protests in person due to my work schedule, but am in full support of the message that members of the movement are presenting.

I will spare you with a rehashing of what the movement is all about; at this point, I am sure you are well-versed with the complaints/messages that Occupy members are expressing.

I would like, instead, to talk a little bit about myself and why, as one of the 99% (or 98% depending on who's sign you read), I feel helpless.

I obtained a Master’s of Arts in teaching degree about four years ago. I chose not to teach, for reasons that you don’t need to hear, and currently work for the county in which I live. I bought a house that I have owned now for five years. Because of the current state of the economy, I am selling my house. My mortgage increased by forty dollars a month over the last tw…

Thoughts

It seems like every time I sit down to write a blog entry, my train of thought is interrupted by one thing or another and I end up with a paragraph or so about some-such-thing that never gets posted. Most of the time, my thoughts are interrupted by people. I get a text from my dad, or a friend meets me at the coffee shop. Don't get me wrong, these aren't bad things by any means. In fact, I suppose that my lack of complete thoughts (blog entries) is due to socializing with people (real, live people) instead of communicating what I'm thinking through words on your computer. So, instead of you hearing about my life via my blog, you are hearing about it in person or over the phone. Cool, right?

Survival of the Fittest

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There is a small hallway, in the coffee shop in which I sit. The hallway joins the back two sides of the coffee shop. The following illustration should provide you with a better idea of the layout that I’m talking about:


The red rectangle thing at the bottom is the entrance to the coffee shop. The purple rectangle thing is where I am sitting with friends. The green rectangle thing is the door to a bathroom (the bathroom breaks up the coffee shop and creates a hallway where that red circle is).

While sitting here with friends, we noticed that the bathroom is out of order. An employee kept walking in and out of the bathroom with tools. Many people walked up to the door, noticed the out of order sign, and walked down a back hallway (as shown in the illustration) to the other bathrooms.

This occurred for quite some time until the employee suddenly came out of the bathroom quickly… a puddle of water followed him.

Soon, a bunch of the employees had the hallway blocked off with “Caution: We…

Renaissance

Over the past two years, I have gone through a lot of changes. Some might say that I have done a 180 (I love it when people say 360 when they mean 180 -- idiots) as it pertains to where my life was headed. I certainly don't think that this 180 talk applies to my own situation... in fact, I can very easily trace how every moment in my life has lead to this exact one...

Pfffffffttttttthh... Yeah right! Wouldn't it be hilarious if I was the type of person to get that sentimentally philosophical about life? Ha!

I am, however, continuing to "change." Unless, "adapt" is a better word. "Grow?" Okay. I'm voting for "grow."

I am continuing to grow. The next step in this growth process is to sell a whole crapload of my belongings. Not important stuff, like my toothbrush and bed; rather, I need to get rid of things that I own that aren't used. And there are a lot of such things.

This is not a new concept. In fact, I have been thinking abou…

"The Rest is Just Whatever"

I am at Uncommon Grounds in Saratoga listening to my iTunes on shuffle. I'm trying desperately to remove the god awful lyrics and music from my brain that have been stuck on repeat for the last few hours.

It's shortly after the Saratoga Lip Dub wrapped up filming. I got to be a small part of it along with a great group of Caffe Lena folks.

I'm a big fan of lip dubs. If you are unfamiliar with what a lip dub is, Wikipedia is your friend. So is Youtube. I have actually had the idea of doing a lip dub in Saratoga for some time, but since I don't have the funds or the pull with any organization that has the funds, I have not been spreading my idea. A group with the funds and the pull and the backing of the Common Council went ahead planned out an elaborate lip dub on Broadway in Saratoga and invited many Broadway business and Caffe Lena to be a part of it.

I got involved when I was asked by a Caffe Lena performer if I would like to show up and be a part of it. He didn'…

Blahhhwwggggg...

I have not been blogging for quite a while. Mostly because my blog has been somewhat broken. Actually, it was my website that was broken and it wasn't posting the blog on the homepage the way it had previously. I attempted a bunch of different "fixes" and eventually decided to use a java script widget as a replacement for the php that had been there. I'm sure little of that makes sense unless you are a computer programmer of some sort.

I'm feeling quite "blahhh" right now. I'm stuck at home being on-call for work and on-call has been rather full-of-calls tonight.

My allergies have been acting up... it's that time of year. I took Benadryl Monday night on top of my normal allergy meds and then felt like a zombie for the past two days.

When you are on extra, zombie-inducing allergy medications, it's hard to focus and write songs. It's even harder to focus and write songs when you are trying really hard but failing at not itching your eyes ou…

Something is wrong

There seems to be something wrong with the blog transferring to the homepage of my site. I'm not really sure why. This is just a test post to see if things will correct themselves with a fresh posting.

Pointless Gardens

I have been a lousy blogger. It's been like a month since my last posting. Although, it's my blog... so, technically, I can blog whenever I want and no one can tell me I'm being lousy. So... there.

It's getting late on a Wednesday -- a work night. However, tomorrow is my Friday since I took the real Friday off this week. I'm getting a four-day weekend out of the deal and I'm pretty darn excited about it. I took a mini vacation from work about a month ago, but ever since I've been back, I've been slammed with crisis after crisis. Things have finally begun to normalize and I actually caught up on stuff that I was way behind in. So, I earned a long weekend!

I like taking Fridays off because Thursday is Open Mic Night at Lena's and at the Circus Cafe. Without having to work on Friday, I feel more free to enjoy myself. No restraints on needing to be in bed by a somewhat decent hour. Woo!

Friday, I'm planning on grabbing some camping supplies (a really …

"Ball-Busters"

When I was a wee lad... when I was a little kid, there were times when my dad would take me places (grocery store, ice cream place, his work, etc) -- typical type places where a dad would take his kid -- and on such occasions, we would run into people-that-my-dad-knows. Being a courteous person, my dad would introduce me to such people. Sometimes, my dad would say, "Hey-hey, (person's name). How are you? This is my son (James)*" And my dad would turn to me and say "(James), this is (person's name)." My dad would then explain to me how this person is someone-that-he-knows.

Most of the time, some light conversation would ensue while I drifted off into some dream-like/euphoric state of mind. However, there were times when my dad added that this person whom he just introduced to his son "is a Ball-Buster."

A "Ball-Buster?"

At some point, my dad had explained to me what a "Ball-Buster" was. It's someone who "busts balls.&quo…

On a Rainy Day

My eyes are all eff'd up. I have been staring at my computer screen for the last three and a half hours. I had attempted to take a break a little while ago, but it was pouring outside and, besides, I was so close to finishing what I was working on... that was about an hour ago.

As usual, I'm hanging out in Uncommon Grounds. When I got here 2:30, it was muggy and sunny out. I was going to have lunch, busk for a bit, and then return to the cafe for a cold drink and typing. After first walking to the Sauve Faire (to look at hats), I decided it was too hot for busking and opted to get my cold drink right away.

While eating lunch, a bagel sandwich (these things always taste so fucking fresh -- it's amazing! I need an Uncommon Grounds in my kitchen...), I ripped some mp3s on to my computer and transferred them to my iPod. I'm in the process of doing this with a good portion of my CDs, trying to get a good mix on the iPod. I do a little at a time because it's a daunting tas…

A Dying Wookiee?

Okay. It's a dog. Good. Now, I can go back to being upset at other people instead of myself.

It all started when I opened my windows about a month and a half ago. It was warmish out in March for a few days and I opened some of the windows in my house to let some cool/fresh air in. I closed them shortly after that and then opened them again and closed them again and... you get the picture. Now that it's been consistently warm out, the windows have remained in some state of open-ness for a good week and a half.

When you open your windows in the spring time, two things come into your home. The first thing is spring-time air. Sometimes, it's air that is still on the chilly side, but you let it in because you want some fresh air to replace what has been sitting in your house since last Fall. Sometimes, it's because it really is too warm in your house to survive, even with the heat off, that you require some cooler spring-time air to bring the temperature down to something yo…

Does Anyone Buy Anything That People Try To Sell Them At Their Front Door?

I came home from work today with the intention of mowing my lawn... I was sidetracked when as soon as I walked in the back door, the front doorbell rang. I answered the door (despite my having-to-go-to-the-bathroom) because I didn't think there was going to be anyone there. I didn't see anyone on the street when I pulled in my driveway and the doorbell that I own operates on frequencies and has been known to randomly go off without anyone around to push the button. To my dismay there were two dick-ish looking men standing there with shark-esque smiles on their faces. The taller of the two was wearing a full-on, ill-fitting suit. My mind instantly went to "these are guys are going to try to sell me something... probably a gas provider."

"I don't have time right now," was my introduction.

The shorter guy with fierce eyes (I wasn't listening to what he said. Instead, I simply noted his pushy salesman-ness and general jerk-face-ery for laughs later on. I…

The Bachelor

I'm confused. A "bachelor" is a single man. Correct? Yet, a "bachelor party" is for the dude that is getting married. Simply put: WTF?

I just snagged this from merriam-webster.com:

Definition of BACHELOR
1: a young knight who follows the banner of another
2: a person who has received what is usually the lowest degree conferred by a 4-year college, university, or professional school ; also : the degree itself
3a : an unmarried man
b : a male animal (as a fur seal) without a mate during breeding time

There is no definition for "bachelor party." (And that's probably a good thing.)

Webster's 3a definition soothed my confusion. However, from now on I'm going to tell people that I am an animal without a mate at breeding time.

It's Sunday around 7:00pm and I'm chilling outside on a soft cushioned bench/swing. It's a perfect temperature, though, I imagine it will start to get cold soon when the sun starts t go down.

It has been a pretty epic…

Deep Breath

Today has been the type of day in which taking multiple deep breaths does not seem to result in anything other than hyperventilation.

I wrote this song lyric a few months ago and haven't been able to do anything with it, but it pretty much reiterates what I just wrote:

It's been another one of those long days
the kind that break you take your breath away


I've been sprawled out on my bed since work trying to decide if I'm hungry enough to bother making food, thirsty (?) enough to go get a beer, desiring enough to watch hockey at a bar, or in need of socializing with drunks enough to get food/beer/hockey at Partner's Pub. I may just type out this blog, hit submit, and just roll over and go to sleep.

I could get into the specifics of my work day, but that won't really make me feel any better about it. The bottom line is that I have gone a couple of years at my current position without having a conflict of interest between my job duties and bureaucracy. That ended ver…

The Day Of...

Eleven o'clock. Friday. I'm still in bed, but I'll be getting up shortly. I'm starving and I've rested enough. Big night coming up! It's the Garage to Glory Finals.

Truth be told, I'm nervous/anxious/etc. Actually, I'm not sure if it's an anxious feeling or an excited feeling... maybe it's both with some nervousness added in.

Tonight is going to be wild... the event itself is going to be full of much more than just songs. There is a host who will be chatting with people on stage. There is a person doing interviews after performances. A TV crew. Multiple cameras. It's going to be wild.

Part of my nervousness is coming from all of the production. I've been telling myself that I just have to focus on me and doing what I do, which is playing my songs. If I can convince my body to stop freaking out about everything else, I'll have no problem.

I've played for big crowds before. And I've played in new/unfamiliar places. I've playe…

Storminess, Missing Limbs, Insomnia, Harmonica, Erotica

Catchy title, eh? It all makes sense in my mind...

I can't sleep. It's only just about my bed time, but I'm logging on now to blog because we all know that I'm going to end up here eventually anyway. (Insomnia) I have trouble sleeping in general. I have extra trouble sleeping when my mind is running in circles about one particular thing or another. I have extra, extra trouble sleeping when I'm excited about being voted into the Finals of a songwriter contest that I entered. Not to mention it's rather stormy out at the moment. (Storminess) It's the first thunderstorm of the season (not exactly sure which season since -- technically -- it's spring, but today was so warm it felt like summer) and the wind is whipping and wind chimes are... chimming (leave it to my neighbors to have wind chimes out already). During the last storm (a winter storm) that we had, many tree limbs fell and littered my yard. One particularly large limb fell in my front yard and acro…

In Which I Describe Why Aliens Need To Attack In Order For Me To Find Love and Why I Believe I Can Survive An Alien Attack

It's late... early... dark out on Sunday night. I just got threw watching a movie called Monsters. I had seen a preview for it months ago and then read reviews that it was poorly made. The premise of the film is that there are alien beings tromping around in an area in northern Mexico near the United States border. According to the poor reviews, all of the scenes that actually had the aliens in them were shown in the preview and there were only pieces of the aliens shown. In other words, everything is happening off screen.

This was pretty much true of the movie. The aliens were often "off screen," but this didn't take away from the movie at all. It was quite similar to Cloverfield, which I absolutely loved because it focused on the characters and their plight rather than the monster. Similarly, Monsters wasn't at all about the, er... monsters. The aliens were in the background throughout the film and really just provided a reason for the two main characters to be…

Land of the Lost

Do you ever wonder what happens to the people who disappear from the face of the planet? Not the missing person, FBI is involved, people. The people who you text and talk to on the phone and hang out with on some regular basis, who suddenly stop texting, talking to, and hanging out with you.

I have quite a few people in mind, who -- over the past year or so -- came in to my life for one reason or another, communicated with me regularly for a period of time, and then disappeared...

I like to think that they are all in some purgatory-esque land together where they spend all of their time talking about me...

Girl A: "Whoa... wait a sec. Where am I?"

Girl B: "Hi there. You must be a former of acquaintance, friend, lover, etc. of James Frederick. Welcome to 'James Who? Land.'"

Girl A: "How did I get here?"

Girl B: "Simple. You either stopped returning James' calls or stopped responding when he texted you. There is even one girl here who pretended th…

What Are YOUUUU Doing?

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I really should be going to sleep (had to get up early for work today and didn't want to get out bed, and was zombie all day), but -- meh -- I'll sleep when I'm dead. I have important things to blog about.

I spent this past weekend with my brother, his wife, and their lovely 3-month-old, Liliana. She is the cutest thing EVER. This picture is all the evidence necessary to support such a claim:



Okay. Here is another one for good measure.



Lily is a pretty unbelievable 3-month-old. She is incredibly active (when she is awake), moving her arms and legs, wiggling around in her parents' arms or in her bassinet. She is making little cooing noises and when she does it, she stops fussing or moving, looks you directly in the eyes, and "talks" to you. She is the most adorable little person I have ever seen. (*Note: there is a part of me -- the logical part -- that tries to tell the other part of me that I'm only saying such things because she is my niece and if she were…

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch Changes?

What I really hate about this time of year is the fact that it warms up really nice for a couple of days or a day here and a day there and then goes back to being freezing cold again. The brief warm up does a plethora of strange things to my body including giving it the false sense of knowing that it will continue to get warmER. Now that it's back to being cold again, I'm freezing. The house is the same temperature it was when it was 50 out a week ago, but I'm freezing. It doesn't make sense. And for that, I hate it.

But that is not what this blog is about. This blog is about deciding to make changes to yourself.

I'm going to start with my favorite piece of dating advice EVER: Just Be Yourself.

Be Yourself is my favorite piece of dating advice because it is the worst piece of dating advice that I can possible think of. True, I have used this phrase at times... but over time, I have realized the pointlessness of it and have begun telling friends who are freaking out a…

Mostly Random Thoughts

I'm in Albany at Uncommon Grounds. It is insanely busy. The line has been out the door since I got here about an hour and a half ago. I'm lucky to have a seat that is near an outlet or else I'd be somewhere else. But, I like Uncommon Grounds, even if it is pretty common for it to be busy.

I had a chocolate mocha (the don't do white chocolate mochas here?!?!) and a bagel and I am stricken with the coffee jitters... yes, the coffee jitters after just one coffee!

Last night I had hung out with a friend who was literally shaking like a leaf and talking non-stop a million miles an hour. As she paced back and forth like a rocket on a leash, she explained that a friend of hers -- who works at a Starbucks -- had given her a triple shot of espresso on top of regular coffee. The sheer amount of caffeine that she in jested is illegal in most states and is the typical dose to energize a sleepy elephant.

My friend did not eventually erupt, or spontaneously explode as expected, but th…

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

9:45 on a Tuesday Night. In Bed.

I'm in bed this early for a few reasons. 1) there is currently nothing to do in any other area of the house 2) the only things that I should be doing at this time of night can be done on my lap top, which -- of course -- is portable 3) my bed is the warmest place in the house and I'm cold.

I'd really love to be out doing something right now... but it's late-ish and I work in the morning, so I can't really be out and about. I wouldn't mind being out and about, mind you, but there really isn't anyone to be out and about with at this hour and so... it's quite the conundrum, you see.

What I want right now is a tropical island (or just a beach or ocean). I want a plane ride and a hotel room. I want warm sand and cool water. I want some waves. I want fire pits and acoustic music. I want a beach party with or' devours (nachos). I want to feel that humid breeze off the ocean late at night. I want to hold her in my arms and kis…

The Snow and Mother Nature's Evil Plot to Destroy Me... Oh, and Also a Video

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I am lying on my bed in a heap of exhaustion after cleaning out the six plus inches from my driveway.

It is still snowing...

I'm tired and angry that mother nature is out to destroy me and my personal life. True, I kicked her ass and defied her many a time before. And while I won the battle of my driveway for now, I have resolved myself to give up on my plans for tonight.

All this week, I have been looking forward to today. Railbird and Sean Rowe dual CD release show in Albany. Not only was I totally looking forward to this show (Railbird has a pretty engaging sound and Sean Rowe recently reached a huge musician milestone by getting signed by a pretty big label), but I was also meeting up with someone who I had also met up with the week before.

Are you happy mother nature? You got me. Now, you owe me big time. How about a little sunshine sooner than expected?

I am so tired of winter and so desperately in need of some sunshine that I bought a car air freshener that smells like sun tan…