Posts

Showing posts from 2012

Cruise: Part IX

Image
Alas, this is the final posting about the excellent cruise. I will have to take another vacation really soon. I enjoy journaling and putting the journal together with pictures in the blog format.

Entry Date, Sunday 11/25. Day IX 9:30am

I don’t have any cell service. It’s loud and crowded and confusing. People yell and the bus station workers try to help people by placing them in lines that don’t look like they go to anything. Most of the people who are leaning on their luggage or sitting on the floor appear to be youngish. College students, probably, who went home for Thanksgiving and are now awaiting their buses back to college.

I was told to stand where I am currently standing, but what starts out as a line becomes more of a group of random people standing together near a wall. I want to get on a bus to Albany… I have a ticket for a 1:30 bus, but I was told that I can catch an earlier one by standing here. A young guy standing in front of me (assuming this is in fact a line) is co…

Cruise: Part VIII

Image
I have fallen behind in blogging about the cruise again. There are about two posts, including this one, to go! I hope to have it done by the new year, so I can do a post about 2012 and looking forward to 2013. You know, the obligatory looking-back-and-forward type of thing. Anyways, here is the vacation journal:

Cruise: Part VII

Image
I'm impressed that many friends, family, and coworkers have been reading my vacation adventures. It was nice to see such a huge jump in blog readership since writing about the cruise. Not sure where you all are coming from, but thanks!

Entry Date, Friday 11/23. Day VI 12:30am.

(NOTE: I probably should have included this entry with yesterdays since I wrote it at 12:30 in the morning. Last night. This morning. Same difference.)

When I started writing about the trip, I had designated about a third of this notebook to the trip, thinking I wouldn't take up that much space. I ran out of the third and had to designate another portion. I have a writing problem...

I'm now sitting in the Blue Lagoon restaurant, which is the only place to get food at 12:30 in the morning. The woman The freaking adorable woman who seated me is the same freaking adorable woman who has seated me here for dinners and lunches before. I think she works 24 hours a day... or she's a clone...

I was just s…

Cruise: Part VI

Image
I've been a bad blogger. I was on a tear, writing out my journalings every night for about five straight nights. Then, I lost steam. Anyways, when we last left off, I was about halfway through the journal I kept while on my cruise to the Bahamas.

Entry Date, Thursday 11/22. Day V.

(*Note: I did not write down a time in my journal. I also didn't write out a full entry. I just jotted down a list.)

After hanging out in the hot tub for quite a while, I went back to my room. I got dressed up and went in search of a turkey dinner. The main dining areas were full, but they were serving the same turkey meal in the Chinese Food restaurant, which was not serving Chinese Food tonight.

I sat near a railing that overlooked Bar City. There was a pianist playing instrumentals of Italian songs. It was a nice atmosphere.

The servings of turkey dinner were tiny... two small slices of white meat, two small slices of dark meat, a tiny scoop of stuffing and an even tinier scoop of mashed potato…

Cruise: Part V

Image
Cruise: Part V. "Vee." Or Five. However you feel like pronouncing V. I left off with my wild night at Senior Frogs. From there, my pocket journal jumps ahead almost a full day (because I had a very busy day!).

Entry Date, Thursday 11/22. Day V. 6:40am

Ricardo is a drink server on the ship who keeps popping up. He's a very chill (not pushy) guy and says "Hey" instead of "Drink?" He strikes up conversations and knows my name. I blame him for being buzzed and a prune... 4 full hours in the hot tub. 4 mai tais. Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm trying to decide if I should go eat and/or sleep. I really want to do both at the same time...

I met loads of people in the hot tub today. Debbie works in a school. We chatted about the state of the education system and "kids these days." She has two kids who are on the cruise (supervised by her husband, currently; I asked). She tried to out "hot-tub" me and failed after 2 and a half hours.

Michael s…

Cruise: Part IV

Image
Cruise: Part IV. I know many of you are on the edge of your seat to find out what happens next! Wait no longer. The adventure continues. (For those who are planning on staying up to see the Powerball drawing, hopefully, this helps pass the time)

Entry Date, Wednesday 11/21. Day IV. 9:30am

I woke up super early today (6:00am) to see the sun rise. Now, I don't know much about sunrises -- I'm never up before the sun and on the rare chance that I am "up" at that hour, I am definitely not awake enough to be aware of what the sun is doing.


(There was another ship nearby. I wonder if they are taking pictures of my ship?)

Cruise: Part III

Image
There is an awesome moment that occurs from time to time and it's pretty much only men who get to have this awesome moment. Ties, when you buy them, are not tied; you have to tie them yourself. The awesome moment is when you tie a tie at the most perfect length on the first try.

Entry Date, Tuesday 11/20. Day III. 12:30am

Some may consider this time of the night to belong to the previous day... It's really a new day.

Hmmmm... so. I just got back to the state room. Buzzed, I am. For sure.

I ate dinner at Tsar's Palace. The food was meh... The cheesecake for dessert was so flavorless that I could only eat a few bites. I'm mostly disappointed in the cheesecake.

I was dressed to the nines:


Cruise: Part II

Image
Entry Date, Monday 11/19. Day II. 8:20am

Captains bah-log... The worst thing ever happened. I have an appointment today for an acupuncture consultation at 9:00am. I set my cell phone alarm for 8:00am last night and went to bed. It took sometime to fall asleep -- probably, partly due to the excitement of being on vacation and partly due to the shock of being on a ship in moving water. I was probably out around midnight or shortly after. My cell phone alarm woke me up at "8:00am" according to the phone. I did not feel right. It was like I got much less than 8 hours of sleep. Maybe 4? I snoozed a bunch of times, got up, dressed and put my watch on. I glanced at the watch: 3:50am. What? I double checked the time on the TV. My watch was correct. My cell phone had switched from EST to UTC. That bastard... I couldn't figure out how to change it back, so I did some fast math and set it for 1:00pm (which would actually be 8:00am) and went back to sleep.

Last night was kinda fun b…

Cruise: Part I

Image
I disappeared from the internets and "real" life for 7 full days. It was the first time I had taken so much time off in a very long time (two years, I think) and it was very necessary. I took a cruise to the Bahamas out of New York City and I filled up an entire Moleskine pocket notebook with my adventures.

Entry Date, Sunday 11/18. Day I. 9:30am.

The sky is a pale blue through the wide shaded bus windows. The sun's light flickers from behind tall trees on top of rocky hills on the New York State Thruway. I am not the only plaid fan wearing a fedora on this Greyhound out of Albany and I smirk as I write this in my pocket journal, the letters appearing jittery from the jostling of the bouncing bus as it bounds toward New York City. I am due to arrive in about an hour (10:30am) though I now realize I don't have a city map and I can't recall where exactly this bus ends up. I put this thought aside; I'll figure it out when I get there.

I woke up at 4:30am this …

Game Day

As it turns out, this is my 300th blog posting. Happy 300 posts, blog. And many more...

Today is the big day. October 13th. Playing shortly at the Enlighten Yoga Studio in Amsterdam. There is still time to get tickets at the door. Doors open at 6:30. Show starts at 7pm. See the Calendar at www.jamesfrederick.net for more info.

Many musicians have a ritual that they go through before preforming. So do athletes.

I don't have a specific "ritual" so-to-speak, but I do have specific things that I like to do on the day of the show.

I started today out by sleeping in. Rest is pretty important before playing. I got out of bed around 10, checked my email, responded to a bunch of friends and family about the show (last minute direction requests and whatnot), played a couple video games, and posted about the show again on facebook. Then, I got out of bed, changed, and walked down the street to the Creekside Cafe for a big breakfast. I like to have a big breakfast on show day. Food…

More Cool Stuff

Important Dates:
10/9 at 6:00am and 10/12 at 9:00am Listen to 97.7 WEXT for James Frederickness.
10/13 at 7:00pm Playing Live in Amsterdam, NY. For more info, check the calendar. Or visit www.englightenamsterdam.com. Dinner is included in the ticket/admission price. You can buy tickets from me (James) or just get them at the door. Doors opens at 6:30.

Click here for a map: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en or point your GPS to 37 Prospect St, Amsterdam.

Cool Stuff

Cool stuff coming up. Recorded an interview with WEXT to be airing the week of 10/7. Awesome show at Enlighten Yoga on 10/13. Check back for info on the dates and times of the WEXT interview. Check out the calendar for more info on the 10/13 show.

(I don't usually use the blog for advertising, but it's so prominent on the website now that I can't resist. Regularly scheduled blogging will resume at some point.)

Summertime Stage

I haven't busked much this summer. I have been too busy with the moving and selling of the house that I just didn't have the time. So, I'm glad to be back out on the street on a nice sunny day. I got to Saratoga a little over an hour ago. I played for about an hour and made enough to buy a bagel sandwich and a water at Uncommon Grounds with a few bucks left over. I'll probably hang out here for a little while longer and then go out and see if I can make enough for dinner.

Despite not busking much, I somehow managed to write a song about busking in Saratoga. I have played it a few times for friends and at open mics. I have also played it out on the street.

I often say that every song that I have written has happened in a unique way. The songwriting process, in other words, is pretty much different every time. The way this song came out follows the same rule.

I was driving to Saratoga a few weeks ago and it had been raining. When I got to Saratoga, the clouds broke and …

First Night (Sort of)

When I wrote the post before this one (Last Night -- about my last night in my house), I had intended to follow it up with a post titled "First Night," which -- clearly -- would be about my first night in the new place. Well, I was thoroughly exhausted after moving into the new place and everything was a mess and I just didn't have the energy or desire to write about it.

Now that I feel like writing, I'll have to do a catch up.

Moving was pretty much uneventful and occurred without any unforeseen issues. It took hours upon hours and when it was finished, I couldn't move. The stairs of the new apartment killed me along with the sheer amount of stuff that was being moved. I didn't just move myself out of my house into my new apartment. I also moved a bunch of stuff of my dad's from the house to his storage unit.

I had accumulated a stuff in the house that I wasn't taking with me to the apartment. My dad decided to keep that stuff despite my protests t…

Last Night

My bedroom is blue. The carpet is black. There is really nothing significant about this, except for the fact that I picked out the color for the wall and the color for the carpet when I was, roughly, 12 years old.

It's funny how much my 12 year old self is similar to my current self. I would pick the same colors.

Right now, there isn't much else in my bedroom besides the walls and the carpet. Bed. Blankets. Pillows. A touch lamp that is on top of a small stand. Alarm clock. One small dresser. A box of fedora's. And me. Everything else is packed up in boxes downstairs in my living room. I'm moving tomorrow. And the realization just hit:

Tonight. Is. My. Last. Night. In. This. House.

I would be lying if I said there aren't tears in my eyes right now. I'm not quite sure if this is categorized as official crying or just being teary-eyed. The latter doesn't sound any more manly than the former.

Even so, I think I eared the right to cry about moving. I have slep…

Ain't That America

I'm taking a break from working on a song that is slowly developing to clear out some thoughts that are fogging my head.

I am sitting in Uncommon Grounds in Saratoga and it is the Fourth of July. The playlist that is subtly available for coffee and tea drinkers is a variety of songs about America. It's a nice touch.

The song that just finished playing was "Pink Houses" by John Mellencamp. I cover this song and rather love it for it's style and the point that it makes.

As it played in the background, behind the chatter of patrons and the brewing of coffee, I focused on every word and pondered the irony of it playing on a day called Independence Day.

Today is the biggest pro-America holiday that there is. Veteran's Day bring out a lot of America lovers, too, but the Fourth of July is definitely number one.

The reason we celebrate the Fourth of July doesn't need to be explained and there is really no need for me to express my thoughts on the Red, White, a…

Man on Your Mind

My computer screen is getting worse. I stepped on my laptop almost two years ago (just two months after the accidental damage replacement warranty expired) and cracked the screen slightly. Over time, the crack has spread and even diverged into two cracks. Where the cracks spread, black and green pixels emerge. First, the "dead" pixels were only along the crack lines. However, they have steadily branched out from the cracks and now prevent me from seeing a sizable part of my screen.

I ordered a replacement screen, but couldn't cover the cost just then. Going to call again and re-order the part as my financial situation has somewhat improved.

Meanwhile, I have been writing a lot lately. Over the past month or so, my little black journal has been filling up with words that seem to go together as potential lines in songs.

Songs have also jumped out of the journal.

This past Thursday at open mic, I played a brand new song called Man on Your Mind. Oddly enough, I started it …

Random Thoughts That Happen To Occur Late on a Sunday

Image
Sunday night. Exhausted. I spent most of yesterday painting my garage and part of my house. Two friends were available to help me for a couple hours each. Overall, I painted for about five hours. My garage is now a dazzling white. So is the one part of my house that I did. When I started painting, I worked really hard. I was hopped up on coffee and adrenaline. I wanted to get it done as quickly as possible. When I was just about done, my body crashed. My friend, Bill -- who was there helping toward the end -- proposed the idea of hanging out by my fire pit when it got dark. He headed home to shower and pick up some beverages. I dragged myself into my own shower, put some clean clothes on, and went to pick up some food. Bill came back to my house at about eight o'clock and found me sleeping on porch swing in my backyard.

Backyard fires are wonderful. They illicit such introspection. Bill and I talked for a few hours, had some food, and had some drinks. I pulled out my guitar and p…

Random Pictures for You to Look at With Your Eyes

Image
It's about time for a dump. A photo dump. What kind of dump were you thinking about? I take random pictures of stupid things for really no reason at all... There really isn't anything important that I can do with the pictures except post them on here.

For work, not too long ago, I was in a training. A very boring training, mind you. The incredibly boring trainer gave us toys to keep us occupied during the boring training. I was given a little bendable, yellow, smiling guy and some playdough. I made the smiling guy a trenchcoat...


Also during the boring training (after I got bored playing with my little bendable, yellow, smiling, flasher guy), I drew myself as a bear... I had a particularly thick beard at the time.


I went to NYC not too long ago to visit a friend. On my way to her place, I discovered Mecca. I managed to buy just one hat. Look at all those fedoras!


Work. There was a general uproar that lasted about a week after we were told to expect new desk assignments. Ther…

Sweet Dreams

I am in the middle of many projects. All of which are in various degrees of completion. Some are just ideas that have yet to become any sort of tangible thing. Others are part of bigger projects (getting my house ready to sell). I'm awful at completing tasks. I'm great at starting them and bringing them to a point of some percentage of completion, but once the end is in sight, I tend to find some reason to start something else. Right now, in fact, I have put painters tape on about 90% of the back door window. The other day, I put two coats of paint on my front door. It needs one more. Which task should I do? Paint the front door? Continue working on the back door?

Earlier last month, I got working on revamping my website. It was a task I had wanted to do for about a year. I have a good portion of it completed. Right now, I just need to get some new photos and a photo slideshow/viewer and the site should be done. I'm happy with how it has turned out.

I also had an opportuni…

Song Writing

The songwriting process. Wake up feeling inspired. Shower. Sing lyrics in shower. Dry off. Get dressed. Go to work. Forget lyrics. Try to remember lyrics at work. Too busy. Can't remember lyrics. Go home. Do chores. Try to remember lyrics. Can't remember lyrics. Eat dinner. Tired from long day. Pick up guitar. Strum various chord progressions. Stare at blank piece of paper. Two hours pass. Continue to strum various chord progressions and stare at the blank piece of paper. Put guitar down. Watch movie. Go to bed. Wake up at 2am with excellent lyrics in your head. Write down lyrics on notepad next to bed. Fall back asleep singing lyrics to self. Wake up. Re-read lyrics written from last night. Tear off paper from note pad. Crumple paper and throw crappy lyrics away. Repeat.

The Status of the Music

What am I doing with myself? I have no idea. It's funny how out of the blue a focus comes to you and then it disappears just as quickly leaving you with less direction than you had before.

Seven or so months ago, I was attempting to learn some new cover songs for my solo gigs. I was planning on putting the original stuff on the backburner while I worked out some familiar covers to get some paying gigs. It wasn't exactly the greatest plan. I wasn't in love with the idea, but I felt the need to use my musical talents to gain some easy cash. Money has been tight and I don't want to get an extra job. How can I make money without getting a second job? Play music. It made sense.

Suddenly, I found myself playing in a band. I hooked up with a couple musicians and we began reworking some of my original songs into band songs.

I welcomed the detour from the previous plan because I really wasn't that excited about playing cover gigs anyway. A band was something that I had wan…

A Valentine's Day Story: How Football Cock Blocked Me

This is a great opportunity to bash a woman I went out on a date with recently. God, I love blogging. I also love being totally honest!

We met on a dating site in December. I believe she contacted me first. We exchanged messages almost every day and both had a lot to say about each other's interests. It was a good start as far as meeting someone on a dating site goes. We advanced to telephone contact and texting and set up a date.

We met for coffee at a chic little coffee shop in Albany. Coffee went well, despite the typical awkwardness of a first meeting. We decided after coffee that we were hungry and went to look for a place to eat. We found a cute little indian restaurant and had some curry. Everthing continued to be going well and I was beginning to dig being around this girl. I didn't want the date to end right there and neither did she. We went to a nearby bar to play darts and watch the football games. Stacey (yes, I'm using her name; I don't care if she someh…

Level Up!

I'm posting this here because I attempted to send the following message to Ride Aid via their website, but after I hit send, the page refreshed as if nothing had happened. So, I don't even know if it was received. Plus I like airing out my frustrations on the blog thing here.

So, the background info is that I went to Rite Aid to get some Allegra. There was a sign for 17.99. I didn't read the whole sign. I had to wait at the register because my allegra rang up at 19.99. Turns out you have to collect points to get certain discounts. I think this is bullshit and I don't have time to figure out some convoluted and pointless (ha!) point system in order to buy things at ADVERTISED discount prices.

Here is the letter I sent (or at least, I attempted to send it) to Rite Aid:

Come on, Rite Aid! Seriously? A point system in order to get advertised discounts?

I went to your store today to get some store brand Allegra. I enjoy the convenience of running in and out of your store …

Cacoon

It's Thursday night and I should be at open mic at Caffe Lena. However, the roads are pretty bad thanks to two hours of intense snowing, followed by, freezing rain. I'm also trying to fight a cold that has been steadily winning since this past weekend.

I'm also freezing to death. I have the heat on a little higher than usual and I'm laying on my bed, which has an electric blanket under the sheets, but I'm still chilled to the core.

Not too long ago, I posted about a renaissance in my life. Since that post, I have done some cleaning out -- if you will -- of my possessions. I sold my couch. I sold my TV. I am attempting to sell or give away a plethora of other things.

This confuses the heck out of people.

Most recently, a co-worker suggested that she was worried that I was giving away all of my stuff because I intended (she may have been joking) to commit suicide. My response to this was: "If I was really going to kill myself, I would be giving away everything…

New Year; Not New Issues...

I have been pretty miserable since the start of the New Year. This isn't going to be a refective post. It's going to be a post about stomach pain and going to the doctor. I shared this already on facebook, but decided to put it all together in a blog post.

Part 1:

I went to the doctor this morning for severe pain in my abdomen and sometimes in back. Some tests were ordered. First test, was a blood test. I sat down in the seat and rolled up my sleeve. My mind flashed to images of past needles that I have had stuck in my for medical purposes (and the tattoo). As a child, I was -- as most children are -- frightened to death of needles. However, as I grew, I developed a morbid curiousity with the concept of being stuck with things and so I would literally watch the needle go in as blood was drawn. Of course, I would feel a pin prick and it would hurt a little, but I was always relaxed and played it quite cool when it occured. As images of needles being stuck in my arm flashed thro…