Monday, January 31, 2005

I rode Peanut again today. I'm itching to ride him outside of the corral again. Tomorrow or the next day I'll finally get a chance to throw a saddle on Shorty. It was warm and sunny today.

Grandpa and Grandma got back from Bismarck yesterday. They'd went to witness the coronation of Miss Rodeo North Dakota 2005, Cara Ness. They wouldn't let me go for fear of lechery. They had nothing to worry about, though. I find her cute, of course, but I'm only romantically interested in women with the initials S.E. G & G are family friends with the Ness'. Rodeo is a questionable sport. I don't like seeing calves get their necks broken, or athletes ruin their knees (or worse). But it does bring rural people together, sort of.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

I bought the train ticket; I'll be back in Olympia in eight days. Besides recording the new duet album with Jen, I'll begin working on a new play (see the offer below from my friend Angela Goldenstar).

I had this idea last night as Jasper was reading aloud some of your web journal entries. I was wondering if you might be interested in writing a slightly fictionalized “screenplay” about your life. . .If you are interested, after you wrote the screenplay, I would take it and create a storyboard. Laurence and I would then animate it. . .and then do an experimental animated film that I would submit to film festivals.

It will take a year to complete, she says.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Dunn Center, North Dakota, is a town seven miles from here. It's where my grandparents live in the winter. It's also where I lived for a year and a half in the late 70's when I was in first and second grade. My dad was the bus driver and I'd have to get on at 5:30 every morning while he meandered through the countryside for two hours picking up children. The only school for miles around was in Killdeer, and that's where we'd all end up by 7:30 a.m. Dunn Center is small, with maybe 100 residents, but it does have a bar, post office, and cafe. The cafe is called Alice's Restaurant and is owned by Alice. I've known Alice since I was seven. Next to Alice's Restaurant there used to be a building where an elderly woman named Myrtle Russell lived. Myrtle was considered crazy by most. She had long, silver hair, dozens of cats, and would scream each night, "God damn, I wish I was dead!" Anyone walking down Main Street could hear her. She had scratches and scabs on her legs from the cats. Once she approached me and my pack of urchin pals. Everyone ran but me. She asked me to paint her porch for $5. After I painted it she had me come upstairs to get paid. The cat poop was so thick (at least an inch) that it seemed like a crap carpet. It was EVERYWHERE! She'd feed the cats by throwing a bucket of cat food on her bed and then shutting them all in there as they hissed and howled. She's been dead for twenty years, but I still think of her often.

Anyhow, her building got torn down along with a lot of others. This has been sad for me to absorb, since my Dunn Center years were very formative. I used to chew Copenhagen, ride bikes, fish, and drink a lot of Mountain Dew there. Last week the old grocery store got pushed over. Dad and I spent all of today ripping off the thick, black, tarpaper roofing to get to the 2 x 8 rafters. I'll be using these in the process of framing my own structure someday.

Friday, January 28, 2005

I'm thinking about heading back to Olympia next week. I want to record an album of duets with Jen Grady. She and I are planning a two week, west-coast tour in March and it would be nice to have a new cd. This would also give us a chance to practice our material before leaving. I'll probably take a train; Joe (my car) needs a break.

Speaking of Joe, he got me all the way to Minneapolis and back without a hitch. Excellent automobile! He'll be better off resting here for a month or two, than cruisin' back and forth across Montana, Idaho, and Washington.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I haven't had time to do any more anagram research. I'm diggin' all the comments, though, so keep on.

Today's show at Normandale College was interesting. The crowd looked embarrassed for me for most of the show until a couple students from Africa arrived at the cafeteria and cheered me on appreciatively. Then everybody seemed to relax and "get" me, and by show's end I had a nice crowd lining up at the merchandise table. A fellow named Abdou was the first to buy a cd. I should have just given him one though, 'cause it was his and his friend's enthusiasm that turned the tide. Sincere thanks due!

After the show I hung out with my old buddy Jack Norton. He's a king--seriously one of the sweetest guys I know. Then this evening I saw a concert of old-time music in Minneapolis. There were three bands--Uncle Earl, Foghorn String Band, and the Mammals. They all rocked. An old friend of mine, Susan Gilchrist, who I knew from Nashville, played stand-up bass and mandolin in Uncle Earl. It was a total, out-of-context surprise to see her there, as I'd come mainly to see the Mammals. She used to date my pal and bandmate, Asher. (On a side-note: in the early 90's she played in an early incarnation of The Dixie Chicks.) Susan, like Jack, is also a gem and invited me into the "green room" to eat all the bands' food and drink their beverages. I ended up getting the runs and bogarting the green room's only toilet.

Tomorrow I drive back to Killdeer, ND.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

My entry somehow just got erased. I feel too lazy to rewrite. But I'll leave you with this--I just plugged my name, Christopher Sand, into Cedar's computer's anagram machine and it spit out "Shit Rap Corn Shed." My dad's name (Rob) came out bad too: "Darn S.O.B.!!" Some say that the anagram machine tells one's true nature. For instance Mel Gibson = "Bong Smile," Spiro Agnew = "Grow a spine" (or penis). William Clinton = "I'm it, an ill clown," and George Herbert Walker Bush = "Huge Berserk Rebel Warthog." David Letterman = "Nerd Amid Late TV." Clint Eastwood = "Old West Action." Elvis "lives"! Etc. Writing about anagrams is depressing.
It's late and I'm tired, but just wanted to say that the Tsunami benefit show was excellent. The organizers, Ann and Cedar, made a truly good thing happen and the audience was generous and pitched in $300 for the relief efforts. I made $185, including merch sales, and had a lot of fun performing, and made new friends. There's a great park nearby with big hills, and a few of us went sledding afterwards. I eventually made it back to Cedar's and watched Dazed and Confused which filled me with euphoria--Foghat, War, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, The Steve Miller Band, Kiss, etc. The 70's must've been a good time to be a teenager, I think. The 80's were nar-nar (i.e. "gnarly").

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I'm metamorphasizing before your very eyes. Everything is shifting in my mind, and settling. Sifting. I'm seeing strata in the sandstone. Strata? Stratus? Strati? Who cares goddammit, I'm changing. This very website is in jeopardy--I may let it rot! My car, 319 Joe, may finally rest I think... I want to serve humanity/this dying Earth. Yes, that and only that. I've worn myself sick trying to SUCCEED in this miserable economy. . .this miserable, ruthless, undignified, life-sucking, murderous, horrible, thankless economy. I have gotten nowhere for fourteen years. Yes I tour, I record, I produce, I manufacture, I sell, I showcase, I get fanmail, I get romance, I get signed. But all for what?! My brain is afire with new ideas all the time, too. I'm a walking, breaking-down American Folk Frankenstein. Frank Folkenstein. My wood, my hinges, my aluminum cooling system, my oil cannister heart, my plastic knee caps are all coming unscrewed and unglued, and they're cracking off! My hooks are stuck on trees and rocks. They're useless. They're hookless. I don't make sense anymore. My metaphors are poking me in the rectum. Linear things are splitting, curling, breaking, bulging, melting, fucking, sucking, stripping, tripping, shitting, dripping slippery mucousy stuff, licking their wounds, and dying. All around me. All the time. It's preposterous! It's marvelous! It's what life should be like. I'm lucky to be here. Thanks for listening. Goodbye now.

P.s. I'm in Underwood, MN with my friends Katie, Ron, and Hazen. No, I'm not on drugs. Yes, I brought my sled. It was a good idea, too, 'cause a lot of snow dumped all across Minnesota. My pockets are filled with snow. Actually, that's a lie--the snow has melted into water, and the water has almost evaporated. Tomorrow I play Minneapolis. Maybe I, too, will evaporate.

P.p.s. Thanks to Katie for the inspiration tonight.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blah, blah, blah. Nothin' to say today. I'm still in Killdeer, North Dakota. Doin' my thing. Eatin' pizza. Cupcakes. Oatmeal. Water. Ibuprofen. All I want to do is love somebody with everything I've got. More precisely: a beautiful, sexy, smart, strong, wise woman. I want to get married someday to her and maybe raise a couple Sandlings. We'll take it slow, though. First we'll get to know each other real well, travel, work day jobs, pay the rent, drift apart, get back together with intense yearning. Then we'll decide which dreams are the most important to us and go from there. Maybe I'll join the Zapatistas and say goodbye to my happy ranch. Maybe she'll leave, too, to become an urban school teacher or train horses for the Queen of Scotland. Then what? It won't matter at that point. We'll have had each other, gloriously, for a while. We'll stay friends. That I'm pretty sure of. What about the Sandlings, you ask? Well, no one can say for sure. . .kids might not be in the cards. To conceive or not to conceive? That's a good question.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Today was filled with feelings of frustration. I drove to Dickinson this morning with Dad, to get a chiropractic adjustment. I spent the early afternoon in Dunn Center working with Grandpa in the round corral with Dude. Dude's the same age as Peanut (six) but taller and a better walker. Thus far, though, I jive with Peanut better. Peanut reminds me of 319 Joe--scrappy and quirky somehow. They're both nut cases like me, maybe. My fingers about froze off during my time there. Five hours later they're still tingling. Today got icky cold, but the hoar frost covering all the trees is pretty.

My frustrations have to do with other things: credit card defaultment, job confusion, presidential inaugurations, loneliness, cell phone static, back pains, music touring road blocks, dry feet, cabin fever. But I remain hopeful anyhow. As somebody once wrote: "No matter how long the winter, spring always comes." I need to surrender to the grayness for a while. One more day at least.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

This morning Grandpa got me going on training Peanut bareback. After being in the corral a while I took him out in the pasture. We came over a hill and scared up a clutch of pheasants. Peanut spooked and next thing I knew I was flat on my back. You could tell he felt sorry for me 'cause he circled around and immediately let me remount. I'm a little embarrassed to say it, but I think I need a chiropractor adjustment sometime real soon. I'm glad there were no frozen horse turds where I impacted, but then again. . . thawed ones might have been slightly worse.
Pops and I went to the mountain today and I snowmobiled. The drifts made great jumps. I got stuck a few times going down too narrow of trails (snowmobiles don't reverse!). I also wrecked once off a steep jump. Tomorrow I might go up again with Grandpa and ride Shorty or Josh's horse. They've been lonely during this cold spell. While there I saw a great horned owl, and Dad found a fresh four-point deer antler in the snow. Mom made apple pie. Can anyone say All-American?! I'm starting to feel that way, at least. More acutely I feel like a walking fault line--one leg is on the floating west coast and one is firmly on the mainland. My kiwis, however, which used to be compressed between the tectonic plates of Juan de Fuca, are now being boiled (like peanuts) in the hot lava of Mt. St. Helen's.

Monday, January 17, 2005

MLK (Folk Legend)

Martin Luther King was a friend to the poor
And Martin Luther King was opposed the the war
Martin Luther King was a king and so much more
He was a patriot

Martin Luther King was a master politician
'Cause Martin Luther King used love for ammunition
Martin Luther King had a most important vision
Of dignity

And we shall overcome
And we shall become one
And we will sing your song
We will carry on

Martin Luther King fought to end segragation
Martin Luther King sought to unify a nation
From Washington D.C. to the Flathead Reservation
And everywhere

Yes and we shall overcome
And we shall become one
We will sing your song
We will carry on! (x3)

Happy Martin Luther King Day everyone!!! When the Doctor said we shall become one, we knew he wasn't talking about imperialism or social darwinism. And when he sang we shall overcome, we knew he wasn't singing about tricking the the citizenry into an illegal invasion of another country and genocide. And when he shouted I have a dream, we knew he spoke of equality--not fast-food capitalism nor capital punishment. The man was a hero, a soldier, and a Christian. Thank you Dr. King for showing us a better way.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Here are descriptions of my six cds; or actually five 'cause my 1st--Roll Out, Cowboy, and my 3rd--Until the End of Time are both sold out. I now package those two together on one cd--Funk and Western--that I sell for $15 postage-paid.

Roll Out, Cowboy (1996)--A shot-gun of rap, funk, and folk. Includes the favorites "Tribute to 'Rapper's Delight'", "Ronald McDonald," "Heartbreak Was Her Name," and "12-Ft-High Tires (and a 12-Yr-Old Girlfriend)."

Love's Hangover Sale (1998)--"These are the songs a prairie wanderer might pen, as he hunkers down over his campfire with the wide open space dark all around, full of musings, memories, love, heartbreak, and of course humor, the ultimate salvation." - Emmeline Mead, aXis Magazine. (40% cover-songs: Jimmie Rodgers, Utah Phillips, Woody Guthrie, etc.) $15 postage-paid.

Until the End of Time (2000)--A Sandman and Camo hip hop collaboration, filled with organic beatbox and some of my most popular raps. Includes favorites "Persian Den of Sin," "Shy Girl," Olympia's the Capitol (of Rock 'n' Roll)," When the Cyclone Struck," and "Out of Place."

The Long Ride/Walk Home (2002)--Humor and pain mixed in a saddle-bum stew. This cd chronicles Sandman's search for community, or at least a camarado. Features "Radio Works Fine," "Imaginary World," and "Folk Legend (MLK)." $15/$10 postage-paid.

A Year in the Life of Slippery Goodstuff (2003)--A lusty Rap/R & B creation. Probably my funniest, rawest, and most cohesive cd to date. Beats by Nerviz, and turntablism by Blandow Charismium. Guest cameos by Anna Oxygen, Khaela Maricich (The Blow), Susan Ploetz (Pash), Scream Club, and Jen Grady (The Wax Fire). Parental discretion advised. $12 postage-paid.

Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy: Live and Suspicious! (2004)--A selection of 9 new songs and 3 new versions of songs recorded on previous albums--all LIVE (except for track #1: "Suspicious"). This album gives a good representation of both my rap side and my folk/country side. My most politically scathing album w/ songs like "Shenanigans," "Revolution Come," "Beauty Myth," and "Scapegoat Song." $12 postage-paid.

Send checks, money-orders, or cash to: Chris Sand / c/o Rob and Mary Sand / P.O. Box 265 / Killdeer, ND 58640.
"Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number--
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you--
Ye are many--they are few."

Percy Bysshe Shelley from "The Mask of Anarchy"

Friday, January 14, 2005

I want to be a great poet! I want to storm the temples of Hafiz, Whitman, Sappho, and Hughes. Make me a badlands mystic, a prairie Shakespeare--better yet an iconoclast bard for now/today. Does wanting cheapen being? I'm afraid I don't know enough words... What does "locus of control" mean? "Disclosure reciprocity?" "Self-efficacy?" Poets must know these common phrases!

But since I can't be intellectual, I'd like to write some love songs. My old songs are jaded. I know I can do better. Did I tell you that I actually saw my Soul nine days ago in a deep cave in the central Washington Cascades? My actual Soul! It filled my rib cage with cosmo-electric libidinal orgone energy. To glimpse my Life Force was a great, precious moment. I can't be satisfied to ever write "Please, Louise" again (yet I do!). e.e. cummings might settle for "lower case blues," but has he seen his SOUL? Well, probably.

I'll sleep on it.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Yesterday I mentioned that I sang last week at the Lily of the Valley Personal Care Home, where my Grandma now lives. There was an 87-year-old woman there named Josephine Miller who had a big impact on me. She was raised in Long Island, NY, and was a portrait painter. I asked her if I could see her work and she let me browse her portfolio. Her art was amazing and diverse. She was an artist extraordinaire. We struck it off immediately, and between my songs, she commented on my "soulfulness" and poetry. When I left I hugged her and told her I'd visit her again in February. She replied that by that time she'd be either in heaven or hell. I said that I'd see her there then, whichever "there" she ended up in (I'll travel anywhere). Inside, though, I didn't believe she would die anytime soon. Although her collapsed vertabrae and cancered lungs clearly pained her greatly and around-the-clock, her mind was crystal clear. This morning we got news that she died at St. Joseph's hospital in Polson. I'm glad I got to meet her. May she rest peacefully.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"Toyota is good for holy war." Osama bin Laden

I ate pancakes and eggs for dinner. My parents are watching West Wing. I helped Dad sheetrock the basement today. The snow is powdery. Welcome to Killdeer, ND. I don't care that it's -40 outside; I want to go sledding and eat flaky snow.

Four nights ago I played a slumber party show in Missoula. The next day I spent with my grandma who lives in an assisted living center in Ronan, MT. Ronan is the town where I graduated from high school. Grandma is still in rough shape; her memory is slipping a little, too. I played a handful of songs for her, and the others, including "Dear Grandma" and "It's Good to Be Awake When She Arrives." I think I unsettled some of the elders when I started throat singing during "Death of a Red Mare," but mostly everyone appreciated the free entertainment.

I believe my stay here may not prove to be the most fertile environment for creative journaling. For instance, it's difficult to concentrate on writing when the television's on. But I'll try my best. Regardless, it's good to be here.

Before I forget, I want to give a shout-out to my friend, Yuko, who drove down from Seattle to help me pack 319 JOE last Friday. She'll be moving back to Japan next month with her boyfriend, Eli. She's the coolest!

Also, I fell in love with someone eight days ago. Yes, LOVE!!! It's a secret.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Okay, now I need to say that this whole year has been an epic journey--ten days of madness (in a good way)! I just arrived at my parents' house after driving 750 miles from Charlo this morning. My ride was not unlike taking a twelve hour chair-lift across Siberia. 319 Joe does not have much heat and the driver's side window is broken so cold air rushes in. I had to wear every piece of clothing I could find to survive. The coldest it got was 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Thursday it's supposed to drop to -40, so I guess I was fortunate. But this I must say--ALL PRAISES TO JOE YET AGAIN! He got me and all my earthly possessions across three and a half icy states without a hitch. And damn the roads were truly icy; nerve wracking driving for about 1,400 miles. My body is sore. I'll tell more tomorrow. Now I bathe.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Now I should say these last five days have been an epic journey--and I haven't even yet begun my drive. These mossy walls entrap me here in the Great Northwest. Perhaps a blizzard is flooding the passes. Strange forces that make me wonder if my world is nowhere else but here. Olympia. My heart has continued to swell. It swells and swells. And my eyes see new things beneath new boxes. And I see new people in this place. My heart swells for them, too. I had a dream I still lived here last night and wasn't moving. I was the same man in the same house on the same hill, but I was also a richer, handsomer man in a mansion in Europe or California on the ocean with sun spreading over my vast comforter in the morning on a Sunday with breakfast waiting for me at the deli just around the corner. And my girlfriend was there in her hat and pants w/ coffee and scrambled eggs and flowers and fruit in a wood bowl, and children walked by on their way to gymnastics or dance class and smelled the bagels and held their parent's hands and made up new games in their heads and chewed gum and avoided snails and cracks. My girlfriend sipped tea and told secrets to the lilacs with her hair. And everything was ecstatic like 1976 when Jimmy Carter signs littered the lawns of every funky neighborhood in Cleveland, Oakland, Maryland, Boston, Santa Fe, Atlanta. Cat Stevens traveled in a bus trans-America. Carol King was Queen. Macrame and spider plants and sea horses and pure Hope. I will roll down this grassy hill some more until my dizziness wipes me out and leaves me stoned and banged on the earth odors of Paradise. Goodbye Gardenia, my sudden friends. I'll return soon with polished buckle and a giant hand tattooed with a bear and gold nuggets in my hollow pockets. Maybe tonight.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The last three days have been an epic journey. I still smell of wood smoke and rainbow trout. These three days could be a movie. My heart is pumping like a newborn star. I feel great and hopeful today. Crossing the icy river, soul food in Tacoma, friends, alpine caves flooded w/ hot liquid. More later. Today is my day to pack and move!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Slippery Goodstuff play Slippery Goodstuff:

Mama mia, where to begin. Well, I think it was a success on many levels. The only bummer is that less than 200 people came to see it, which means we didn't quite break even. Due to all the good publicity, and wonderful flyers, I was expecting at least 400 people. Fortunately, though, we made enough to at least pay for the dee jay, the wireless mics, the house manager, theater rent, soundperson, and promotion. We were also able to give a small amount of money to The Lucky Devil Girly Show, and the out-of-town Log Hog members for gas and food expenses.

Here, now, are some highlights:

1. I had fun all night!
2. The play ran smoothly which was a miracle given that we hadn't had a chance to do any run throughs.
3. Many, many people told me how much they loved the play and were inspired by it.
4. My friends, Vanessa and Bill, from the Oregon Dept. of Kick Ass, were there to document it on video.
5. Abraham Lincoln, played by David Scherer, and Sydney Hann did a stunningly, superb tandem job of the evening. David wrote an amazing master of ceremonies manuscript which I plan to share soon.
6. Lots of friends volunteered their time to help out.
7. Shawn and Jonah kept the play dynamic and funny.
8. Scream Club rocked my world during "No L, No S, No F."
9. The DVD component of the play was inspired. Shawn created images to flesh out certain ideas, and projected them on a screen behind us.
10. Perhaps I'll make a DVD of the play itself and have it available for purchase soon, given all the good video footage from the evening.
11. We were able to build a semi truck which we rolled onstage for the hitch-hike scene!
12. Dumpster Values, a vintage 2nd hand store, let us pillage their wares for the night. I found a really funky/suave purple-and-red outfit which I wore. I looked like a tall, white Prince (the Artist).
13. The Lucky Devil Girly Show did a marvelous job throughout the night keeping the audience sexified and titillated.
14. Nicki Click joined the cast at the last minute. She was my lovely "sperm distribution assistant," and was a swell addition.
15. Stay tuned--I'll keep adding to this list as remember things.
If anyone is interested in buying full color, 11x17, Slippery Goodstuff flyers (with autograph if so desired) send $5 postage-paid to: Sand / Box 265 / Killdeer, ND 58640. Don't write "Chris Sand" or it will get forwarded to my great-uncle in Anaheim. Just--Sand. This is a sort of minor fund-raising effort for me since I ended up losing money on the play.

More on the play tomorrow, which is in ten minutes.

Meanwhile, here's a letter from S____ in San Francisco:

"Hey Sandman,

I found your music on Crimethinc, its totally awesome dude. Its nice to have something original and smart in music these days, it's just all so stale. I'm probably going to get 'long walk home' off the crimethinc site, is it your only full length album, or is there another one you recommend?"
It's a fair question, but I never know what to say. I recommend all my cds, and most of my tapes. They are each a unique child to me.