Saturday, December 31, 2005

Another year, another dollar. Happy New Year y'all! May the road rise up to meet us in 206 (sic). It's been a big year for me, what with three tours, two CDs, and a '89 Buick. I even got a letter from the Prez. Check it out: WARNING!

And by the way, observe the updated homepage (click on "Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy" in upper left corner). If it still has the old picture of me with the casio hit the refresh button. My buddy, Goose, just overhauled my website from a laptop in Bogota, Colombia.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Did I mention . . . the winner of the legendary license plate, 319 JOE, is: Eli Gay from Columbia, Missouri!

And Eli, I'll make the video tomorrow. You won't be disappointed with the $85 cost of victory. Amongst the other goodies, I'll throw in a pillow case I just silk-screened and a brand new CD.

This is Sydney Hann. She likes the pillow case.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

So this is what 35 feels like?

(This little girl's name is Clementine Danger Austinson. She's my old drummer Garf's daugher.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

license plate, n.: A rectangular, usually metal plate that bears a sequence of numbers, letters, or both and is issued by a government to identify an officially registered vehicle.

If you look very closely through the shadows, you'll see the sentimental prize that could be yours tomorrow at midnight if you can outbid Eli Gay's $85.

Why midnight? Because that's when the bidding for the blue and white brand that used to grace my ol' car, 319 JOE, ends.

Why tomorrow? Because that's the day I turn 35; it's a rite of passage.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Who will "step up to the plate" and bring the bidding for 319 JOE's license plate up to satisfactory triple-digit status? The rewards will be pleasing to the winner.

Potential bidders--let me know what you'd like added to the pot to make a $100 bid worth your time. It doesn't hurt to ask. Maybe I'll throw in an IPod.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah, too.

We had a second feast this evening--this time with mom as cook. We invited Grandpa and Grandma and some friends over. My friend Margi, the eagle biologist, was there. Grandpa told her about a time, some eighty years ago, when he found an injured golden eagle and put it in a wooden crate. Then he went down to the creek and caught frogs for it to eat. After about twenty helpings the eagle was so full that frogs started climbing back out of its mouth. At some later date, the eagle escaped and crawled into the chicken coop and slaughtered some hens, at which point Grandpa's dad (my great-grandpa), Christ Sand, riddled the hard-luck raptor with lead.

I wanted to work Christ somewhere into this entry. Great-grandpa Christ, by the way, was a Christian Scientist cowboy who lived a good long life. If you scroll down to the December 10th entry, you'll see a photo of him standing next to my dad and me.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

After Lutheran Church services in Dunn Center tonight, Grandma Sand made a most delicious Christmas Eve feast. For dessert she rolled a fine batch of lefse. Then we opened gifts. Mom and Dad gave me an old-fashioned-looking wall-hanging for my house, AAA membership, and cash to repair the broken lock on my car door. From G & G I got a National Finals Rodeo belt buckle, socks, and money.

I snapped a photo of the Christmas tree. There aren't many evergreens out here, so Grandpa improvises . . . .

If you click on the image, you'll be able to see tiny buds on the branches. Grandma places the tree in water on December 15th, and by Christmas Eve the shrub thinks it's spring.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Grandpa is thinking about buying this 6 year old appaloosa gelding from a Dickinson woman.

Have you heard of Santarchy? It's a bizarre new movement springing up around the globe--here's an example.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas is coming and so is tour. I'm looking especially forward to the mid-January Texas shows where it's warmest. Texas: home of Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, Alvin Ailey, Molly Ivins, Kinky Friedman, Gene Autry, etc. It's also home to former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Jim Hightower. He's pretty articulate when it comes to what he wants for Christmas this year:
Santa, bring me no stuff. Instead, the one and only thing I want is this: A REAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, ALIVE AND KICKING!

It's not enough to wail about what the Bushites are doing to our country. Yes, it's awful they're brazenly ransacking our public treasury and giving the loot to the rich, they have us mired in a macho-maniacal war to make the world safe for Halliburton, they're sawing the rungs off the ladder of upward mobility for the poor and the middle class, they're defoliating our environmental and safety protections, they're gutting labor and consumer laws, they're deliberately defunding our public infrastructure, they're militarizing both the federal budget and our society, they're supplanting our basic liberties with executive autocracy, they're enthroning corporate supremacy through trade scams and stacked courts, they're ... well, the list goes on and on.
Texas is wild.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Welcome to "Step up to the Plate: The Auction Game."

319 JOE's license plate has climbed to $85. If someone bids an even $100 they will receive five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge (that's a lot of birds!). On top of that I'll throw in my 2nd CD: the 1997 auction-themed Love's Hangover Sale, of which I only have 75 copies left.

Have a rockin' Solstice!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

$70! And do I hear $80? I'll throw in a secret surprise.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Today begins the ten-day 319 JOE license plate auction countdown. I think I'll call this series: Step Up to the Plate!

Nine days ago "Bidder Bandito" nudged the price for 319 JOE's front license plate to $60. With a $60 bid "Bandito" will potentially win the plate, Joe's ignition key, random official car "papers" (insurance stuff, etc.) and a video of me singing "319 JOE." For a mere $10 more the next bidder could acquire all of that PLUS any Sandman CD they so choose.

The plate alone is worth $500, right? Now's your chance.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I've been a little uptight this past week. Too much work, night and day. It's insane, really. While drinking beer with Grandpa at Ilo Bar last night, he dropped some knowledge. Pounding his fist on the pool table, he said: "Young people don't know how to play anymore!" He went on to say that most of the best education is absorbed while kids are physical and having fun.

I can't find any artful way to wrap this entry up . . .

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Part 3 of "Good to Be Awake" artwork:

You're going to love this record. It's my first album of love songs.

Let the pre-orders begin.

Friday, December 16, 2005

"Good to Be Awake" artwork (Part 2):

The chosen Crayola color for the CD's center is "Prairie Grass Gold." It narrowly beat out "Cello Auburn."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

"Good to Be Awake" artwork (Part 1):

Giles O'Dell created the CD artwork here. He sent it to the printer tonight. Hopefully I'll have all 1,000 CDs back before tour begins on December 31st. Notice that the album title has changed. It used to be "Love's Hangover Sale, Pt. 2." After all the changes it's gone through, Mom and I decided the title should shift, too. Mom, by the way, is the Executive Producer of this CD; she has been the guiding architect throughout.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Richard Pryor (December 1, 1940 - December 10, 2005)

"He did not simply tell stories, he brought them to vivid life, revealing the entire range of black America's humor, from its folksy rural origins to its raunchier urban expressions." New York Times

Pryor was the freshest comedian of our era, in my opinion.
Stan "Tookie" Williams III (December 29, 1953 - December 13, 2006).

"If Stan Tookie Williams had been born in Connecticut in the same type of situation, and was a white man, he would have been running a company." Jamie Foxx

I'm not gonna scapegoat Arnold, but still--what a prick. It's weird that a European-born womanizer and pot-head can be given so much power in the USA.
"Laugh at your friends, and if your friends are sore;
So much the better, you may laugh the more."

Giovanni G. Casanova - diplomat, soldier, writer, preacher, alchemist, gambler, violinist, spy, and the world's most infamous lover.
Wow. I need to have both of my new CDs ready to replicated by tomorrow if I expect to have them back before I leave on tour. There will be no sleep 'til Brooklyn.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The auction for 319 JOE's license plate is moving along. As of today we're over 1/10th of the way to my goal of $500. I believe an old rusty license plate is definitely worth as much as it cost to buy the car it was attached onto. Do I hear $70?

As requested, here's a pic of Joe in his healthier days. I'm yawning for some reason. 319 JOE, while still rolling, exemplified what Herbie only wished he could be: Bedrock.

For those of you who haven't heard his theme song, here are the lyrics:

319 Joe, yr a good little car
You'll drive me to the store, you'll drive me to the bar
You'll drive me to my job, if I let you drive that far
319 Joe, yr a good little car

Chorus 1:
Go little Joe, Go little Joe
From Vancouver Island, all the way to Buffalo
Head down to the southland, don't forget my guitar
319 Joe, yr a good little car

Your windows fog up, and this I do not like
And your brakes and your clutch, well they don't work right
And your engine blew up after two weeks on the tar
But 319 Joe, yr a good little car

Chorus 2:
Go little Joe, Go little Joe
From Vancouver Island, all the way to Mexico
From the badlands of Alberta, to the coastline of Del Mar
319 Joe, yr a good little car

Well, 319 Joe ain't a truck or a van
He's a little station wagon made somewhere in Japan
And I'll love him forever and protect him from the wreckin' yard
'Cause 319 Joe, yr a good little car

Chorus 3:
Go little Joe, Go little Joe
From Vancouver Island, all the way to Tokyo
You're a workin' class hero, no big superstar
319 Joe, yr a good little car

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Dunn Center was rockin' tonight. Glenn Eckelberg turned 60, and so a party was thrown for him at Ilo Bar. There was food and a karoake machine. I sang three songs: "Ring of Fire," "All Shook Up," and Charlie Pride's "Kiss an Angel Good Morning."

My dad's 59th birthday is today, as well. Or maybe it's his 58th. He's not 60, but he's startin' to look it. He ate 16 Ibuprofen today, and that's not uncommon. His body always aches. He's a good guy. His favorite singer is Dolly Parton and his favorite song is John Lennon's "Imagine." Dad's not exactly an atheist, but he's none too happy with most religions. I, personally, don't mind religion most of the time. I just don't like it when it mixes with government's greedy power brokers. But enough about imminent nuclear holocaust--back to Lennon, man of peace. I don't think my dad has ever listened to a full John Lennon album, nor the Beatles, but he sure likes "Imagine." For his birthday I bought him Dolly Parton's new CD, Those Were the Days, on which she does a cover of said song. She also duets with Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) on his tune "Where do the Children Play." She mostly sings "protest" songs from the '60's, such as "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Cruel War," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." Dolly's a strange paradox: savvy business woman, humanist, and Tennessee dingbelle rolled into one elfin package of country glam. I can dig it.

The above picture is: Dad, me, Great-grandpa Sand circa 1971. Dad's name is Rob. Great-grandpa Sand's first name was Christ.

Friday, December 09, 2005

"Two road dogs heading southwest in one 1989 Buick Century. Chris Sand, AKA Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy, and filmmaker Bill Daniel present a show of lowdown hobo documentary film and underground cowboy rap revelation."

From Jan. 1st until Jan. 31st I'll be on the road again. From Shreveport, Louisiana, to San Francisco, California, I'll do fifteen shows with documentary filmmaker Bill Daniel. He'll be showing his brand new film, Who is Bozo Texino?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

"A working class hero is something to be." John Lennon
(He died 25 years ago today.)
Check out what my pal/producer, W, gushed to the booker of a Hollywood music venue about me:

"(Sandman is) one of the most musically compelling artists I have ever seen, most unique, visionary... the whole deal . . . It's not a gimmick, he's the Woody Guthrie of the 21st Century. It's really no overstatement. A cowboy poet, wise far beyond his years, a humanist, a rocker, a sex addict. He's got it all."

I'm not sure if I should blush or cringe. (And Ma, I'm not a sex addict. I merely enjoy writing songs about subjects that make people laugh a little.)
The credit card is callin' like a siren. I can't resist her charms. I must splurge now. Maybe you, too, would like to splurge? My CDs make wicked killer holiday gifts.

This is what my new '89 Buick Century looks like.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's colder'n a pawnbroker's smile today here in western North Dakota. Negative eleven F.

F that.
Home sweet home.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ay caramba. My fingers are perched upon the keyboard of western Montana's slowest computer.

For breakfast I ate frozen grapes that I found growing in a Spokane alley hanging in fat clumps from a chain-link fence. Each sugar-sweet clump was covered in two inches of powdered snow. Last night's show at Empyrean Coffee House was good. I must've got at least three encores and made some friends afterwards. One of the other performers, Locke, is a performer with a mid-era rap (almost Tribe Called Quest) style--super cool, danceable stuff. I stayed at his and his wife's downtown studio apartment. We all chatted until 3 a.m.

The night before last I gigged at Mississippi Studios in Portland opening for Dana Lyons. After the show I decided to drive to Astoria to hang out with my friends Miranda and Teresa. We partied until 6:30 a.m., and I then drove to Olympia for a quick power nap and massage from Nina at her house. With an hour of sleep under my belt and lots of caffeine, the Blue Stallion and I cantered over Snoqualmie Pass and galloped the remaining 250 miles to Spokane.

Speaking of the Blue Stallion--he's just been shod with a sweet set of new tires. I love my new old Buick Century sedan. Pictures will be forthcoming later this week.

Lastly, but best, I just visited Grandma Vi at the nursing home. She returned from the hospital this morning after a mild heart-attack; thus, I was expecting her to be in worse shape than ever. But lo and behold, Grandma looks better than I've seen her in two years! She's walking again, albeit very slowly, which to me is pure miracle. She hasn't walked in 12 months. Her vision and hearing have improved. She's knitting and sorting through old pictures, and everything she says makes sense. I can barely believe it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The candle is being burnt from every end. I miss the leisurely art of journaling.

Tonight's Cozmic Pizza show was fun. I wasn't at the top of my game, but all worked out fine. Earned $240 (counting merchandise sales) due to my friend Josh's solid promotional effort. Now I'm at cousins Kirby and Megan's house in Corvallis. Portland's next.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Chunks of snow as big as silver dollars are drifting down like an Anchorage jackpot. Maybe I'll be trapped here.

Both my Olympia shows went excellently. Both were packed with friendly, familiar faces. For a little on the hip hop program at Le Voyeur see Giles' blog. It was a thrill to do songs off (return to) . . . the blackhole (of outerspace).
Craaazy bizzy. No time 2 write.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Uffda. Olympia is a bitter-sweet pill; a house with frayed electrical wiring; a mish-mash of cherubs and malodorous demigods. I know why I liked it here. And then again, I know why I left.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Utopic times on Orcas Island. At Doe Bay they fed me like an Elfin king . . . A perfect little holiday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Due to the $500 no-insurance fine and many other costly vehicular happenings, this trip has drained my bank account of everything. Thankfully my friend Nina just lent me $1000. I've decided to auction off the front license plate of 319 JOE.

Will anyone start the bidding at $15?

Note: The auction will end at midnight on my birthday which is December 28th. I'll include a video of me singing my song "319 JOE" along with other surprise holiday goodies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lenny and I finally got our hot springs fix--we drove to Goldmeyer Hot Springs last night. Due to the road being too rutty, we chose to walk the final four miles. And due to me forgetting the head lamp we had to hike in pitch blackness. Then we crossed a raging icy river and hiked another steep mile to the mountain cave with its hot liquid magic where we soaked for five hours. This morning we soaked again, recrossed the river (barefoot on sharp, yet slippery, rocks), and trudged back down the hill. My feet are blistered and cut, and my legs and back ache. I felt like 319 JOE might've during his final miles. In spite of the more torturous aspects, I'm glad we went.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Anacortes is a city of saints. Jen and I took in over $150 in merchandise sales. The leather belts did well as did many a CD. The two other acts were excellent. Karl Blau has become an aural prophet beyond . . .

We slept at Bret and Denise Lunsford's farm. They treated us like royalty.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Many miles. Many miles between yesterday and today. Lenny and I buried JOE (my '84 Subaru station wagon) in the heart of Idaho. Li'l JOE gallantly drove us, on three cylinders, across the lengthy barren stretches of Montana and its many mile-high passes. He puttered and sputtered, in first gear, up snowy mountains and never once forced us to hitch hike or get towed. He drove us 1,000 miles, to Salmon, Idaho, where I located Fritz's Salvage Yard and stoicly turned him out to greener pastures. No car has been as trustworthy or dignified as 319 JOE--the little beast that could. Thanks for the memories ol' man. I'll never forget your silver spirit and crafty willpower.

I now own a new steed--a 1988 Buick Century sedan. I bought him this morning for $460 (actually Lenny paid as I am without) at the same place I sold JOE. He is indeed a young blue stallion on a mission to spread seeds of poetry and music across the nation. 700 miles later we've arrived in Olympia where I now sit and type.

Our first show is tomorrow night in Anacortes. Jen Grady will join me with cello and harmonies.

Friday, November 18, 2005

'Tis a small miracle that Lenny, JOE, and I are still truckin'. We've broken down multiple times and are now puttering across the landscape at well below the speed limit. We are fully prepared to camp on the side of the interstate, but last night we fortunately made it to my Aunt Bryher's place in Basin, MT. This may be JOE's last ride. I've spent over $200 in mechanic's fees in the last two days, but JOE deserves every piece of encouragement I can give him. We've many a mountain pass to climb in the next two days.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

See ya!
$500 ticket for no insurance on the way back from Amtrak. I had it comin', but it takes my whole paycheck which doesn't seem quite fair.

Lenny and I will head west at the break of dawn tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The current tempurature is around 0 degrees F. I about got frost bite driving home from work this evening.

Tomorrow my good friend from Olympia, WA, Lenny Wolford, will arrive in Williston via Amtrak. After exploring western North Dakota for a day, he and I will drive across Montana, Idaho, and Washington looking for natural hot springs to soak in. If you see him, don't mention that the heater in my car just gave out. Misery loves company.

Monday, November 14, 2005

More thought-provoking correspondence between my friend, "Danielle," and her friend, "Azhar," who lives in Basra, Iraq:

hi dear

iam waiting you every day i comming to internet cafe to read your message. you have no idea what are you doing for me you gave me a new hope and this is a first time i don't feel tyird in my work
please don't forget me

your friend ...azhar

dearest Azhar,

This morning I went on a hike with a friend and watched the fish (salmon) swimming up the creek to spawn. Then after hiking I saw a different friend and we went out for dinner (sushi). And now I am back home in my bedroom. It is very cold and foggy tonight. My father is sleeping but I stay up late every night on the computer or playing my guitar. Tonite I think I am going to draw. I am glad that our new friendship is giving you hope and inspiration in your life. I am sure that life for you is very difficult right now with the war going on. I wish that I could stop all the violence and sadness in the world. Is it possible to send mail to Iraq? I am thinking that maybe because of the war it is very difficult or impossible to send you something in the mail. I hope you have a good day at work and tell your family hello. I will be working at the restaurant tomorrow night. sweet dreams... i will write you again tomorrow night.

xo danielle

hi danielle...

. . . theres much sharing betwen us maybe we have a sharing causes,iam sorry ,about the war ,the people here live a normal life nearly exept the explosions it not allway's we here shoping and go to working but we can't go out with the children because we expect an explosion in any moment in the markets or in the streets,but though many people chalenging the terror and go out with there children,you asked me one day about church is that nesesary you know that? . . . please don't think iam terrorest
i can't kill a cat ,someday in past a cat eat my food and i be angry then i thinking it may have a children and they hungry so i left it go,any way . . .
yes send maile is possible in iraq or to iraq,or send files or any thing in it.i'll watting your message ,and hear now (thousand miles)thers magic in this song,about bob dylan music acualy iam don't heard it yet but iam sure i'll like it .if you want to learn more arabic please tell me,thank you for any thing.

your friend azhar.....

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I came across a stash of old photos of my house when it was still owned by its first owner, Mrs. Pauline Weber:

This was her bedroom--where I slept last night.

My 80-yr-old neighbor, Vivian, claims Pauline had a green thumb. This picture proves it.

Those little trees she planted in the front yard are monsters now.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My friend Danielle from Tacoma has become email pals with an Iraqi fellow named Azhar. Azhar saw Danielle's pretty face on Friendster and invited her to be his friend. She sends me most of their correspondences; I find them fascinating and moving. Below is today's contribution. (Note: Danielle gives me permission to do this, but for privacy reasons she's asked me to use different names, i.e. "Azhar" and "Danielle" are not their actual names.)

i dearsst danielle

please reassure me about your aunts health and send to her some flowers for me and tell her i wish from my heart to her be in a good health ,i dont know what could say to the sick ,tell her that please.

about my religion ,iam not shamed from my religin but from what the muslims doing like the first terrorist in the world (usama bin ladin) and his friends ,i don't know why more the terrorists in the world are muslims,yes we have a beuatiful mosques inbasrah like the (big mosque).

you jewess right?i don't have any problim with that i know that when you wrot "shalom" really i wish the human lives as brothers ,jewesh and muslims and christians .......

you asked me before if i travel out of iraq ,no iam do'nt ,can you discript to me the place where you live thats can make me imagine i there .i be happy wen i find a long leter from you iam enjoy with each word ,please don't forget tell me about your aunt .....

Today's weather was nice--69 degrees. I took the day off to enjoy it. I currently have eleven dollars and some change in my pocket. Perhaps a trip to Ilo Bar is in order, for I feel wealthy today.

I am an elevenaire.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"Hi Chris,
I heard the Marezy Doats album while on a week-end trip to Breckenridge, Colorado. The cd was playing in a women's clothing/sports apparel boutique and I fell in love with it right away and asked the cashier (a young kid, probably around 18 yrs.) for the name of the cd that was playing. That was in August, and I have been looking for you ever since . . ."

I received this email today. It surprised me that anyone remembered that tape which was recorded in 1998 and had super low distribution. I think only 75 tapes were sold or given away in the Nashville area. Tonight, because of the above quoted email, I became inspired to dig it out of a box and listen again. Our band consisted of Camo Davi, Asher Dudley, and myself. Four of the songs on this tape are written and sung by Asher, and they're transcendent. Asher is still one of my all time favorite songwriters, even though he's never released a full-length album. Marezy Doats will one day be combined with the first Workhorses of Yesteryear tape from 1995 and be repackaged as a funky and beautiful CD.

Giles O'Dell recorded Marezy Doats on his four-track in our Nashville living room. Giles is also the producer of my brand new rap CD (return to) . . .the blackhole (of outerspace).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Before & after pics from my haircut.

Yesterday . . . . . . . . . . . Today

These are actually photos from past years.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I'm contemplating touring
Florida in mid-January. Does
anyone live there or know of
any places I should play at?
I've never been south of

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sunday, November 06, 2005

"When you have nothing to say, say nothing."

-Charles Caleb Colton

"When you have nothing to blog, quote somebody. Or post a penguin picture."

-Chris Sand

I'm braindead lately. I have a feeling that for the next two weeks this journal will appear pretty anemic.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Here are my upcoming shows:

Nov. 20 - Anacortes, WA @ Department of Safety w/ Karl Blau and Robots Ate Me.
Nov. 23 - Astoria, OR @ Cannery Cafe Lounge.
Nov. 24 - Orcas Island, WA @ Doe Bay Resort.
Nov. 25 - Orcas Island, WA @ Doe Bay Resort.
Nov. 26 - Olympia, WA @ Eagles Hall, 9 p.m. $5.
Nov. 29 - Olympia, WA on Radio 8 Ball KAOS.
Nov. 29 - Olympia, WA - Radio 8 Ball aftershow @ Yes Yes (tentative location). $1.25.
Nov. 30 - Eugene, OR @ Cozmic Pizza. $5.
Dec. 1st - Portland, OR (tentative)
Dec. 2nd- Spokane, WA @ Empyrean Coffeehouse w/ The Beat Committee. $5.
Dec. 3rd - Missoula, MT (tentative)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Northwest tour is starting to pick up momentum. More soon. Right now it's snowing and I'm about to drive to Bismarck for a museum conference.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I work approximately 14 hours each day, I've figured out. A lot of that goes into my museum job, but the rest goes to promoting my music career, working on my new house, and helping other people with their work. It's a good but exhausting life. I look forward to my trip to Washington in two weeks. I will play a lot.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

Horse slobber jelly! Yummm.

Grandpa went bullberry picking on the mountain yesterday. This involves putting a tarp on the ground and whacking the prickly bush with a stick, so the ripe berries will drop. He had a gallon bucket nearly full and was working on one last bush, when he heard a familiar sound behind him. It was his little dun horse, Peanut, slurpin' up the precious berries from the bucket like they were oats. (Peanut's the a-hole that threw me twice last winter.) Enough were left for Grandma to make two pint jars of jelly today. She sent me home with one.

I spent 13 hours scrubbing things down at my shack yesterday. Inch by inch it's gettin' livable.

I'm planning my southern & east coast tour for January. If you want to host a show, let me know ASAP. So far I've got gigs in Columbia, MO and Shreveport, LA. I'm working on Nashville, New York, Boston, and a few points in between.

(Happy Halloween!)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Last night I died in my dream from a nuclear explosion. As the fire ball consumed me I tried to relax and embrace my next stage of existence. I got scared and I woke up, though; I think the propane heater was left on too high.

I've been staying at Watership Down for the last couple days. I fished again this morning at Lake Ilo, but still didn't get even a nibble. This bachelor life isn't so bad. My situation is enviable to most. Still though, sometimes I feel like something is missing. What is it: a girlfriend? A motorcycle? A wad of money? A physical therapist? Dental floss? A record deal, maybe?

There's always something, but I will say, for the first time in thirty years . . . I feel rich. I mean I still can barely afford to drive to another state, but I now notice how lucky I am compared to the rest of the world. I have a loving family, a good job, a car, a guitar, a house, musical merchandise, and this website to communicate my philosophies through.

I do wish I could influence our so-called leaders to be gentler and kinder to our verdant planet, though. Then maybe I'd quit having these war-time nightmares. I ask a lot, I know, but perhaps I'm not being wholly selfish.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Grandpa just kicked my butt in pool at the Ilo Bar. It's a beautiful night in western North Dakota.

Friday, October 28, 2005

This Hereford heifer is literally skin and bones.
Her hide drapes over her rib cage like a federal

Saw her on the way to Killdeer Mountain this
morning. Dad and I almost finished putting
siding on the shouse (shop/house).

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Yesterday I borrowed Margi's pole and went fishing at Lake Ilo, just outside of Dunn Center. The weather was almost balmy. I liked sitting there daydreaming, so thankfully no fish bit the gummi worm. Then I went to Watership Down and slept.

I've started a book called The Virginian, by Owen Wister. It was written in the 1800s and is considered the first "western"--a precursor to the works of Zane Grey, Will James, and Louis L'Amour.

Boring entry, I know. ; )

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

This website rocks my world. It has the potential to bring the Republicans, Democrats, and Communists together in joyful comradery. Trust me on this one.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Yesterday, after the Dunn County Historical Society Annual meeting, I hopped in a Chevy sedan with two of my Dunn Center neighbors--Vivian and Florence--and we drove eight miles on gravel roads to the very isolated and quaint Vang Lutheran Church. Both of these women have lived in Dunn County for over 80 years, but the Vang Church has been around even longer. I'm told that next year will be its hundredth anniversary. Vang is the archetypal prairie church with a congregation of less than ten (all farmers or ranchers) and a community graveyard in the field across the road. The congregation was having its yearly barbecue.

After chowing down, the three of us drove back to Dunn Center. It was an oddly euphoric experience. Hard to explain. . . . Vivian had the car's radio dialed into a classic rock/heavy metal station, the heater was cranked, the night sky was velvet black with a neon orange strip warming the western horizon. It was like we were all teenagers in a 1973 dream flashback. Florence said twice, "I wish we could drive all night." Vivian and I solemnly agreed. We decided to go cruisin' again sometime soon.


In the spirit of love, rock & roll, and drivin' all night, I present my high school graduation pic, from 1989:

Note: This particular hairstyle is dubbed the Montana Mini Mullet--aka the "Triple M." To get the full effect click on my left ear.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Below is a beautiful picture of Jesus with disciples as depicted by a Kenyan artist.

This one, by a German artist, is of Jesus is delivering the Sermon on the Mount:

Jesus said things like, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for physical justice; they shall be surrounded by what is needed to sustain their bodies." He said, "Aligned with the One are those whose lives radiate from a core of love; they shall see God everywhere." And, "Blessed are those who, from their inner wombs, birth mercy; they shall feel its warm arms embrace them."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

"There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." Henry David Thoreau

What does the root of evil look like? Hacking at the branches has become my worst habit.
Fridays are black hole day.

Volume 1, Issue 1:

An intermediate-mass black hole feeds
from a star that has wandered too close.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Lordy, Lordy, Guess who's. . .

When my mom wakes up tomorrow morning,
she will be 60 years old. Right now she's
listening to trance/techno music on her laptop.
This Montana farm girl has experienced much
change since 1945; from Eleanor Roosevelt
to Laura Bush; from Frank Sinatra to Kanye West;
from milkin' cows to the cloning of cows.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm seriously considering dying my hair gray and changing my name to Sandy Goodnight. People will think I'm in my 70s. The story will go that I've been working as curator in a small town museum in the middle of North Dakota or Manitoba for the last 20 years. Before that I worked as a mule skinner for the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon. I've been married twice (to the same woman). Her name was Belva, and she died in 1984. I have one son--Larval--to whom I no longer speak. I live a peaceful life and fish a lot. BUT! One day I decide to record a rap album. . . . The indie rock critics love it for its novelty, but then the kids in The Bronx and Brooklyn realize that I'm the greatest old man white rapper they've ever heard and start taking pilgrimmages on Amtrak out to see me.

Then a civil war erupts for some reason, and I get my fair share of battle scars. Then I discover the cure for the Bird Flu and get married to a 44-year-old Guatemalan ex-prostitute named Marvel. I die in her arms after a painful arm wrestling match with Cowboy Troy.

Eight months later Marvel gives birth to a deformed daughter whom three U.S. Senators claim has extra-sensory powers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Queen

I have named you queen.
There are taller than you, taller.
There are purer than you, purer.
There are lovelier than you, lovelier.
But you are the queen.

When you go through the streets
No one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
At the carpet of red gold
That you tread as you pass,
The nonexistent carpet.

And when you appear
All the rivers sound
In my body, bells
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.

Only you and I,
Only you and I, my love,
Listen to me.

Pablo Neruda

Monday, October 17, 2005


I can't get enough early '80s Prince and Bruce Springsteen these days. Who would be their equivalents in our neo-modern era? Nothing compares 2 them.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Today was the Hill Top Home of Comfort Steak Feed & Auction annual fund raiser in Killdeer. The scheduled auctioneer didn't show up in time, so I was plucked from the field of faces and deputized as the afternoon's seller. This foolishness went on for a half hour until the real peddler showed up, and I reseated myself next to Mom. I'm pretty sure I lost Hill Top Home of Comfort a lot of potential profits, because I'd start each item low and then usually give it to the first or second bidder to save time. I sold pumpkins, trikes, lotion baskets, gift certificates, a houseplant, and a lot more. They gave me a box of Mt. Dew for my efforts. Grandpa and Grandma said they think I have a future in this business, but I know that I don't.

Last night I slept at Watership Down. I took photos from my yard of Vivian's steel quonset hut--one of them before I fell asleep and the other one when I awoke.



Saturday, October 15, 2005

Four beers and two snickers bars later, and I'm soused. They say you can't go down to Ilo Bar, in Dunn Center, and only drink one beer. It's true. Everyone buys you one. Ilo Bar has the most economical juke box in the country, too--8 songs per dollar. I picked out 8 tracks that everyone liked, and so they pooled another $2 so's I'd pick 16 more. That's a lot of songs. Merle Haggard, George Strait, Toby Keith, AC/DC, Alabama, Dr. Hook, Tammy Wynette, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Shania Twain, Del Shannon, Buddy Holly, Hank Williams, OutKast.

Now I'm about to go crawl under my stove and sleep like a rat.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I now have my own post office box:

C. Sand
PO Box 7
Dunn Center, ND 58626

Judy's the postmistress. If you write to me, you might want to scrawl "Hi, Judy" somewhere on the envelope or package.

The weather's been nice lately. I've been chainsawing up fallen branches from the snow storm and putting them in piles. I'm achin' for a vacation somewhere. Maybe Mexico.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tonight was out of the routine. After work I drove to the Killdeer American Legion Hall and played a bunch of songs for the Dunn County Farm Bureau's annual banquet. I was background music while people ate. Instead of a traditional sound system they handed me a clip-on lavalier microphone which I attached to my shirt pocket. I'm not confident that anyone could actually hear me, but I had a swell time. Must've been close to 150 in attendance.

Afterwards I stopped at Margi's to watch a Jackie Chan DVD.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

my love,

*(these are cherry tomatoes. hand picked. for you.)

Monday, October 10, 2005

". . . teachers of children in the United States of America wrote this date on the blackboard again and again, and asked children to memorize it with pride and joy:


"The teachers told the children that this was when their continent was discovered by human beings. Actually, millions of human beings were already living full and imaginative lives on the continent in 1492. That was simply the year in which sea pirates began to cheat and rob and kill them."

Breakfast of Champions, 1973, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

'Twas cozy in my death shack last night. No ghosts visited me. Yesterday in Dickinson I purchased one of those colorful Mexican glass candles. This one had a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I burned it ceremoniously to aid in my nocturnal protection. I fear the grim reaper is looking for his hell hounds, who have been creeping 'round my porch.

I need curtains!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Tonight will be a good night to sleep in my new house. It will be the first time.

Friday, October 07, 2005

India.Arie's first album, Acoustic Soul, is great. I'm listening to it now.

I visited Watership Down this afternoon. The chinese elm is in bad shape--lots of broken limbs. The coyotes and deer have been sleeping in my yard. The deer are eating the leaves off the downed branches, and the coyotes are eating the rabbits and cats. Both must be eating well, though, 'cause they're depositing their handiwork across the snow drifts.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The last forty hours have been a cold and blizzardy odyssey. Power went out yesterday morning and just came back on a half-hour ago. Western North Dakota got hit with more snow, two nights ago, than it's ever received in recorded October history. My grandparents were stranded in Dunn Center without water, telephone, heat, power, or much food. They had to melt snow for drinking water. I hiked/hitch-hiked there this morning and assisted in digging them out. Now they're relaxing out in my folks' living room watching the news.

I've never realized how much I rely on utilities. It gave me a tiny, tiny glimpse into what folks in New Orleans must have gone through and continue to be going through. Less than a week ago the temperature was 90 F. Yesterday it dipped almost to 5 F. Freaky weather patterns going down.

Damage has definitely been done here. Trees, all over the county, have snapped; carports have collapsed; the majority of pheasants have likely been buried alive; hay is ruined. One local guy got lost on his snowmobile and had to take refuge in an abandoned granary last night. "Uffda!" is one of the words I can see between the lines on everyone's furrowed brows.

I visited my 92-yr-old great aunt Olga this morning and played rummy with her while dad shoveled her sidewalk. She says she's never seen anything like it this early in the year.

I submit the evidence:

My silver Subaru. You can see his brand new license plate: HIY 918 (formerly 319 JOE).

Bender's Ford dealership, in downtown Killdeer.

My parents' front porch. In the distance, in an orange letterman's jacket, you can see our 17-yr-old neighbor, Logan. Last Friday he broke his neck in a high school football game. He now has to wear one of those halo things.

Here's a tree that survived.

I wish I would have taken the camera with me when I went to Dunn Center. It was surreal. It took me almost twenty minutes to dig my way into the museum. The snow drifts went above the door knob.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

It's snowing. I don't mind though. I have a warm house with electricity, propane, candles, and a kerosene lamp. Is this what it means to become wealthy? My life has hit its Elizabethan Age, perhaps. The Normans and Saxons have been fought off. The Puritans and Cavaliers have yet to become extremists. I, Shakespeare Sand, alone in my tiny hamlet, from the County of Dunn, write these words.

But, aye, there's the rub! For I, in fact, had to leave my fair cottage to fill up on Mum's pot roast, and use Pater's iMac. . . (beth).

Doubly lucky, then.
If only I had a lady by my side each night back in the wasp den. Or two?
Were I and my soft pale-breasted love
and none in Crioch Fail awake
men and women all sound asleep
and I and my love at play!
White limb of joy, my fairest girl
my knowledge-star ascending
no priest or friar will I believe
that it's sin to couple in love.

-- Anonymous Irish
fl. 17th century

Monday, October 03, 2005

Great Aunt Emmabell sent this photo. It reminds me that spring is just around the corner. . . . the long corner.

Today feels like the first day of winter, but that's not for another two-and-a-half months. Now is the time to create our own sun.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

As of today, thanks to Dad's handiness, all three of my house's outlets are electrified. I lit the pilot light on the gas stove and cranked that up, too, at which point about 22 wasps woke up and started swarming about. I didn't have the heart to kill any of 'em--except for one that landed on my neck. They all seem so languid and wise. I'm what you would maybe call a bleeding heart conservative.

Here's another photo from yesterday's hootenanny:

The legendary Bill Lowman, cowboy humorist from Medora.
This, from the Brussels Journal:

“'I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both,' Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam’s divorce the threesome decided to marry."
Who knew that polygamy was legal in the Netherlands?

I don't know about you all, but I think Victor looks a little blanched. I get nervous imagining just one wife!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The fourth and final Dunn County Museum summer event is over! About 100 folks showed up to Dunn County Museum's 1st Annual Country Music & Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which I organized. It was a big success. I'll write more about it later.

Can you see my pin head in the distance? I'm strumming a guitar.