Sunday, July 31, 2005

Here's a photo of Santa from the tropical themed Christmas in July at Dunn County Museum. I'll post a few more later.

Christmas in July at Dunn County Museum:

Santa arrives!

Jeri works the registration table.

Flamingo hat.

Apple bobbing station.

Calamity Cate.

Here's the cabin my Grandpa built at the museum.

The old fellers hung around and talked. Gramps is on the left.

We played Santa-I-Over until it got dark, and the Mosquito Fogger choked us out.

Thanks to my mom, Mary Sand, for taking all these photos!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Today I witnessed a tiny Chihuahua hump a tiny Poodle on the side of the road in the grass. The poodle appeared unoffended...

Alrighty, then.

I finished The Da Vinci Code. I liked it. Multi-layered...

Ok, then.

Tonight was "Christmas in July" at Dunn County Museum--the second of four summer events I organized. Around 30 people attended. The kids played Santa-I-Over, bobbed for apples, and drew tropical designs on the sidewalks with chalk until Santa Claus showed up in his shiny red Chevy. "Santa" is a local professional Santa Claus named Arnie Havelka. He gets flown all around the country in the winter months (and paid big money) to play jolly St. Nick in various settings. Thus, he rarely gets to be Kris Kringle in his home area. The theme was "Santa's on Vacation," so we created a tropical setting at the museum. We had real-looking palm trees, flowers, coconuts, beach towels, pink flamingoes, and everyone was given a colorful lei to wear around their necks. We drank guava nectar punch and snacked on fudge. I played two songs: "Yodelin' Night Before Christmas Hitchhike Blues," which I wrote, and then "Silent Night."

I'm worn out. Aloha.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Twenty pages left...
I worked 12 1/2 hrs. today. Now it's midnight and I will commence reading The Da Vinci Code.

After work I wrote a song called "Barack Obama." It's for my 2006 CD release tentatively titled--Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy is... The Senator of Rock and Roll!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Here are some pictographs from Sunday's boating excursion:

(Mom & Dad picnicking. Dad is wearing odd hat with flaps.)

(Across to the other shore.)

(Me in the blow-up kayak.)
They don't call it Lake Sakakawea for nothing. This is where Sakakawea (or Sacagawea) lived amongst the Hidatsa after they kidnapped her from the Shoshone and eventually sold her to the French-Canadian fur trader Toussaint Charbonneau who used her to get paid $5000 by Lewis & Clark for her skills. She was 15 when the Corps of Discovery met her acquaintance.

This area is now part of the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation-- aka Fort Berthold Reservation.
P.S. scroll down to the July 4th entry to see a parade picture.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Today was productive. I've been neglecting music business details this month. A record company with major label connections is interested in me.

I wonder "why now?"

Maybe the current success of Cowboy Troy has something to do with it. He and I sound nothing alike, but neither did Buddy Holly and Little Richard. Or Whodini and the Beastie Boys.

Cowboy Troy will be performing in Minot, North Dakota, this Friday. Maybe I ought to check him out. He calls his genre Hick Hop.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Whale Rider was on PBS tonight. It just might replace Casa Blanca as my favorite movie ever.

I spent today with Mom and Dad at Lake Sacagawea kayaking, swimming, and picnicking. No mosquitos and the weather was sweet.
Has anyone ever read stuff by Norman Mailer? I just stumbled across his 1997 novel, Gospel of the Son, and really liked it. I'd like to read more, but don't know where to start.

Tonight Margi and I walked down to 2 7/8ths Bar and played 5 games of pool. There were a bunch of bikers out dancin'. A DJ was spinning old rock & roll tunes that hit the spot. Songs like "Runaway" and "Maybelline."

Also, did I not mention yet(?)--my friend Teresa Barnes, who was traveling across the nation and stopped here for two weeks, has safely arrived at her mom's house in Orlando! She reports that the trip went quicker than expected. I dub her the "Angel of Highway 666." That's a song title I might be able to work with: "You take your risks on Route 666..."

Friday, July 22, 2005

Tomorrow night my weekend will begin. I'm pleased about that.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I've been too busy with family stuff to regain the spark of inspiration that drives positive journal entries. Until I catch up on sleep, watch a video or two, strum my guitar, and have a day all to myself to regain my peace-of-mind, I'll be pretty useless. I'm an introvert trying to live in a extroverted world. I'm a late-nighter stuck in an early bird's chicken coop. Covered in chicken poop. With a soul that's allergic to chicken soup.

Every morning Dad makes gruel for the both of us. I'm grateful for his efforts but it sure doesn't taste good anymore.

I gotta get out! But where to go? The profits I make are too minimal to pay rent somewhere and pay off debts. Geez, I'm a loser for sure. I'm not depressed about it-- just puzzled.

"Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge..." That's the best hip hop phrase ever written. All praise to Melle Mel and his masterpiece (with Grandmaster Flash) "The Message."

We all want freedom. Freedom from our gilded chicken coops. Freedom from oppression, repression, suppression, and all our various obsessions. Freedom from pride, lust, anger, sadness, envy, jealousy, wishy washiness, and evil odors.

I just don't feel up for fight quite yet. I better get ready, though.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

This morning Dad and I put the ridge vent on Grandpa and Grandma's roof. Then I worked half a day at the museum. I jacked up the wooden wheels on the old water tank wagon and put them on concrete blocks so they wouldn't continue rotting in the grass. Then I repainted the "Entrance" sign, searched (unsuccessfully) for a 100-yr-old dress that someone had loaned and wanted back, and at 5:30 called it a day.

The weather was nice today. Sunny and cool. Right now the moon outside is huge and pink. Almost pregnant.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Thus spoke the Pigeon:

"Tomorrow the beak will crack the shell."

(I don't know what it means, either.)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Today I said goodbye to my 88-year-old great-uncle Chris Sand. His children will be driving him back to California tomorrow so they can be nearer to him as he deals with cancer. He is my grandpa's last living sibling. He couldn't make it to the reunion due to his illness. During the music section Saturday night, I sang Ben Harper's "Waiting on an Angel" in his honor. Many were moved to tears. His smiling eyes and big laugh will be sorely missed out here.

A highlight of the reunion was meeting the new spouses of his grandkids (and my 2nd cousins) Jeff and Annie. Jeff Sand married a woman also named Annie. Jeff's sister, the original Annie Sand, married Ellery Williams last month. Now she's Annie Williams. I'd met Ellery four years ago in Hollywood at a show. Both he and Jeff's new wife are awesome! It's like I've gained new siblings.

Here's a wedding picture my cousin Jenny Sand took of Annie and Ellery:

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The family reunion in Fort Peck, Montana was excellent! I went swimming in the lake, played music, played horse shoes, and visited with over 100 relatives.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Tomorrow all Sands, including myself, will be headed towards the Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana for the Sand/Sugden reunion which happens every three years.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I've become a beast. I think I need a couple days in a cabin in Switzerland to fast, pray, and stretch. Somewhere with fat berries and fresh water. It wouldn't be exactly fasting, I guess. Make it a week in Kauai or Costa Rica.

One good thing is I've moved into my parents' basement where it stays cooler. I've got tunes, too. A couple weeks ago I found a record player at a garage sale for $5. I've been searching for a self-contained unit for years and now I've got one. It's probably from the late 60's and it sounds and looks great. I have so many records that I haven't listened to since the mid-80's; now's the time. Prince, Springsteen, Isley Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Marvin Gaye, Utah Phillips, John Prine, Joan Armatrading, Mahalia Jackson, Willie Nelson, etc.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My friend/neighbor Margi has had an incredible month. She just got engaged to a boyfriend she hasn't seen in fourteen years! It's a long story but tonight she brought him over for dinner. Steve's a professional golf caddy from Monterrey, CA. I hope to get some tips from him one of these afternoons before he leaves. Killdeer, believe it or not, has a little mosquito infested golf course.

Yesterday Dad and I almost finished putting the metal roofing on G & G's home. Later in the evening Uncle Chris, my grandpa's 88-yr-old brother, got rushed to the emergency room. X-rays confirm he's got a bad case of lung cancer. The tumor's positioned next to the heart. He may not have too many more days left.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Here is a revamped (return to) the blackhole... (of outerspace) cd booklet cover. All props to Giles O'Dell for his generous creations.

Say hello to Sand Pan! I sport goat hooves and a mohawk now.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Slowly I'm beginning to plan my Fall/Winter Tour. Europe might be in the cards. Definitely a tour of the southern states will be in order. I'll have two or three new cds available for purchase. Also, pillow cases. Sleep masks. T-shirts. I'll have a new line of merchandise, too: L-One-R Western Wear. This will consist of found cowboy/girl boots. Belts. Cowboy hats. And lots o' snap-down western shirts. I'll have at least two jackets as well as other random "western" attire.

L-One-R, by the way, is my personal record label. It used to be Loner, but somehow erupted into something else. The slogan is "Where the Left and Right Unite." Capitalism meets Socialism. Country meets Hip Hop. Truth meets Contradiction.

Friday, July 08, 2005

I present the many faces of Teresa S. Barnes.

The first, from 2003, is my favorite due to it's sprightly and sprite-ish nature. She looks like a ticked off pixie. I like them all, though. The second is from July 4th, 2004. The last one is from last week.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Yesterday Dad and I prepared the grandparents' shingled roof for new metal roofing. It was a hell job. Ninety-four degrees F. on a 45-degree slanted shingle roof for eight hours. I thought I was going to die of heat exhaustion and roll off. My dad was belaying me from above. I'm getting soft working mostly inside the museum every day.

After work I learned Teresa's tent had arrived and she was ready to continue east. I was planning a working trip to Bismarck, so at 9 p.m. we barhopped our way to the Missouri River. By 1 a.m. we reached Hazen and drove to a campground 14 miles north. We camped under shooting stars and bastard, whining mosquitos.

At 5 a.m., with bug bites and all, we got up to visit three historical museums near Bismarck. We had to wait until 9 a.m. before any of them opened. The museums are a lot slicker than the one I work in, but I like the funkiness of our little museum more.

By 1 p.m. we were thrift store hunting in Bismarck. Today was the first day of Bismarck's downtown street market, so we ate some $3 veggie burgers and listened to street musicians.

I didn't know that North Dakota harbored any hippies, so it was a nice surprise to smell patchouli and see blonde dreadlocks again. In Olympia I might have rolled my eyes at these furry freaks, but here I had an aching desire to make fast friends and bang wildly on the communal peace bongo. I am a gypsy myself.

I decided to drive Teresa to South Dakota, so we headed out in my hot sauna of a station wagon. We stopped along a desolate stretch of road and skinny-dipped in the Big Muddy. The water temp was sublime.

At around 6 p.m. we arrived in Mobridge, SD, where I bid adieu to my brave companion. Teresa is 5' 2" tall and she carries a big backpack. She has a metal screw holding her right ankle together from getting backed over by a Honda Accord one night a few years ago in a Florida parking lot. Yet she will now continue walking across the nation towards Orlando. I'll try to scan a photo of her soon.

After exploring the town for a bit on my own, I drove diagonally across the Standing Rock Reservation back to North Dakota. Then straight to Killdeer.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Today I took Teresa to the secret spot where the last undisturbed teepee ring I know of stands. Then we walked to the beaver dams and saw, altogether, six beavers, four deer, fourteen rabbits, seven turkeys, and nine ravens. I ate the first june berries of the season and then some other berry that didn't taste right. I picked one fresh puffball to fry, but it ended up having some inner rot, so I crushed it with my bare hands and threw it against a white rock.

Also, Mom sheared Uncle Chris' head which didn't look so good afterwards.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Killdeer 4th of July Rodeo just about killed dear Sandman. After a day of red, white & blue sweaters, bombs bursting in my ear, and unnaturally pink hotdogs, the rodeo spelled overdose. I'm bored with 3-yr-old anti-Dixie Chicks jokes by rodeo announcers (though there was a pretty good one about Bill Clinton I'll admit). Rodeos are so amazing, but they're also full of shit. I don't even want to talk about it.

I had a good day, though. Teresa made a big sandwich board sign I wore in the Dunn Center parade. On the front it read "Dunn County Museum." On back it said "Lots of Rain, Lots of Grass." I pushed an old-fashioned, manual lawn mower covered in patriotic ribbons and a flag. I followed behind my dad and grandpa who rode turd-dropping horses. Then we attended the big potluck in the park. I sincerely love being part of this small rural community.

All in all, it was a swell Independence Day.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Teresa and I drove through Theodore Roosevelt National Park today. I wore my silk Hawaiian shirt, carhartts, and hiking boots. She wore a white cotton see-through dress and lace-up cowgirl boots. We hiked up a butte and let the badland wind blow through us.

The yellow cactus flowers and tiger lillies are blossoming. The bison and mule deer are fat. The prairie dog towns are bustling. Buzzards and owls were seen. Lots of tourists, too.

Fireworks above the Killdeer rodeo grounds guided us home.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Mom, Dad, Teresa, Margi, Anne, Trista, and I just had a steak barbecue on the porch. Firecrackers are going off like Fallujah. The sky is salmon and maroon w/ spider web lightning to the south.

Killdeer's mosquito population got gassed two nights ago. The bats and birds are bug hungry. I caught a moth in my closet and set it free yesterday; within three seconds it lay pinched between a sparrow's beak.

Today at work I painted the flag pole. I couldn't reach the top ten feet, though. Then I weeded the garden. It was like a treasure hunt searching for the violets, nasturtiums, and marigolds beneath the dandelion, creeping jenny, crabgrass, and alfalfa.

Friday, July 01, 2005

I drove home through an amazing hail storm today. A black funnel cloud was forming just above the highway but it never touched down. Some of the hail stones were bigger than walnuts.

Work has been boring of late. Time drags. I scraped the flag pole of old paint this morning. Maybe by the 4th I'll get it painted.