Monday, September 04, 2017

Sand Land Report - Late Summer 2017

Where to begin . . .

Well, my daughter, Stevie, just finished up her first week of kindergarten. That's a milestone for sure. She's even taking the bus to school now! She and I spent the last ten days of her summer vacation camping and traveling around the NW, and it was a true American Road Trip. By Day Five we'd escaped the mid-'90s heat by swimming in four different states: Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington. We attended an Idaho panhandle pow wow, rode a roller coaster in a small county fair in southern Washington, camped in a rustic cabin with close friends in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, danced at a rollicking Jewish wedding in Olympia, WA, made a juicy blackberry crisp from scratch, in Stevenson, WA, and in Seattle we witnessed the solar eclipse, visited the bustling Woodland Park Zoo, saw large fish being thrown around Pike Place Market, and treated ourselves to a few spins on the Seattle Great Wheel.

And, of course, we ate a LOT of ice cream.

My connection to Stevie has grown, and I'm so proud to see her becoming a big, loving and powerful girl. Another huge perk to the trip was visiting old friends, some who now have powerful children of their own.

Except for the above-mentioned father-daughter adventure, my last five months have been overly busy with a remodel project. My folks needed to put their Missoula house up for sale, and I wanted to help them finish it as quickly as possible. It took longer than expected, which ate up most of my summer plans, but it's on the market now and looks fantastic! Pictures here:

On August 1st I moved into a bohemian collective apartment in downtown Missoula called The Atlantic Hotel. Seventeen fellow denizens share the space and they're all very easy to get along with. My room is small, which forces me to simplify my life (for the better), and rent is only $300/month!

The Roxy Theater, 4.5 years later, still employs me. I gave up my 2016 custodial nightshift there to become Concessionnaire. My new position gives me more hours and I enjoy the socializing. The Roxy's 80th Anniversary is in exactly three weeks, so 2017 has been a giant year of fundraising. We recently received a big grant from the state and installed a vintage, 1937-era marquee which will be lit up with dedadent neon by month's end. Pictures here:

What about my music career, you ask? Um, well, er, it's been rough. Scant free time plus debts from last year's Kickstarter defeat took me out of the touring arena for a stretch. I did play a fun children's show this summer in Charlo, MT; a poetic house concert at the farmstead I grew up at in The Mission Valley last spring; a rockin' Billings, MT, show at The Garage Pub (article HERE) last month; and in a week I'll be playing another show opening for my longtime pal Calvin Johnson at The ZACC Below. More on that in my next blog. At least I'm still writing plenty of songs, though I've not been able to complete many of them. I have about 50 of what I call "song seeds." This is where I have the tune and first verse or two of lyrics captured onto my iPhone, but not the full composition. I pray that my next few months can be conducive to revisiting these little guys and nourishing them into fruition. If not, perhaps I'll just record an album of lyrical seedlings and let somebody in the future finish 'em.

Meanwhile, I'm not too impressed with the state of the Union this year. Feels like greed and fear are trying to stake a claim. I think it's time to jump back into the ring soon and put in my two cents. As Woody said: Watch out you fascists. You're bound to lose.