Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Thanksgiving Rumination

Well, for one thing, I'm grateful this jackass is no longer President!
Posted on Facebook an hour agoOff to have Thanksgiving dinner at Threadgill's, because my family no longer celebrates Thanksgiving and I got invited to no orphan's Thanksgiving dinners. Do not think I'm complaining, though - I'm not. I am grateful I now have the means to be able to do this. This was not the case when I returned to Austin, my tail between my legs, two years back. And certainly hasn't been the case for most of my life. This is among the many things I am thankful for today. Be good to each other out there. I post this with love and gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted on Facebook almost 11 minutes laterWell, I wasn't looking for sympathy. I really was grateful to be able to get a Threadgill's turkey dinner for myself. But my editor saw the post, clearly, and texted me an invite to an orphan's Thanksgiving tonight. So I let my bus drive past. Now I'm eating leftover pizza and waiting to be picked up for tonight's dinner. Interesting, how things work out! Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

It's true - that was no sympathy grab. I am grateful and humbled for having a life now completely different from what I've known for years. It's the main reason you don't see me blogging like I once did. I'm too busy.

I'm not a religious man. I'm not even spiritual. I no longer have much of a family since my mother died, aside from an uncle or two and a pair of cousins. The origins of this holiday are pretty despicable: "Gee, thanks, people who were here first and are darker-skinned than we are, for saving our butts upon our illegally immigrating here. Let's enjoy some grub, then we'll start working on taking you for all you're worth and then driving you to extinction." But I like the idea of a day to reflect and and be thankful for your blessings. It's a good exercise, a humbling one.

I look to my left, I see a pile of five guitars and a 50 watt Peavey amp, a fully-stocked wardrobe, and shelves overflowing with books and records. I see a box of shoes sent by a friend, waiting for the second shoe rack I ordered. Last year, I'd have seen one guitar a 15 watt amp, and maybe 1/4 of these items. Two years ago, shortly after I moved back to Austin, I'd have seen that one guitar and 1/4 of that 1/4 of that stuff.

Yeah, I have a lot to be grateful for, an abundance. And as stated above, even a year ago, I wouldn't have had the resources to buy that Threadgill's turkey dinner I nearly went to get.

I was lost for many years, after I walked away from Austin and from rock journalism. I drifted around, trying to find a different way to live, a different way to make a living, to support me and my music. I never found it.

I returned to Austin, because I had nowhere else to go. It was literally the final option. By accident, I fell back into life as I knew it in my 20s and 30s, back in the '90s. And that worked out. I needed a sponsor for "RADIO NAPALM," which ended up being Shannon Pollard and his fine Plowboy Records label, without me asking. And I needed my editor at The Austin Chronicle, Raoul Hernandez, to ask me back to my calling: Writing about music. And I needed Austin to bring me back and take care of me until these factors fell into place.

Two years later, I'm looking back and thinking I owe these people a lot. I am certainly not in the state I was in upon my return to this town I love. Yes, it was due to my own hard work and discipline and talent. But it was because all these people gave me the opportunity to do that.

I made some good friends along the way, and they helped keep me going until I could get to this point. The road to independence requires a lot of support, and I literally could not have done this on my own.

And now, I'm back to making music with a new version of The Hormones. Without the three guys manning the other stations in the band - Clint Shay, Kriss Ward, Pip Plyler, and those who were there along the way (Rob Laundy, Tom Trusnovic, Ryan Anderson, and Jason Crowe) - there would be no band. Nor would there be a Hormones without the wonderful booking skills of Julia Cohen.

Here I am: Able to write these words, and able to thank you all. I could not do anything without you. Thank you for giving me back my life. I owe you all. Happy Thanksgiving.