The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Backyard Haven

We did something new this year, and it's been the best thing we've done all year...

I've discovered that I need to be outside more. Getting out of the dark house into the light improves my mental health a lot. So, we've made a little oasis on our back patio.

First, 'Mater. As in Tuh-Mater. :-D We're doing some container gardening this year - tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, and flowers. And yes - one of the tomato plants is named Mater and the other is Tuh. Fans of "Cars" will appreciate that.

Then came the canopy. We found one on sale, and were originally intending to use it for craft shows. Suffice it to say that we got a second one for the business - this one is staying right where it is.

Next, we discovered that this particular canopy comes with accessories! (Mystery quote: "You got the one with parameters? You must have waited 63 weeks for that!" ... Anybody [except for Amanda and Dodd] recognize that one??) So, our canopy now has screen walls. There are even tent walls and floor that we can get for this canopy. Maybe later... :-D

Now for the rope lights. :-D They go in tonight.

I'm going to try going out there next week with my laptop and mini MIDI controller, and see how much of the new album is written on the back patio.

So, if you want to find us, don't bother knocking on the front door. Just come up the driveway, and you'll probably find us in back. Pull up a chair, we'll grab you a beverage, and sit a spell. S'mores will be served later.

(Think I'm kidding? If you know where we live, and you see both cars in the driveway, c'mon back. :-D )

10:15pm - UPDATE... The first night with the lights was wonderful! We spent a glorious Sunday out on the patio, and ended tonight with lovely lights. Good for the psyche indeed! :-D Have a great holiday - I know we will!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Summer Fun at FRENZ!!!

Kevin, the super friendly manager at Frenz on Plainfield, is trying something new for the summer... he's having a morning storytime on Wednesdays at 10:30am, starting June 13th.

And, I'm the first Teller!!!! :-D So, not only do I get to play at Frenz on occasion, but I get to tell stories there too!!!!

So, mark it down - Wednesday, June 13th at 10:30am. The GR Frenz is on Plainfield where it meets I-96 - in the same plaza with MC Sports and the Hallmark store. C'mon in for some stories and fun!!! :-D

I'm geeked - can you tell?...

Don't ya hate it when...

You're slurping down your last bit of cereal, drinking out of the bowl since you're the only one here (except for Ezri, who is not only not offended at drinking out of the bowl but wants to join in...), only to discover that somewhere in that last morsel of yummy goodness was a burned Frosted Flake?


If you can make it through that, first thing in the morning, the rest of the day should be a piece of cake. :-D

"Life is like a bowl of cereal... with a burned flake in the bottom..." I'm glad Forrest Gump did chocolates rather than cereal.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Busy Weekend... and birthday stuff...

Whew! A busy weekend indeed...

Had two gigs on Friday - Pilgrim Manor in the afternoon, and then Frenz in Grand Rapids that night. A wonderful time was had by all at Frenz - including the group that stopped in as we were wrapping up for a mini-concert. Some of the most amazing things happen when you're not expecting them. :-D I'm very much looking forward to going to the Rockford location in June, as well as returning to the GR Frenz sometime soon.

Saturday was rest, and then babysitting that night.

Sunday was the usual in the morning, and that night I led the singing at a hymnsing at church. It was a blast, but boy was I tired when we got home. You wouldn't think waving your arms around for an hour would take that much out of you, but it did. :-D

Then today. We went over to Saginaw to meet my aunt and celebrate...

my birthday. Yup - the Captain is now Thirty-Eighteen. (48) Two to go to the big five-oh.

So, what am I looking forward to this year?

Bariatric surgery I'm in the "hoping the insurance will give permission so we can get on the waiting list to get it scheduled" phase of the process. As with all medical things, it's a hurry-up-and-wait thing.

Knee Replacement We've had a visit to the orthopedic doc, who (of course) told me that in order to have knee replacement (which is not an if, but a when), I need to lose the weight first. But, to lose the weight, I need to be able to move and exercise, and with my knees as bad as they are, I can't do that, so I need the knees replaced, but they won't do that until... Get the picture? Grrr.... So, we're trying to find a surgeon that will go ahead and do the knees, knowing that once the gastric bypass happens, the issue of weight will change. And, frankly, after the bariatric surgery, all other surgeries get a LOT more difficult (because of nutritional balances, etc), so I'd rather get the knees over with, and then do the tougher stuff of the gastric bypass. So, we wait until the next appointment, with the surgeon in July. And we pray.

Bike Riding? Not right now, unfortunately... The knees are bad to the point where the bike is going to be almost out of the question. However, I am praying about a replacement for my ReBike, since I've pretty well gotten to the point where it won't work for me anymore. There is a place that will build a new bike for me, to my frame, allowing for my long torso and short legs, but that'll take a LOT of cash. We're praying that the Lord sells either mom's house or the farm, and we could go ahead with the new bike, which SHOULD help even with my bad knees.

Does that sound like a bad year? I really don't see it that way. It's simply time for a change. I've taken a year to get over this major life change, to try and accept my new path, and now it's time to move along. There's some hope on the horizon, but it's a little far away yet. But it's there... and getting closer. :-D

Happy birthday to me. :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Friday at Frenz!!!

As you can see by the list of upcoming shows to the right, this Friday I'll be playing at Frenz Coffeehouse in Grand Rapids. I'm looking forward to it - it'll be my first time there, and I've heard a LOT of good things about this venue.

So, if you're able, come and join us! I'll be playing at 7pm, for a couple of sets, doing some tunes from my CD, as well as other relaxing music. And, I guarantee that if you bring a friend, you'll be able to enjoy the music AND have a conversation at the same time! :-D We'll have CDs available, as well as handmade jewelry. (and yes, this time we WILL have the jewelry... someone came to my appearance at Beanabox especially to see the jewelry, and we didn't have it! SORRY! :-/ Jewelry will be in da house on Friday!)

If you can make it, the support would be appreciated. Sometimes, management will use attendance as a factor in inviting someone back, so if people show up, that really helps! :-D

Friday, May 11, 2007

"Get Off My Lawn!!"

I realized something today. I've decided not to be the grumpy old man who yells at the neighborhood kids, "get off my lawn!!!"

Ezri went off this afternoon, big time. So I figure the disturbance must be local, rather than across the street. I go out on the porch, look down the driveway, and see a little yellow Corvette parked up near the van. As in VERY little - and electronic. I hear a girl in distress down the street, then realize they're coming toward me. I ask, "are YOU the one who got a car stuck in my driveway?" Her dad says, "it don't got reverse..." and picks up the car to turn it around. Then they both get in (on) the car, and drive off, while I smile and wave.

So, no - I'm not going to be the grumpy old man. Besides, if the kids crawl all over the lawn, maybe they'll stomp it down enough so I can put off mowing for a while. (since I have to mow with a weedwhacker, I tend to put it off as long as I can...) Kids playing in the neighborhood mean families in the neighborhood, and that's a good thing.

Besides, how often have YOU had a yellow Corvette stuck in your driveway? :-D

Thursday, May 10, 2007

ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!

Regular readers of The W's W's (the Very Few, the Semi-Proud) know that we are Cirque Du Soleil fans. We've seen three of the shows live (Varekai, Drallion and Quidam), and it's my semi-goal to see all of the shows sometime. (Except for one - which shall not be named. It's a Las Vegas resident show, and I was sad when Cirque decided to do it...) After my life changed in 2006, I was expecting that my Cirque days were over - not much money left for extravagnaces like shows.

Two new shows have come out since we last went - Corteo and Kooza (the newest one), as well as a couple of resident shows and two arena shows. (Delirium and Saltimbanco, which used to be a touring show before being converted to an arena show) Well, I was looking over the tickets, found a couple of perfect seats in the cheap section, and before you could say "Happy Birthday To Me!", we are going to Columbus OH to see Cirque!!!! :-D

(Yes, that birthday remark was made for me, btw. May 21st, to be precise.)

It'll be good to see Cirque again. And good to go on a road trip like that again. My spirit needs a bit of that, as do we all. Doesn't have to be a big honkin' thing - just a small break to refresh us. :-D

And a small break at White Castle. A few of them, actually. But no Waffle House - you gotta draw the line someplace.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A two gig day...

Yesterday was the first time since being a semi-full-time musician that I had double-booked (as in, two playing gigs, back-to-back). Oi... The problem was, I booked them too close together, and the first one started 20 minutes later than I was told on the phone.

Gig 1 - Third Reformed church. Nice time with their seniors, and they appreciated the music very much. But, as mentioned, it started 20 minutes later than I expected. So, before I played, an emergency txt was sent to my road crew, calling in some help. Thanks to Dan Da Man for allowing Vicki to skip out for a bit to come to the aid of the rotund whistler... Vicki came in, cut the tear-down time in half, and we were on to...

Gig 2 - Beacon Hill Open House. My friend Brian is the director of marketing for Beacon Hill, and asked me to play at their open house. Got here at 3pm, had to play at 4pm. But, having called in the big guns, Vicki and I had it set up in time. TONS of people, and a good event. Applause catered the event, and I was very impressed with them - they did an amazing job!

Two funny things... one couple came in, and said "we hoped to see you again, but we didn't think it would be this soon!" They had been at lunch at Third Reformed, and here we were again. :-D And, one of the folks from Applause came over while I was playing, and said "I wanted to take a look at your rings." Later, she talked to me about them, and will be contacting me to make her a ring. :-D

POSTLUDE: Took me about 90 minutes to tear down, load the van, and get home. I was exhausted. So, the lessons learned from my double-gig day? 1) There has to be more than an hour between gigs, or else I can't do it myself. 2) I have GOT to get back to work on my weight. When I was 366 and falling, I could have done this. At 425 currently, it almost kills me. The weight is the biggest issue in pursuing this creative vocation. I simply don't have the stamina to move all my equipment, perform, and get it all home. Not to mention the day to day operation of a 3 part business. Don't know how I can turn this around, but it needs to happen.

So, my friends, your prayers are appreciated. This is obviously a good path for me, and I'm glad the Lord put me on it, but my physical condition is making it nigh unto impossible to keep up. I'm in the process of getting insurance approval for bariatric surgery - I had hoped to do this all on my own, but I know I can't. But the surgery is risky, and I'm a little scared of it.

A tough day, but I learned a lot. :-D