2020 is coming to a close! I generally don’t like year-end wrap-ups. They always seem like just easy ways for the media to fill time and get away with being lazy. But this year I’ll make an exception and do a wrap-up. 2020 sucked! Yeah, some bad things led to some good things and a few actual good things did happen (Biden won), but I can’t tell you something you don’t already know. 2020 sucked! That’s my wrap-up!
HOW I’VE SPENT MY COVID VACATION, SO FAR. I have spent most of the time asking myself the following question, referring to almost everything around me. How do we make this work or how do we make this better? Trying to answer that has actually led to some workable solutions for myriad issues and situations. With all live gigs disappearing, every band on the planet has wondered what to do now and how to do it. The logical solution for most performers has been to continue the show virtually, with varying degrees of success, from both an artistic and audience-response point-of-view. Some performers are sorta okay with it and some hate the whole situation; not what they signed on for. For whatever reasons, I, personally, think I have found a new comfort zone. And I’m not just resigned to the challenge, I’m entertained by it and motivated like crazy to create. I taught myself a bunch of new video skills (very low level, but good enough for now) and am pretty fired-up to have new tools I can manipulate by myself. I have no idea if any of my bandmates have similar feelings or if they’re thinking along these lines at all. All I know is that my brain is exploding with fireworks AND flowers. But my life has also been dominated, of course, by the struggles of animal management. I’ll say this. Not all cats get along all of the time. I’ll also say I am constantly amazed at how well things do go, generally, but you gotta be smart and you can’t let your guard down. When the pandemic first started I heard a doctor say “To be safe, one’s only reaction should be an over-reaction.” I thought that was good advice and decided to apply it to everything. You know, be diligent. Don’t leave BoBo, the cat, near the dangling wire of a charging cell phone, or the wire of anything. And don’t leave our 15-year-old dog, Bobby, near the food of our blind 18-year-old cat while she’s eating. Bobby won’t hurt her, he’ll swipe her food. She’s an easy target and dogs LOVE cat food. Most of you know exactly what I mean. The very best dog food in the world doesn’t hold a candle to the very worst cat food, as far as Bobby and, his twin sister, Foxey, are concerned. But, to Bobby and Foxey, the very best food in the world comes right out of the cat’s litter boxes. Again, I’m sure a lot of you are hip to that delightful problem. I wish dogs could actually live and thrive on cat poop. Wouldn’t that great? Oh well, we can all dream.
I wrote in the November MACHINE’S PUMP about all of the yellow jacket nests which we allowed to stay around the house this year. It was extremely interesting and not too scary. They are all gone now. But we also had one decent-sized wasp nest. The wasps (paper wasps) seemed a little more focused than the yellow jackets and definitely kept to themselves more. That nest also emptied out, even before the yellow jackets gave it up. Well, I decided to bring that one abandoned wasp nest onto the back porch, to check it out, and set it on a shelf. The next morning a baby wasp was sitting on it. Just sitting there. We think the warm back porch caused it to hatch. Whatever, here was a baby wasp with no nest outside now. Its fate was now our responsibility. So we named it Wally, bought it a little aquarium and that’s where he’s been for about three weeks. Sadly, we discovered one of his wings is broken or didn’t form correctly. Early on we tried to get him to fly away, after putting his nest back outside, in a warm spot, near its original location, but he just hung around and we noticed his left wing was split. He wasn’t even trying to fly. Then we were really committed. He’s almost reached his maximum life span (about 22 days) but we’re going to see what happens. He loves and prefers to eat sugar, which is the basic diet for wasps at the end of the season. So he has fruit and hunks of brown sugar all over his house. I gave him some water today and he lapped it up. This experience deepens my feelings about the importance of all life. I know that sounds cliché, but without our intervention, Wally wouldn’t have lived at all. The temperature in Denton dropped below freezing the night he was in his nest on our warm back porch. When we found him I initially wished I’d left the nest alone and nature could have done its thing, but I inserted myself, right or wrong, and now had a unique opportunity to expand my sphere of understanding. And when we discovered Wally’s left wing wasn’t working, well, of course, for people like us, it was fate and there was only one thing to do; become Wally’s family. Don’t bother telling me I’m crazy. Yeah, crazy like a wasp! By the way, check out Wally’s new music video.
Hey, peace on Earth and everything, but I’ve been working on a new song about some wonderful people we should all love, I suppose, because we’re all human beings who share this fantastic planet. And, I’m always trying to expand my sphere of understanding (see above paragraph), as you know. Anyway, it’s called, “Slime Ball.”
Okay, folks, time to say goodbye to one train wreck and hello to a brand new one. Hopefully, 2021 won’t be as debilitating and disheartening as 2020, but stay healthy, vigilant, and smart-headed. Also, check our itinerary occasionally or wherever you follow our shenanigans. We might do something super cool or super stupid with little warning. Don’t forget, music is a special language and it’s my goal to get you on your feet and/or keep you on your toes! HAPPY NEW, NEW, NEW YEAR!!!!!