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Month: November 2017 (Page 1 of 3)

Just Like Starting Over (Part n in a series)

I posted this originally on November 1, 2013.  As any casual perusal of this site will show, I didn’t succeed.  So this is another attempt.

It’s November 1st, boys and girls!  And you know what that means!

You don’t know what that means?  Oh.  Well, bear with me.

Once upon a time, I wrote regularly in this space.  Some of it was personal life update rambling, and some of it was musing on this and that, and some of it was just random cool things that I found around the Internet.  when I look back on it, though, it gives me a insight into where I was in my head at the time.

Around late 2008 or so, I stopped writing so much.  There’s a variety of reasons why, but the primary one is that there were things going on that I didn’t want to talk about publicly, but that were taking up a large number of my mental cycles.  And then after going for a while, there was an odd inertia, where I couldn’t post about topic Z because before I write about that, I really should write about topics Y and X, and the next thing you know you’re backed up to topic A and the whole thing feels insurmountable.1

In fits and starts, I’ve tried to relaunch my online blog, most recently in May and June of this year, and I had a good roll until I got derailed by a few unexpected psychic bumps.  But inertia works both ways.  If you can get the momentum, you can sustain it.

November is traditionally NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where people promise to produce a 50,000 words towards a novel by the end of the month.  It is also NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), where people pledge to produce at least one blog entry every day for the month of November.  So that is what I intend.

I aim to misbehave.2

I can’t promise every entry will be scintillating.  Perhaps they won’t even be as scintillating as this one.3  But I’m hoping that the inertia of doing this will get me back into the regular habit.

You can help!  I’m absurdly response driven, so if there something that catches your eye and you have something to say about it, please comment.  My posts are mirrored on LJ and Dreamwidth, and linked on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.  Follow me wherever suits you.  If you want to comment where you see the post/link, do it there.  If you want to comment on the main blog, you should be able to authenticate with whatever service you like in order to leave a note.

In closing, I leave you with a video I return to again and again for inspiration.  Ze Frank sent this out to all his kickstarter backers just before he restarted his online video show.  It’s titled “An Invocation For Beginnings”, and it’s worth watching, no matter what project you’re about to undertake.

“There is no need to sharpen my pencils anymore.  My pencils are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark. Warts and all, let’s start this shit up.”
–Ze Frank


  1. Yes, you could just skip all that and start where you are, but that’s your brain, not mine. 

  2. And by “misbehave”, I mean “write a blog entry every day in November.  And also the other things.  Not because they are easy, but because they are hard. 

  3. A friend of mine on LJ has a tag that reads “don’t be interesting just post”. 

2018 Will Be My Year Being Toasty

I realised today, while looking over the last couple of weeks of posting on Facebook, that I didn’t make an announcement I thought I had.1

I’m very pleased to announce that the Ohio Valley Filk Festival has asked me to be their Toastmaster in 2018!  This will be my 17th consecutive OVFF, and I couldn’t be more excited.  In addition to myself, guests include Cheshire Moon, Harold Stein, and Julia West!  It’s going to be a great time, so I hope you’ll come out and see us!

Meanwhile, I will also be Toastmaster at Conflikt in Seattle this January, so I’m looking forward to a great deal of being Toasty next year. 🙂


  1. My skill at self-promotion.  Let me show it to you. 

30 Day Music Challenge: Day 1: A song you like with a colour in the title

Well, there were a lot of possible songs I could choose, but really only one winner.  Prince’s “Purple Rain”.  For fun, here’s the rare video of him debuting the song with his then-new band, The Revolution, at the First Avenue in Minneapolis in 1983.

Here’s the challenge, if anyone wants to do it themselves:

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30 Day Music Challenge: Day 2 – A Song With a Number In the Title

Today’s challenge is to post a song with a number in the title.  So here’s R.E.M.’s “Pop Song 89”

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 3 – A Song That Reminds You Of Summer

Day 3 of this challenge invites us to post a song that reminds us of summer.  Perhaps this is a bit on the nose, but I’ve loved this song since I was a kid, and it would go on any “pick me up” playlist.  Here’s The Loving Spoonful, with “Summer In The City.

30 Day Song Challenge: Day 4 – A Song That Reminds You Of Someone You’d Rather Forget

Today’s entry in the 30 Day Song Challenge invites us to share a song that reminds us of someone we’d rather forget. this one proved a bit of a conundrum for me, because while a great many songs remind of specific people, especially old lovers, I don’t want to *forget* any of them. Even the relationships that ended sadly, or badly, I don’t want to throw out the good parts.

So this isn’t really about any one person, but I was a weird, awkward kid, and I was picked on a lot the way weird, awkward kids are. And while I’ve made peace with some of those tormentors, others I’m just as happy to let slip into the haze of forgetfulness. all of this to say, Here’s my favourite performance of Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen”, featuring accompaniment by the great Tommy Emmanuel, recorded live at the Philadelphia Folk Festival a few years ago. Becuase it’s an awesome track, and even bad memories should have a great soundtrack.

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 5 – A Song That Needs to Be Played Loud

Day 5 of our challenge invites us to share a song that should be played loud.  There are obviously thousands of songs, but I’m going to reach back to one of the first songs that really made me want to crank the stereo to eleven.  I was 13 years old when I got my copy of The Police’s “Synchronicity” album, and it grabbed my imagination and never let go.  It’s still one of my favourite albums.  And here’s the delightfully dark and surreal “Synchronicity II”.

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 6 – A Song That Makes You Want To Dance

Day Six of our challenge asks me to post a song that makes me want to dance. A lot of songs make me want to dance.  I enjoy dancing, for all that I’m not very good at it. 🙂  But the first song to pop into my head is this joyful number from the B-52’s 1989 album “Cosmic Thing”, so that’s my pick for today.

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 7 – A Good Song to Drive to

Today’s challenge invites me to share a song that’s good to drive to. I went thorough a lot of thoughts on this. A song about driving? Hrm. A song that reminds me of being on a journey? A son about setting out on a journey. A road trip that profoundly changed me? Lots of possible choices. I settled on this one. Here’s Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill”

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 8 – A Song About Drugs or Alcohol

On the eight day of the 30 Day Song Challenge, we’re sent 8 miles high and invited to post a song about drugs or alcohol. I considered several options, but decided to go with this old favourite, a song I loved deeply long before I understood what it was about. Here’s Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, with “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”

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