Category Archives: Journal

Personal rumblings. Inner reflections. Sometimes a diary of things going on in my life, sometimes a diary of things going on inside my head. Tread lightly.

The Spaces Between

I have so many mixed feelings about SXSW this year. I had a good time; went out every night of the music festival portion, actually saw stuff. Didn’t take a usual night or two off because of “con crud” or fatigue — I just needed to get the fuck out and do things, see things. Find novelty. Seek out serendipity. Played each night by ear and generally landed on solidly entertaining path.

It was ultimately very satisfying to get out of my usual rut. Went a whole week without stepping foot inside Epoch Coffee, which is a stretch for me. Just no time, and it’s the last place I’d want to go to spend my post-show afterglow. Trying to explain what I’d seen and experienced to random acquaintances who had no common ground would just kill it. And I think my life was made better for that decision. Fresh air. Different views. A kick in the pants. I can go places that aren’t The Default. Y’know? I needed that.

There’s more to life than work, cafe, and home. So much more. JFC why have I wasted so much of my life in that triangle of locations? It’s a vortex of suck. This year’s south-by just reminded me that The Bigger World can be had right here. Austin’s a big town if you’re on foot and walk slowly enough to pay attention to the spaces in between the traffic lights.

I saw some of the most random, serendipitous stuff all the way through to the most insane. Saw Todd Lewis of The Toadies do a solo acoustic set across the street from my office. Saw Marie Davidson and her husband Pierre Guerineau perform as Essaie Pas. Discovered new bands like Boy Harsher, Automelodi, I Am Snow Angel, Emme, Museless, Sloppy Jane, Champagne Superchillin’, and so on. I have more than enough to try out and explore for months.

I spent most of the evenings on my own. Saturday night, I hung out with my buddy Doug and we had a blast. But most other nights, it was lonesome to experience these shows and have nobody to compare notes with. But whatever. My life is usually solo anyway. Turns out my calls out for companions on social media and chat were just wasted energy, wasted time. Pissing in the ocean hoping to raise the tide. Most of my friends either didn’t respond, or responded to the negative that they’d have nothing to do with the festival. Instead, I should’ve just spent that energy asking specific people directly. That’s what real adults do, y’know? Half drunk, fully lonesome, I wrote a thing between shows Friday night:

Instead of calling out into the void
I should have been calling out to you
The emptiness is echoed
The other is true

I’ve wasted so much time and effort. So much. I needed this week. With all the other shit going wrong or failing stupidly in my life and job and my social circles, I needed this. Maybe next year I’ll go back to hating on SXSW like all my fellow townies, but for now, I’m fatigued yet rested.

Foot Path

My longtime friend Pat is moving back home to Wisconsin this week. 16 years is a long time to know a guy and to live in one town. I was one of the reasons he moved here in 2002. But, citing the growing cost of living here, the lack of potential in this town, and his desire to move back to live near his family, he and his boyfriend Will are packing up and kicking up gravel in their wake.

I know my future isn’t in Austin, either. I just don’t know when or why I’d move, or where I’d move to. But occasionally I wonder about it, ponder on my wanderlust. If not here, then where?

Mostly, I think about what I’d miss. The food, mostly. Thundercloud, Ruby’s BBQ (now closed), East Side Pies. Among many others. But yeah. What else? My radio club? Sure. The cafes? Maybe (regardless of how much time I’ve spent inside them). The few personal friends I still see occasionally? Certainly.

Really, I’d miss the squandered potential of my 18 years here. I could have had and done and been so, so much here. All I’d have to do is fluff up my feathers and peacock along with every other dime-store DJ dotcom startup burner techie elite. Instead, I stuck to my muted integrity (somewhat) and got nowhere. It’s not necessarily that people are excluding me, they’re just not including me. I drive around and see places and things, and don’t see the people inside. I don’t call, don’t write, don’t visit. Finding my society means I have to actually look for them, because when I’m out of sight, I’m completely out of their mind.

One day I’ll have it figured out. Until then, my love for this town remains unrequited.

It’ll suck to know Pat’s not around when I need to say Hi, but it’s good knowing he’ll be in a less tenuous locale. Godspeed, Pat and Will.

Ice, Your Only Rivers Run Cold

At the end of an Austin ice storm. Couped up at home all day, working through VPN, bored to tears. Streets were slick and icy earlier, but the stiff dry wind has made all the ice disappear. Now it’s just bitter cold.

Couped up inside. I need some wind to evaporate the ice keeping me stuck. I’d like a full thaw, some warmth, some heat, those would be nice. Anything to loosen my stasis is welcome.

Walk on by, walk on through, walk to your own and don’t look back, for here I am.


Moral ideologies do no service to creativity; they stand on its tail, keeping it from reaching above the table, keeping it below the roof, housing it inside to hide it from the world.

Abandon logic, destroy self, consider chaos as a tool to release Creation. The missing piece of the dream is motion. Motion begets creation. Direction doesn’t matter. Move, move your ass. Get out of stasis. Loose the chains and set yourself free.

You can be more than your life’s lessons. Those voices from the past are not with you now; they don’t give a damn about your future. They only give a damn about their own present, about convincing you they are right. Let them go. Your energy is no longer theirs; it’s yours.

Be bigger than that.

Flip Page

Two-thousand and Eighteen Ano Domini (whichever dominar you choose).

That’s right, we made it. Not by any choice or effort on our part. It just happened. We can’t really take credit for it. Anyway, here’s me rhapsodizing about how great the next year in my life will be, blah blah blah, but really, I’m not so positive. I’m cynical, really.


See, instead of going to parties tonight to celebrate with other humans, I’m sitting at home alone. That’s right. I’m letting myself get hung up on friction and with a lack of inertia, looking at the Internet with a glass in one hand and a keyboard in the other. Social avoidance. I don’t mind the party, but I fear the expectation (it’s not you, it’s me). And so, without putting any effort into getting up and going to where the other humans are, I stayed here. Alone. I had invitations, but deftly avoided all of them. Phew, that was a close call.

I guess you can say I am leaving 2017 exactly the same way i lived it. And that’s a fucking shame.

Really, lately I’ve been getting called out for my cynicism and negative thinking. I really, really need to stop that, or at least be more delicate with it. Sometimes people don’t want me to talk like Grumpy Cat. I can’t help it sometimes, but really I can help it by just shutting up. Eh. I need to cull that behavior and try to stop pointing out the riggings underneath things. Sometimes people don’t want to know, and it’s not worth telling them. Anyway, enjoy this educational video to kick-start your self-examination:

I hope 2018 is better. I really do. In the grand, universal scale of things, it means nothing. Earth time is infinitesimally insignificant, and time itself is a human construct, blah blah blah, but whatever. I need to update the copyright on this site and wish us all the best. So here’s me wishing you the best. Happy New Year, from me, to you. Phaysis loves you.