Cerebral Flotsam And Jetsam - My Mental Maelstrom


“Wish You Were Here”

I’ve been getting random musical urges lately. The latest was a sudden desire to perform “Wish You Were Here” using my looper. So here it is. It is uncomfortably far from perfect, but I find I very often get bogged down in letting perfection become the enemy of good.

Playing music is so powerful and therapeutic for me. Putting things out for public consumption though, I NEVER feel like they’re good enough. I recorded a take of this last night, then upon reviewing the footage noticed some visual things that were unacceptable. I did a couple of more tries today. I finally got one I could live with so I went to render the audio and when it came time to grab the video, I found I had mistakenly deleted it, and since I used the Filmic Pro app, there was no “trash” to recover it from.

2 or three more tries and eventually it was starting to lose its magic and become tiresome, so I decided that this one was it. No more. Hopefully what it lacks in perfection, it makes up for in soul.


Dream Theatre 56

I hesitated to document this one because it’s about her again. Nothing crazy, but I just didn’t want “Dream Theatre” to become exclusively about her. There’s been many more dreams of her I haven’t documented here but I remembered a lot of weird details about this one.

I was t a hotel for some reason and we had arranged for her to call me to catch up. The first time we would be actually speaking since my banishment. The phone rang, I answered and it was a bit of a confusing beginning as she was with someone on her end (him maybe), and whoever she was with was joking around and obviously distracting her as a joke. They shouted “She loves you!” playfully and she quieted them down to begin the conversation. I don’t remember anything in particular that was said, but I remembered that she had changed her number. It was no longer an Austin number. She had just moved to L.A. from Nevada so I figured it must have been one of those two and wondered why she had bothered changing numbers since area codes don’t mean much these days.

I had walked into the hotel and at the entrance to the bar which was closed at the moment, so while there was no one there, the door was open and it was a nice quiet place to talk. Two young men approached me and started to surround me and I could tell something was up. Next thing I knew, They had grabbed me, picked me up and were trying to pull me out the bar door and into these other doors where I presumed they would rob and beat me. While still on the phone, I started yelling for help and grabbing on to the door frame of the bar, trying to keep from getting pulled out. Then everything kind of froze like paused video game as I started analyzing my options and whether I could get a good angle to land a punch on either of them.

Then I woke up.


A Tale Of Forbidden Hydration

I had noticed a filtered water machine at the gas station down the street from me. In an effort to more easily stay hydrated, I ordered a gallon water jug thinking that I could just walk down to the store and fill it up for $.35. Now I have a big water filter in my room, but to fill it I have to make multiple trips from the kitchen with a jug, and monitor the particulate count with a meter (or just notice when it starts tasting funny), buy filters, change the filters, fill out a form and mail in the filters to get recycled and get a credit on some new filters, make sure the cistern stays clean, etc. It seemed way easier to walk down to the store and pay $.35 and, BAM! Gallon of clean tasting filtered water.

I used the jug multiple times, but then one day I went to fill it up and the machine was apparently out of order. I would check periodically but it was out of order for quite a while. Then one day, there it was, all lit up again, ready to dispense me some lovely, life giving oxygen combined with a pair of hydrogen molecules! Yay!

But then soon after it was out of order again. After a few trips with it still being out of commission, I decided to ask the store clerk about it. He went to check it out and found it was simply unplugged. Well, good thing I asked about it! I told him I would have to come back with my jug. Today (a day or two after that last encounter), I grabbed my trusty gallon jug, prepared to stop drinking so much Diet Mtn. Dew and get some of that incredibly beneficial water into my system again! I needed some sun and air anyway, so I walked on down to the gas station on my quest, 35 cents jangling in the pocket of my Forest Green gym shorts.

As I approached, I was stopped dead in my tracks and my mouth went agape. There were no lights. In fact, there was no machine. The water machine was gone. A discolored patch of concrete next to the ice machine where it had once stood. For some reason, I walked right up to where it had been, as if maybe I wasn’t seeing something correctly. Just air where there had once been metal and plastic containing a menaga-a-trois of hydrogen and oxygen within, dancing together in their liquidy embrace.

I walked back home, defeated, wondering why the universe wanted to deny me my simple hydration wishes. As I walked, two Hispanic men in a work truck yelled something in Spanish that I didn’t understand. I looked at them, and the driver made drumming motions. I just laughed and smiled and they laughed and smiled back. When I arrived home, I made three trips from the kitchen with a kettle full of water to fill my filter. And now I sit here typing this while drinking some Diet Mtn Dew.


Lynn Shelton, Filmmaker, 1965-2020

I find myself surprisingly affected by the death of Lynn Shelton (filmmaker), but through my empathy with Marc Maron who she was dating. Let me explain.

This is not meant in any way to discount her work or achievements, it’s simply that I didn’t know her name until she started dating Marc Maron because I listen to his WTF podcast. I’ve literally spent hundreds and hundreds of hours listening to him. Getting to know him through his interviews. I watched his last comedy special with Lynn directed. I’ve heard him go through several relationships. I’ve been so pissed at his immature, condescending, judgmental attitude that I considered not listening to his podcast any more.

When you spend that much time, even just listening to someone, someone who puts a lot of themselves genuinely into what they do, I do believe you “get to know them” as absurd as that may sound. Sure he could be a dick, but mostly he seems like a good-hearted, intelligent, empathetic guy who has been through a lot of shit and is self-aware enough to have made a lot of improvements and seems to endeavor to be a better person every day, which is the best any of us can do.

I remember when their relationship first started. I’ve listened to him talk about her. I’ve heard her in the background or pop in to an intro to say something. I’ve heard stories about them or her being in the other room. About her work, her movies.

I don’t think I realized how much personal connection I felt to Marc Maron, and by proxy to my “friend’s” new girlfriend until I saw the headline today and felt gut punched. For someone I barely knew, via someone I only virtually know. But I felt (some infinitesimal speck of) his pain. I couldn’t imagine what he must be going through. I wrote him a personal email, composing the best, most comforting words I could put together. They seemed happy (and were according to the statement he released). In these crazy times, it was even crazier that it was in no way related to COVID-19 but was some previously undiagnosed blood disease, I’ve read. I know how much it hurts to simply lose someone in a breakup, but I can’t imagine that kind of loss of someone you love. And if you personally know this pain, you have my love as well. Many hours later, I still find myself taking a walk and thinking about it.

As I wrote to him, and as I have written to many of you in times of pain (I hate to sound repetitive or trite but I just can find no better words and they really do bring me some degree of peace), in times like these I like go to science and the Law of Conservation of Energy which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. And what are we all, our souls, our consciousness, if not energy in some form. It will never cease to exist, it will only change forms.

And if I had to pick one line to sum up life to me it would be this:

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

-The Beatles “The End”

Dream Theatre 55

Once again, starring her. In this dream I was scrolling on Facebook and saw some pictures I had never seen of her in some stage show. They were very good, professional quality shots of her on stage, one in a leotard striking a very ballet-like pose. She was very lithe and toned like a Cirque Du Soleil performer. I wondered what and when this show had been and at first I thought maybe it wasn’t her. Checking her profile, I was initially confused as the profile picture was just a low resolution brownish themed logo of some kind and the name was just a random phrase, more than a name. Possibly something like “iPhone Brown,” though I can’t remember if that was actually it in the dream. I confirmed that it was indeed her and thought maybe she had just changed her name and picture since some people do that kind of thing for more privacy.

Then I woke up.


Dream Theatre 54

We were both staying at the same house for some reason. I think it belonged to someone we both knew. We had taken great care to avoid each other and hadn’t seen each other at all. It was late at night and everyone else was asleep. I turned a corner just as she was coming down the stairs and there we were, face-to-face. We both froze for a moment, not sure what to do, then instinctively, awkwardly kissed each other (in a quick, friendly way), then laughed as we both realized what she then verbalized, “Oh, wait, we can’t do that any more.” We started to talk and catch up. I think she sat on the back of the sofa and I sat sideways on a stool at the kitchen bar, a few feet away. It was warm and friendly. There was still love there. Much went unsaid.

Then I woke up with a heavy sigh, and a heavy heart. 

Still relevant:


Sense Memory Time Machine

Sense memory is so powerful. It’s always amazing to me how some smell, sound, tactile feeling, taste, or image can instantly transport you to some moment from practically any time in your life.

Today I was taking a walk and something about the temperature, the sun on my skin, the way the breeze blew across me gave me a sudden flash in my brain. I was a child going to College Hills Elementary school. I wasn’t at school, but was taking a walk, perhaps walking home from school on a day that felt just this same way. I was thinking of a book I’d read from the school library, a compilation of Science Fiction short stories. It’s a book I’ve thought of often throughout the years, or more accurately, tried to think of through the years but can’t remember much about it and the vague details I do remember, I have to question their accuracy after all these years. Who knows how corrupted they may have become with each time I’ve tried to recall them over the years since.

I remember it being a larger sized book. Perhaps with purple and black theme to the cover. I remember a story about…someone…a boy? Who finds a robot. A theme that could fit probably thousands of stories if not more. The more specific detail I think I remember is a story of a team who lands on a foreign planet and ends up encountering some creatures that resemble large fleas or ticks perhaps, with spiky crystalline backs.

This book was one of my earliest encounters with Science Fiction and I’ve always wondered what it was. And all of this from the simple feeling of sun and breeze across my skin on a walk.


The Ending Of “Sultans Of Swing” By Dire Straits

Revisiting the ending to “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits. This song has always been special to me, as it was the first real milestone for me as a guitarist. When I learned the whole song as a fresh new guitar player oh so many moons ago, I felt I had really accomplished something big. I think it’s still some of the finest and most original guitar playing ever recorded.


Keyboard Solo To “Africa” By Toto, But On Guitar

In a lot of my bands, I end up covering a LOT of musical ground like keyboard parts for example. I had a particularly good time learning the keyboard solo to “Africa” by Toto. It can be a lot of fun and educational in that it gets you playing in a different way than you normally would.