Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Finally, it seems that summer has arrived in Eugene. It took it's own sweet time this year. I've been out of town for 8 days in the arid heat of east-central California and coming back to Eugene was a breath of fresh air for once. Every year, Tina and the kids and I trip down to Jackson / greater Amadore county area to visit Tina's parents, Lou and Cathie. Most years we trip on over to Tahoe for some lake enjoyment and good food and sights. I wanted to get up in the hills and hike this time but it just didn't happen - it can be hard, breaking away from your 4-year-old and 1.5-year old, even if you know they are in good hands. But the lake was excellent and we splashed and swam and looked at the mountains and guzzled large cans of brewed beverages while snacking on various lovely foodstuffs. I caught some most excellent sleep the whole week and wrote a few oddball songs on a Casio SK-1 and drank far too many beers with Big Lou. *cough cough* my throat feels dry after hanging with the Lou-man, if you catch my drift. Fun times were had.
Holy moly, I turned 41 yesterday. I know what your thinking - another guy who thinks he's special because his age is a prime number - but I have to say, the years of my life that are prime numbers usually end up being really great years, so watch out, all you sub-prime-number suckas, I'm coming to get ya.
I love diggin through old boxes of stuff, because I come up with forgotten gems, like the above pic of me on my birthday in 1984. I was fourteen, in between eighth grade and High School and I apparently had really great taste in Nike socks. My brother Monty probably took this picture. He was 23, about to leave for Kentucky to start a masters program in music. While he was staying the summer at home with Mom and I in Crescent City, Monty and I spent a lot of time together and I still have fond memories of all the things we did - I can remember swimming in the ocean in our tighty-whiteys on a foggy day. Another time, we were exiting the library to find two snobby popular girls from school that were rough on me sitting on the steps, nearly blocking our way. Like a valiant goober, Monty yelled, "C'mon Ederd - jump!" and proceed to leap hilariously over the Del Norte debutantes with me soon jumping after. And most importantly of all, my bro Monty taught me my first guitar chords and basic music theory bits. We played Who songs, him on bass, me on guitar and he gave me an example of how to write a song. I supplied the title - "cooking with gas" - and a few lines of lyrics. He asked for a few chords and I banged 'em out. He finished the words and gave the song a structure. Shaazzam! I was hit with a lightning bolt. He made it look so easy. And it kind of was easy when you have a hyperactive, musical genius brother around - he was like the catalyst for the chemical process of songwriting to start for me and for that I owe my bro a lot.