Friday, December 31, 2010

Its Done

So I'm taking a moment to myself before heading down to Cajun's Wharf for our New Years Eve show. What a year this has been. I have learned so many things about myself and others. It's interesting to look back on a year- to see the blog I posted at the beginning and then to be sitting here now.
I am not exactly where I thought I would be, but I am very very close. I can safely say that 2010 was my year. I tracked it, wrestled it to the ground, branded it, tamed it, let its spirit take me and lived to tell about it. I watched a few kingdoms fall, and few friendships fade. I gained a new appreciation for honest love and a new fear of the vengeful kind. I let myself go, and I began to rein it all in.
I found a new strength that will serve me well throughout 2011, and I have begun the process of living in and for the moment I happen to be experiencing at a given time.

Last year, this time, I was arriving at the New Years Eve show I created for myself. I landed the press, I sold every ticket. I filled every seat, and I deemed it a small victory wrought with struggle. True grit, I say. And now, an entire year later, I am calmly writing a blog before taking the stage at the biggest bar in town for a crowd that I didn't have to fight to get. Will we be getting paid at a fair ratio to what that bar is looking to make? Absolutely not. But hey, there's always next year. haha
I opened the Arkansas Times on Wednesday to see a full page photograph of the Mercers and myself. The caption read, "...arguably Little Rock's finest cover act." It feels good to be liked.
Honestly, I have not one complaint for you, 2010. You brought me all the things I wanted, and you washed away all the things that muddied my boots. True, I made a large helping of mistakes, but I'll not hang my head. I'm proud of where I am, and I am thankful for those who have helped get me here.
Next year holds so many things, so many things for all of us. My prayer is that I'm paying attention to the good stuff and letting all the rest pass over me like a rainy day.
2011, here I come.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Love and Happiness

"...something that can make you do wrong,
make you do right."

Lord help us all. Haha.
I have been a fool in love, but I do not regret it.
There's something nostalgic about being the fool for love's sake. You certainly don't have the upper hand, and you cannot carry on as if your garments were meant to be kissed. There is nothing righteous about fumbling your way through planned encounters or thinking all day about what you could possibly text that might peak his or her interest. But the fool in love does this unabashedly, unapologetically, and without caution. And honestly, what's a fool got to lose?
I'll tell you what the fool has to gain. The one thing, the only thing, that makes all the public displays of embarrassment remotely worth the trouble is hope. There is no assurance, I REPEAT, there is no assurance that the fool in love will gain the admiration and affection he or she seeks. It is the hope that someday the unrequited lover, they so long for, will look up and see them standing there juggling three enflamed monkeys while balancing atop a house of cards. The hope that maybe, the object of their soul desire will find them interesting enough for a second look.
Ladies and gentleman I have been the fool for enough minutes and hours combined to earn top ranks in the art of Foolery for Love's Chance. Its a real title, I swear. As part of my acceptance speech for my medal, I gave a monster of a closing argument to the equal parts judge and jury that was my foolish desire. I ebbed and flowed my way through the recounting of my struggle and my ridiculous show of "PICK ME! PICK ME!" It was epic.
At that point, like every other fool's dream, mine came down to the verdict- Shall I, Desire, desire you, the fool?
After all, "the greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." Right?
Well, the trouble is, once you've exhausted all your magic tricks and shot off all your fancy fireworks all you're left with is that question. Do you want me or not?
I don't know why the house of cards all fell in my favor, but last night...last night after the odyssey that truly was my wits end, my checkmate,
he picked me.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I don't know what I want to write about today.
There must be something in there that wants out because I sat down and opened this "new post" window. A lot has happened lately. I've realized a few things about myself and the people around me. I saw a goal through to the end, and I paid a visit to Graceland.

Regarding the first point, I expect a lot from people. Maybe too much. I expect people to care. I expect people to love me back. I expect people to show up. I expect people to spread the word. I expect people to applaud, and I expect people repeat all of the above.
What have I learned?
Expect nothing and appreciate everything.
I used to show up to a gig expecting a line around the block. WHY? What on earth would possess me to think that much of what I had to offer?! haha. I tell you what happened- I was always disappointed. Furthermore, I was never living in the moment (why would I live in a moment I was disappointed with?) Instead, I was always looking to the future. "The next one will be bigger," I'd say.
Most of the time this ended up being true, and somewhere in there my appreciation started to out-weigh my despair. I can say now that, overall, I'm in a place of gratitude. Completely.
Don't let me lie to you though- there are still pauses of discouragement, but they are not conclusions.

Recently I put on a concert at Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts. It was the biggest event/show that I have ever tried to actually make happen. Of course I've had lofty dreams, piles and piles of them, but for some reason this one was realized. It took most of the strings my friend John Willis could pull, and all the energy and time we had to get it off the ground. But we did. :)
With the help of Jody Edrington, Adam Melton, Chris Marsh, N'ell Jones and a whole host of volunteers we planned, and speculated, and hoped, and prayed and pulled it off.
It was the greatest concert of my little life. And I was in every moment of it.
Were all 625 seats occupied? No ma'am. Did we raise the kind of money I was planning on raising for Big Brothers Big Sisters? No sir. Did I give all that attended every once of my soul from beginning to end? You bet your ass I did.
I could have been disappointed with a whole host of things that happened or did not happen, (and again I'll say I had a few pauses) but I found that after the concert ended and I had a few days to stew on it that I was increasingly overwhelmed with joy and accomplishment.
We did good.

That shit is real.
To walk through the archives amongst a steady flow of people- a flow of people that started when Elvis died and continues every day, morning to night- is to be a part of the mania that is the legend that is the musician that was the man. I was crazy!!!!! I've watched all the specials and I've heard all the songs. I've studied the way he focuses his attention during a song, the way he listens, and the way he directs. And now I've seen with my own eyes the chair he sat still in and the rooms he filled with his God-given charisma. I kept trying to imagine myself there with him but couldn't. I would stop to study one of his famous outfits and imagine him filling it out. I don't know how else to say it; I was absolutely inspired.

I wrote this one more for me than for you. So if you found it a little long winded and redundant I do not apologize. haha!

If you want a place in the sun, you've got to put up with a few blisters.
- Abigail Van Buren