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Isolated Incidents: TGIWTF Edition

We’re more than two weeks into this thing…with, I’m guessing two months to go until we reach any semblance of normal life. If I think about it in those terms, my heart sinks and my brain turns mushy. But, if I stick with the cliches “take it day by day” and “live in the moment,” I tend to do all right. I sure hope you’re taking care of yourself in whatever ways work best.

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the few positives to come out of this ordeal is people finding creative ways to pass the time. For me, I’ve been doing live DJ sets with my son…err, DJ Cool Carl, and I just did a loose, late-nite solo set this week that was a total blast (see the vid below to get a taste; I’ll probably do another next week). I’ve also found solace in this here website. I re-fired up The Days of Lore back in February with the intention of simply having an outlet for my writing that doesn’t involve hard deadlines, or any parameters for that matter, but it’s become a savior for me during this period of social distancing.

I have some interviews ready to run here in the coming weeks (gotta find a good transcription service, because transcribing an hour interview, for me, is a 12-hour endeavor that crushes my soul). I’m really excited, too, because while the conversation inevitably touches on the current situation, I’ve also engaged in some incredible conversation about art, life and being human.

I planned on running my interview with Old 97’s vocalist/guitarist Rhett Miller this week, but due to time constraints, it’ll go live next week. Also on the docket: A conversation with Prids bassist/vocalist Mistina La Fave that’s already in the can. Mistina is a riot, a killer bassist, speaks her damn mind, and she’s been navigating the male-dominated music world for more than two decades. I’ll also talk to Chico News & Review Editor Melissa Daugherty about the future of the paper, the importance of strong community journalism, and I’m sure a lot more. I had an interview set up with Deadspin founder and sports and entertainment writer Will Leitch that got derailed once he realized he was going to have to essentially homeschool his kids, but we’ll get that back on the schedule ASAP. Plus, more to come! I am fearless in my quest to request interviews.

So yeah…we’re all doing the best we can, eh? I hope this space provides a little diversion for you like it does for me. Stay tuned. It’ll be fun.

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Isolated Incidents: Day…what day is it again?

My family and I continue to hunker down–like everyone is supposed to. Bartered beer for toilet paper with our friends/neighbors yesterday. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown finally announced a shelter in place order Monday, most likely as a response to the bozos that flooded small rural and beach towns over the weekend as their way of social distancing. We’re trying to do takeout once a week from local restaurants to help them weather this unprecedented storm. The fed and local governments better get those emergency stimulus packages passed before the natives get restless, and we have to deal with a whole new set of problems.

The Days of Lores.

Mostly, I want to say thank you to my mom for approaching her boss yesterday about her concerns about continuing work at the grocery store she’s been with for years. They happily laid her off so she can collect unemployment, and sent her off with a small party and a bunch of beer and toilet paper. Thank you, mom, for taking this seriously. Happy retirement. I love you. I’ll listen to some Billy Squier and drink a beer in your honor today.

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Isolated Incidents: Day ???

We’re very early into this thing, but I will say I’m impressed by the creativity people are showing in order to get through it. I’m hopeful some good will come of this. Isn’t that right, Jack?

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Isolated Incidents: Day 2

2019 was a lot cooler than 2020.

Or is it day 3? Anyway, Tuesday was a roller coaster, as I’m sure the days will continue to be. Before you know it it’s 9 o’clock at night, and you’re deciding between going to bed or having another cocktail(s), or perhaps…yes, cocktail it is.

I will say this–our family has been good about hanging out and being present (although I’m still working on fighting the urge to read the news, or scroll social media). We’re even implementing some of our son’s school activities (like journaling, sharing, and storytime) at home. I hope at the very least this time together will bring us closer. And I sincerely mean that. That said, I found out that our kid will be home from school for at least a month, and my wife, who’s a teacher, will be out until April 28. We’re going to fucking kill each other. And I’m sure I will be the first to go…I hope my family will have the decency to let me choose my fate.

I’m not panicking, but I do worry people still aren’t taking this seriously…mostly because I just read that as the virus continues to spread, fewer people (mostly those who think science and math are dumb) view it as a serious threat. Yes, true to form, Americans will not learn their lesson until someone close to them dies on a tower of Charmin Ultra Strong (only $38.88 for 24 rolls on eBay).

Others’ stupidity frightens me more than the pandemic steadily consuming our country. Get your shit together! Stay home and stress-drink like a responsible American! Think about it: To keep yourself and others safe, all you have to do is practice being a lazy American. For chrissakes we can’t even get that right.

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Isolated Incidents

Since we’re all (hopefully) practicing “social distancing” I thought I might try and do a semi-daily report from TDoL HQ. Maybe every day if it doesn’t become too monotonous, which I assume at some point it will. I’ll try and keep it light, but no promises. And certain posts might focus on specific things, rather than a blow-by-blow. Ugh…I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.

I’m not gonna lie, today wore me down a little. A lot of people out of work (myself included), the fear that some businesses may not recover, a looming recession–it’s left me feeling a little scared. Even the interviews I had scheduled this week, small bright spots in all of this, were postponed (understandably) due to the effects of this pandemic.

I went shopping early in the day, and the Trader Joe’s in Clackamas wasn’t too insane–about the typical traffic for a weekday, and shelves were well-stocked, save for toilet paper and paper towels. To that I say, “What the fuck is wrong with people?” Through normal shopping trips we have plenty of TP. And if we run out and don’t have access to more, I will take my dump and jump in the shower and scrub my ass like a normal person. Although, look at my dumb ass: Later in the day I panic-purchased more alcohol after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced the closure of all bars and restaurants (except takeout orders) for four weeks. Priorities.

We made the best of the day, hanging out in the sun, playing with the kids and drinking beer–if we’re going to be isolated, we might as well make the best of it, right? My mother-in-law came over, which I advised against since she falls in the category of having a compromised immune system. I hope we don’t regret this decision.

I also hope in the coming weeks we have a clearer picture of what we’re dealing with…or we’re all going to run out of kids activities or, more importantly, booze. Hang in there, friends. Take care of each other. Hopefully a return to levity tomorrow. 

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Stay Strong

To say we’re living in crazy times is an understatement at this point. Aside from the usual day-to-day political madness, we are dealing with an escalating pandemic. Now I’m not here to add to the hysteria around COVID-19, but we should take the precautions seriously. Especially for those most susceptible to getting sick.

Personally, I’m trying to not be overly paranoid, but I also don’t want to be flippant about the severity of the virus. And because the information on the Coronavirus is changing so quickly, I’m really relying on basic common sense–avoiding large crowds when possible (this is, of course, has essentially been mandated in some states), working on not touching my face, and washing my hands more often. This will help alleviate the spread of the virus.

If we’re not smart about it now this will affect more and more people, even those who are young and healthy. It’s already affecting people’s livelihoods, and the financial harm will likely wreak more havoc than the virus itself. Be smart. Be compassionate toward others. Listen to your doctor. Listen to your local government. Read trusted news sources (while keeping in mind that the information available is constantly changing). And stay strong.

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Happy Birthday, Mark In the Dark

My friend Mark Arnone would have been 47 today. He was the OG DJ Mark In the Dark and, as you can see, a massive KISS fan. In fact, that’s how we met in high school. I was drawing Gene Simmons on my notebook, and he saw it, and that was it. We did all kinds of degenerate things together. We went to a bunch of KISS shows. I was the best man in his wedding. Mark died too soon–only 36–and that is only amplified the older I get. I miss him. Happy birthday, friend.

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“Night and Day”

My 5-year-old and I are coming up with some avant-garde compositions that push all boundaries, and are going to leave critics absolutely speechless. Sort of a blend of John Cage and The Fall meets Glass Houses-era Billy Joel. Wrap your head around it if you can.

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Hello There

Hero. And The Days of Lore in photo form.

It’s been a while. Like a really long time. Like 15-20 years or something. Actually, it’s been approximately five years since I last posted something here on The Days of Lore. And it’s not because I’m lazy, goddamnit. On the contrary, I’ve been very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very busy…which is to say, I now have two small children.

Needless to say I don’t have as much time for writing these days, aside from the occasional freelance gig. And when the old server that housed TDoL dumped years of work in 2015, the decision to stop doing this was that much easier (with help I’ve recovered most of it, and some might make occasional appearances in an installment I like to call: The Days of Lore…of Yore). So what made me decide to fire up this website again? Simply put, I just needed somewhere to dump my opinions on meaningless shit, as well as a place for me to process the day-to-day stuff that clogs my brain and makes me think and overthink and stress out. Plus I’ll use it as a place to link to my professional writing. And I’d much rather do this in my own space than on the grotesque Zuck Machine that probably brought you here. Yeesh.

Anyway, I figured a reintroduction was in order. Some of you reading, perhaps, have been here since the earliest days of Lore. Some of you are new. This is a place that will most-likely include a lot of music-related content. I’m almost 47, and music is still the thing I love most…well, besides my family…and baseball…and maybe Taco Tuesday. You’ll probably also catch me prattling on about, well, tacos and baseball, as well as movies (I’m good for about one or two a year–usually Star Wars-related), whiskey, books, journalism, food, fatherhood (ewwwww!), politics (double-ewwwww!), and my trip to Trader Joe’s.

If you’re not riveted by the potential here then you’re probably the owner of a successful business, two homes and a boat. Jokes aside, I’ve been doing this a long time, and I think I’m pretty good at it. To be honest, I need The Days of Lore more than you do–but it’s always a better experience with more people involved. Let’s have some fun.

This clip essentially sums up everything I mentioned above, so let this be your guide for future posts: Always skip to the video.