Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Serenity Gardens (11.18.19)

Since Kat's computer has decided to not function any more, I haven't had the benefit of her fine photos while doing my shows in SL, so here's me standing all alone at Serenity Gardens before my show.

This is a note to myself in the future. Hello Future Me! Hope you're doing well. Go drink some water or something. You're welcome.

Things are okay here in late 2019, Future Me. I actually have a lot for which to be grateful. The world itself seems to have a bunch of problems, and frankly it usually does. But all in all, personally, I'm pretty good. I own a marketing communications business that's busier than it's ever been in the 13-1/2 years since I started it in 2003. I remain committed to daily exercise and am still in pretty good shape health-wise. My son is in his second year of college and while he doesn't have a specific path moving forward at the present, I'm confident that he'll eventually find a direction with what he wants to do with his life. He's a smart and funny guy. And, at the moment, it being late November, I'm in the midst of a crazy work routine getting ready for that Trade Show That Shall Not Be Named. I'm sure you understand, Future Me.

We live in lovely Redondo Beach, right here in the same neighborhood where I've lived since 1995. Are you still there in Redondo, Future Me? You very well might be. It's a good place to live. Plus, as you know, moving is a giant pain in the ass, and we enjoy the steady routine of our daily home life.

Speaking of life, it has its ups and downs. It's definitely had a bunch of that over the past few years, both on a global scale and a personal one. We've lost some family members and friends, and have been forced to devote a lot of time and energy fighting policies and actions of our own government throughout the Trump administration. To that end, we're currently monitoring the impeachment hearings that started last week. Christina and I have a new tradition; each time we pour a cup of coffee, instead of saying something like "cheers", we say "impeachment". I'm not a superstitious person, but it does seem to be having its intended effect. I'm not very confident that impeachment will result in Trump being removed from office, but really, anything could happen. I'm kind of jealous of you, Future Me. You already know how all this crazy shit turns out.

My overall feeling -- something that, coincidentally, I mentioned to my audience last night at Serenity Gardens -- is that things are going to be on an overall path of getting better for a lot of people. Sometimes the direction of "better" isn't a straight line, and chances are that in the process of getting better, things will occasionally seem worse. But, Future Me, I can say that today at age 50, the older I get, the less I am focused on my own self and personal success, and the more I am able to look at the overall picture of the world. I know I'll have plenty of challenges ahead of me; that's the way life goes. But I also envision a better world for everyone as time marches on. Not a perfect world, but a better world.

Me, about age 25, in 1994. I actually thought I knew things then. I now know that I know less than I ever thought I did.

Speaking of envisioning things, I know that had I written a note to myself 20 years ago from my perspective at age 30, I'd have been incredibly wrong about most of my predictions of the future. I'd be rolling my eyes a lot at my relative naivety, and admonishing my past self for my former level of cynicism and my lack of understanding of all the ways the future can go in directions I couldn't have seen at the time. My life has changed drastically since then, and it's impossible to say that things would be better or worse based on the decisions I made, and actions I did or didn't take, and various events that transpired since then. But overall, I am a happy person still. I'm more open minded now than I was then. I'm more willing to acknowledge that I know far less than I think I know. And my values today are less self-centered than they were then... at least in some ways. And going back to my original statement... things are okay here in late 2019. Far from perfect, but okay, and I can appreciate that. Sometimes okay is enough. Don't you agree, Future Me?

Um... Isn't This Blog About A Show?
Yes. Yes, it is.

For the past 2-1/2 years, I've performed every other Monday night at Serenity Gardens. I really do love it there. I feel a high degree of comfort when I get on that stage... a feeling that has actually increased over the course of time. In recent months, especially with Grace McDunnough performing directly before me, I feel like the crowd there is very simpatico with my music as I start my set. Sometimes I try and put together some kind of theme for my show there, but last night was just me being me, doing songs I felt like doing when I built my set list over the previous weekend.

Something I'm sure I've mentioned before: there is a dearth of actual Thanksgiving songs. Mind you, there are plenty of songs about being thankful, and I play several of them from time to time. But actual songs about the holiday of Thanksgiving? Few and far between. It's a shame, because it's up there with my favorite holidays. I bring this up because I briefly considered doing a Thanksgiving-themed set at Serenity Gardens and then, discovering as I do each year at this time that there just aren't enough Thanksgiving songs for it to work, abandoned the idea. Speaking of Thanksgiving, I find that I am fully looking forward to a few days of cooking and gluttony next week.

But back at the show, things went well, and we ended up with a nice mix of songs covering different genres and time frames in music, and if nothing else, I enjoy being one of the more eclectic performers on the SL music scene. It's always kind of fun for me when I launch into a song and find I've taken some of my audience by surprise. Good times.

Serenity Gardens set list...
Save It For Later (English Beat)
Airport Bar (Martin Courtney)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Bull Black Nova (Wilco)
If I Had a Tail (Queens of the Stone Age)
Among the Leaves (Sun Kil Moon)
Doubt It (Zak Claxton)
Mexican Radio (Wall of Voodoo)
Your Song (Elton John)
Straight On (Heart)
Pickles (Zak Claxton)
America (Simon & Garfunkel)

Giant thanks to every single person who made it to my show last night, with super duper thanks to the following who helped support it!
AaronCabottJones Resident, Kat Chauveau, Turn Pike, Jaron Metaluna, Tyche Szondi, Asimia Heron, Trouble Streeter, Triana Caldera, Aurelie Chenaux, my excellent manager Maali Beck, and the fabulous team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde!

No comments: