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14 Mar 08
Okay, two months to catch up here, so here goes (deep inhale). The Funky Munky plays next week in Austin for the state Chief of Police's convention. I take it we got that gig due to some inroad we may have. Our fearless leader and head Munky threw his hat in the ring for another term. I'm sorry, but politics are hell. If it was only the couple of vandalized campaign signs, that'd be one thing, but with the opposition spreading false rumors with the trust of a gullible public, that's another. It's sort of like the arcade game where you bash the alligators in defense, I guess. Continuing in that nauseating vein for a moment, I mention my former church. I went to the Angelo State University (ASU) Campus in search of this new campus ministry the Methodist church was planning to start with the funding they stripped from the United Campus Ministries at ASU. Someone I know was also supposed to be the minister there, so I just wanted to come by and extend an (actual) friendly hello, and make only halfway joking remarks about 'checking out the competition'. I'm sure this guy would have appreciated it. Well, I went to the building this new ministry is supposed to be in now, and got a number of confused looks in reply to my questions as to whereabouts. Someone did however mention where most of the campus ministries are located and specifically mentioned the United Campus Ministries. My next stop was at St Luke United Methodist Church (SLUMC), where I crossed my name off the choir roster and turned in my key to the building. I did this without getting as much as a question in response. If I had any doubt about my decision to leave and go to Unity Church of San Angelo, this took care of that doubt. Okay back to better funky situations such as with our band the Funky Munky. We're staying out of local clubs for awhile so as to avoid any further 'Jeff Davis bathrooms' until after this Chief of Police election is over. Looks like our new keyboard guy who hopefully was to succeed Manny, is not going to work out. So it was with some relief to us that Manny came back on board for awhile. Manny is doing this next gig with us. The heck of it is that this other keyboard guy is a really great person, has contributed to our fearless leader's campaign and is well connected. He seemed promising on keys as well, at least until we tried to get him to play songs that he didn't know, like much of our disco shtuff. My hat is off to him though. Practice last night sounded like the old Munky (albeit rusty) with Manny playing keys again. We have our confidence back. Speaking of people playing keys, and piano, the same legendary blues piano player that Nancy and I saw in Edinburgh Scotland a few years ago, paid a visit here to San Angelo. Pinetop Perkins put on a great show to a sold out crowd at the Cactus Hotel last month. The guy was absolutely amazing, not to mention that he's also 95 years old. My dad is familiar with him as well. Things like that keep me inspired in my musical endeavors. Gotta keep the music and dreams going.
15 Jan 08
I haven't done a good stomach bug since the summer of 2000, so I guess I was due. The early hours of Thursday last week was spent giving it the heave-ho (sorry if that's too much information). I spent two rough hours that afternoon waiting at a doc-in-the-box before getting into an exam room where I could at least lie down on the table. One doc visit and a couple prescriptions later, I was sent about my way. I still felt like crap when I got home, but I finally figured out that was the 100F fever I was running. One dose of acetaminophen later, I was actually able to sleep. I awoke Friday morning feeling far better but still a bit tired. That was good because I had an out of town gig that night and the next with the Funky Munky. I did not want to be the reason for us to have to cancel hence my Thursday afternoon visit to a doc-in-the-box to get drugs. This gig was at a place called 'The Bar' in Midland, TX. The trip up there and set up went well. I got a little lightheaded on the last set of the first night, but otherwise got away with it. The crowd was most appreciative. Based on some comments, I'd have to conclude that Midland doesn't have the musician talent base we have here in San Angelo. The dance floor stayed full for much of the time both nights. We partied a bit at the hotel after we finished up the Saturday night gig. The security guy at the Clarion hotel was most accommodating after observing our initial party attempts, and got us off to a room in an unoccupied section of the place where we wouldn't be disturbing other guests. Now that was most above and beyond in my book. Our sound guy played guitar as we attempted to sing and harmonize to a bunch of stuff to include the mandatory Pink Floyd. When I looked at my watch, it said 5 AM. Ouch. So after a few brief hours of sleep we were headed out. I ventured a plate of huevos rancheros at some local Mexican restaurant before we hit the road, and I was apparently recovered enough from my bug to not suffer consequences. It was a great break for all of us, and I know I really needed it. We're booked at the same venue in May. That will be the week after our election for Chief of Police is over (regardless of outcome). I'll take what we're getting so far in the New Year without complaint compared to last year. Okay, I don't want another stomach bug though. More later as usual.
6 Jan 08
It was with considerable relief that I rang in the New Year out at Bentwood. Third New Year's Eve out there for the Funky Munky. Not a real big New Year's Eve party (must have been some competition somewhere), but it went well. Nancy even made it so I had someone to kiss at midnight! It was good to welcome in a New Year and send off this last year. 2007 was probably one of the worst years I've experienced in awhile. Just awful stuff happening around me. Case in point being my Dad breaking a hip. My co-worker got ALS and has to leave his job. Also, Nancy ended up out of a job due to a horrible situation with church politics. Stuff like that. However the lowest point of the year for me was when I e-mailed Marnie and Van to say I was very unlikely to make the AISK reunion. That all is thankfully in the past. I look forward to 2008 with guarded optimism for a better year. This Sunday at Unity church was the annual tradition of writing down things we want to get rid of, and then burning those pieces of paper. Once the smoke cleared, we then wrote down the things we wish to accomplish in the New Year (and that gets mailed to us mid-year). For me both lists were well populated (the second being a copy of my New Year's resolution). It was a great service. Next subject; I have to note a story I heard on NPR' "This American Life" this morning as I was headed ironically (I'll explain that) to church. It was about a practicing Muslim family's experience post 9/11 living here in the states, as their daughter in fourth grade was ridiculed and ostracized by her fellow classmates. This was done with the encouragement of the classroom teacher! This b---- of a teacher was one of these fundamentalist types intent on 'saving' everyone. Further adding to that was a book the class read about 9/11, which wrongly protrayed all Muslims as wishing to do similar activities against America and Christians. This book was approved by the goddamn school district! It was very emotional listening to this program. The damage done by such small minds is huge. I just hope some justice finally comes of this in the pending civil suit against that school. So in addition to several other items I wrote down, I wrote "the small minds that caused this girl and her family so much grief" on that piece of paper I burnt this morning. So may we be clear of all this, make amends, heal and prosper in the New Year. All the best everyone!!
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