Tuesday, June 18, 2013

On The Road To Peru Without Sleep

Today finds me sitting in the airport awaiting the first leg of my flight that will ultimately land me in Lima, Peru. Actually the first leg of my journey is already over. I drove a rental car from Tulsa to Dallas because it was supposed to be cheaper than flying. Notice I said supposed to. It ended up not being the case after Dollar ripped me off. My contract says it was $70 (and some change) but after I dropped it off I was informed that it is really $205 dollars. I'm not just going to take it though, I will resist this bold attempt at thievery.

When I finally got to the terminal after dropping off the overpriced rental car I found that my bag to be checked in was over the weight limit so I had to pay an extra $50 to cover it. Maybe if my wife hadn't given me that list of things that she had to have I would have been okay but probably not. I'm sure I would have used the extra space for more clothes or books or something.

So now I'm waiting for my flight to Atlanta which precedes the flight to Fort Lauderdale before finally flying to Lima. I had about an hours nap before making my extremely overpriced drive to Dallas and none since I got here. It's raining heavily so we'll see if that ends up having some kind of impact on the situation. Did I mention that the replacement battery I acquired for my laptop crapped out on me 2 days ago? Yeah, It's been that kind of weekend for me.

I don't care about any of this. I am going on vacation, a long overdue one I might add, and I can't wait to see my family. I fully expect to see more of Peru than I did five years ago and to accept more challenges ( with food and otherwise. It can be a wonderful place with many incredible experiences if you're willing to search for them. I finally am.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

And The Award Goes To........................................

I won an award in college once. Well, strictly speaking it wasn't an award so much as a joke, but still, it counts. I had joined the Northeastern Activities Board (NAB) the office which was responsible for the social activities on campus such as dances, concerts and so forth. Students were allowed to choose which committees you wanted to be on and mine always dealt with music. None of which had anything to do with my "award."

At the end of the school year the NAB would host a banquet where they would give out real awards and quite a few joke ones. Mine was for having surgically attached earphones due to my penchant for not only walking around campus with my Walkman on at a screechingly loud volume but also for having it on in the same manner in the office and still being able to maintain a conversation. I'm sure a lot of people thought I'd be deaf by now.

I used my walkman the way I did for two reasons. First, because it did allow me the freedom to walk around and listen to the music I loved whenever and wherever I wanted. Secondly, and more importantly, for a painfully shy, insecure young man such as myself it gave me a social out. I mean, I couldn't actually be expected to look at people and say hello (or some other innocuous greeting that may or may not have elicited a response) while jamming out to insanely loud volumes of heavy metal now could I?

I've never been comfortable or even adept at making small talk or just plain speaking with people I don't already know. So back then, whenever I came upon someone who looked in my general direction, I was quickly able to affect a look of intense concentration towards my Walkman. I would pretend I needed to fast forward to a different song or that I needed to change to another cassette or any of several other various pre-thought out reasons. It was foolproof, guaranteed to work almost one hundred percent of the time, except of course when someone could hear the music and have interest in it. Of course then I would be on common ground with them and was able to speak clearly and concisely about the subject at hand.

Now more than likely this whole process wasn't such a good thing for me. Without having it I might have been forced to come out of my shell and actually interact with people. I guess I thought of it as protection against having to deal with all of the jerks out in the world but at the same time it never allowed me to find those rare beings that weren't jerks unless as mentioned before the conversation dealt with music. Ah well, such is life. It was the way I was and I did learn life lessons from it one way or another.

Nowadays I use my Ipod while I roam the hallways at work. However I've noticed that far more people ignore the fact that I can't hear them, in an effort to force me into a conversation with them, than ever did back in the eighties. When this happens I just slap on a look that feigns interrupted concentration in the hopes that they will notice and leave me alone. See, I have learned lessons about interacting with people after all.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Song Lyrics - When I Get You Alone

Tommy and I got a chance to work on lyrics today and this is what we came up with. We used three or four sets of lyrics and hacked our way through them taking only the best lines. It was sluggish going at first but then picked up and it all started to flow together. We're pleased with the result and hopefully soon it will be set to music and become the newest song in Alloy's arsenal.

When I Get You Alone

I've got blood on my mind
But not on my hands         
A frozen smile painted on
Just to meet your demands
A ghost never seen
Casting shadows over me
My imagination breeds
The start of your misery


Who else can I blame
For the decisions you've made
Confess your truth
Before I end your pain

I can't sleep tonight
My mind is inflamed
The result in the end
Is always the same
When I get you alone

If I explained to you
Beginning middle and end
Don't seem so surprised
That your act's wearing thin
Filled with white hot anger
Spilling over the brim
I can't control what I feel
Can't control who I am.............When I get you alone

Written by Don Leach & Tommy Terneus. Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the authors.

A Temprary Bachelor

As a youth I was closest to my paternal grandparents. Still, I never really got used to an extended family and didn't feel much of a connection to either side of my family other than a few individuals for the most part. I was always the quiet kid, alone with my thoughts, rarely trusting anyone enough to share with them who I was or what I felt about anything. I grew up used to living with just a handful of people in the same apartment and even with them feeling as if nobody really knew me or even wanted to.

My wife's experience growing up was while not the same did share some similarities as far as her parents not being around a lot. As such she and her brother Gary were left to fend for themselves at times. Still, most of her life was lived in a big house with a lot of family under the same roof. There were always aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents to live in and around. As such it must have seemed like there was always something going on or somebody to do it with. My son appears to be enjoying his time with his extended family along with the extra attention I'm sure.

His three year old cousin that lives close to Memphis was also able to go to Peru and spend time with the family. I remember when she and her mother came to visit with us for Christmas and it was only the second time she had seen us. She didn't really remember us because the first time she had just turned one year old. Shortly after getting here she started to ask my wife and myself "Are you my family?" It was adorable to hear but to me it seemed as if having a larger family was something she was craving.

Hearing my son talk on the phone over all these miles makes me think that perhaps he feels the same way. He doesn't just want more family, he needs them. Maybe I'm only fooling myself with selectively remembering my past the way I do. Did I really crave a larger family or at least more contact with the ones I had who accepted the geeky, awkward loner that I was (and in some ways still am)? It's hard to say with hindsight being the way it is. I'd like to find a way that would allow my son to have it all without sacrificing anything. Of course life rarely turns out to be that easy now does it? Still, if I could find a way.............

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

New Podcast Episode: notmovingpictures Episode 16

Well, It's been quite some time since there has been a new episode of notmovingpictures. As a matter of fact it's been over three months. Thankfully it appears that the dry spell is over. I expect to have quite a bit of content coming forth in the next month or so. So long as everything turns out the way I think it will there should be a plethora of it. I also have a solo episode that I recorded about two months ago and once I get a chance to listen to it I can decide if it's worthy or not of being posted. I mean, who wants to hear me whining and complaining for over half an hour right? Basically I have to make sure that it's listenable before releasing it.

Enough rambling, let's talk about this episode. Tommy and I first discuss the status of his band Alloy and the updates that was made to the band's website (www.alloyrocks.com). Then we speak of things like creativity difficulties and I mention how important I feel that Steven Pressfield's books are to recognizing and then combating resistance.

After this I posed a question to Tommy. What if the Hot Tub Time Machine taken from the John Cusack movie were a real thing and knowing what you do now you could go back in time and see not a single concert but a music festival? Which would he choose? We discussed the Texxas Jam (one of which Tommy did attend) and the US Music Festival from 1982 and 1983. After that the conversation devolved into a general talk about 80s music and it's relevance to today's youth before coming to a sudden end as we realized we were out of time. All in all I feel it was a worthwhile slice of what goes on in two faltering, feeble, nearly old guys minds.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Podcast Episode: Ten For Tuesday 34

Thanks to those that have left me comments and thoughts lately, it is very much appreciated. I'm trying to keep the episodes coming regularly but in the coming weeks I also will have to spend time on my other podcast, notmovingpictures. It's been a bit neglected lately and I foresee quite a bit of content making it's way in the coming weeks. At the same time, I don't want to lapse on Ten For Tuesday so hopefully I'll be diligent and show a little discipline. On to the music:

Los Furios - Heats Rising
Babylove and the Van Dangos - Jump n Swing n Sway
Matisyahu - King Without A Crown
Kings X - Pray
Brides Of Destruction - Revolution
Andy Taylor - I Might Lie
Hoodoo Gurus - Crackin' Up
Australian Crawl - Errol
Go Jimmy Go - Ease Up (Rocksteady)
The Jolly Boys - Rehab

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Updating The Website And Stuff

I actually used some of my temporary bachelor time (more on that later) today to work on the website for my friends band Alloy. You can go to www.alloyrocks.com to see the changes that we made. It was nice to actually get something done creatively speaking and to just hang out with Tommy, my brother from other parents. hopefully next week I'll be able to make it to their practice and get some pictures and video to work with. We plan on also working on some much overdue lyrics as well. I really need to get some work done on the creative side of the wall. Too many ideas and topics and seemingly never enough time to mess with it all.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.