Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 06-27-11

Your summer begins now…

Actually, your summer began on the 21st, which, they tell me is the longest day of the year.  It rained all day on the 21st here in Nashville, but being the blossoming farmer that I am (yea, I said it), it was appreciated.  Count after the weekend – 4 cantaloupe are in, 2 more jalapenos, and something that may resemble a cucumber at some point, however, I can niether confirm nor deny the actual species of this plant matter.  The world may never know.

It is a simple treat for me to go out on the road for a few days then come back and see progress in the garden.  The downside to this, of course, is that there is a direct correlation between the growth of the garden and the lawn around it, which usually means work for me when I get home.  ‘Hire a lawn service, Steve!’  are the rally cries echoed around the world.  At some point I probably should.  At this point, I really still enjoy getting some sun on my shoulders and working on my heat exhaustion.  But as always, who the hell wants to hear about my yard.  Let’s get on with life.

Do you have any rules?  Something you absolutely will or will not do?  Not laws, mind you, but things that have happened to you that you (hopefully) learned from and established your own guidelines?  Wanna hear mine?  Do you have a choice?  Actually, I’m pretty even-keeled, and can put up with a lot, but some things I really have a hard time with.  First, and little-known fact – I am a bit of a germaphobe.  Not like wear gloves everywhere, but I try to maintain a decent level of germ-repression.  My reasons are such – we meet a lot of folks, and at a lot of festivals, and well, where is there to wash your hands after using a port-a-let?  Yea, you just shivered a little didn’t you?  So we sort of have to keep that in mind when shaking hands, along with staying generally healthy so we can continue doing what we do.  I generally shun fried foods, don’t drink soft drinks (with the exceptional brown liquor + mixer on occasion), and I won’t go back to certain restaurants, and always split Aces and 8’s.  Are these rules? Guidelines?  I don’t know – it’s just what’s worked for me.

But when it comes to your rules – have you found that you do better when you stick to them?  I only bring all this up because for this past run of shows, we started in Iowa at a casino.  And yes, I gamble.  I also have rules when I gamble.  When I stick to them, I do great, and if I don’t, well, not so much.  The kicker is when alcohol is involved (doesn’t that just seem to throw the rules right out the window?). This time around, I stuck to my rules.  At first. I sat down, did what I wanted, played how I wanted, and walked away a winner.  I felt good.  Easy money.  My problem is this : I will get ahead on winnings early in the day, then after the show I will ease back down to the gaming area (my choices after the show were drink, gamble, drink AND gamble, or sleep), and what do I usually do?  That’s right, I donate my winnings back to the house as I break my rules.  Luckily for me, that didn’t happen this time around.  I got a ‘skate’ pass from my own rules on Friday, so I was happy I walked out with a little padding in my pockets.

But if we listen to ourselves, we usually come out on the winning side of things.  I don’t mean just gambling, but everything.  We know what is best for us, and we know what we have to do, but do we really do it?  Consistently?  And if we don’t, are we being hard on ourselves for breaking our rules or missing the mark?  These are just rhetorical questions, really, so feel free to chime in (or don’t) anytime.  The crunch, though, comes in the action, not just thinking about doing something or saying ‘I know I shouldn’t…’ I told myself I would have the first draft of my short story done by tomorrow.  Well, that ain’t gonna happen.  I am working on it for a bit today, but I am about 2/3 short of my goal.  So much for writing every day.  I can’t beat myself up, though.  I just gotta keep pushing.

Which leads me to my next nugget.  We played up in Minnesota on Saturday for the Moondance Country Jam.  I was delighted to see my old friend Will Hoge on the bill.  I say friend – we have always been cool, and easy to talk, but about a hundred years ago, we were paired up for 5 shows together where he was the opener for King Konga, and he wasn’t too happy about that.  His thing was a lot different from ours, so it was an odd pairing, and we really never took advantage of the musical relationship we could have formed.  Fast forward a few years, and now he lives about a quater mile from me, and I have seen him more in the past 6 months than in the previous 7 years.

A couple years ago, Will was riding his scooter (it’s an eco-friendly East Nashville thing), and was hit.  Badly.  He almost died.  I saw him in Kroger about 6 months after the accident, and although it had been years since I had seen him, I gave him a long, heartfelt embrace, just to say ‘I’m happy you are still here’.  He has had a long recovery road, but is back, rocking the shit out of it, and set a bar very high at the festival this weekend for others to follow.  If you don’t know his music, do yourself a favor and check him out HERE.  You’ll want to hear everything he has.  This is a shining example of someone who didn’t quit, and is running until the wheels fall off.  The rest of us are in cushy tour buses, Will drove a Winnebago to the gig in Minnesota from Nashville.  It’s not any more real than that.

So who is ready for the weekend?  We have a bunch of great shows this week.  This is my first trip to Summerfest, so be gentle with me.  I am looking forward to this week – if the Moondance is any indication of the year, then look out.  This is gonna be crazy.

Thanks for checking in.  I only took one decent picture this week.  I am the new kid in Phil’s camp as well, but if you haven’t met him, say hello to Brock, the other new kid.  We call him ‘Critter’.  It’s a term of endearment.  Like a cute little chimpmonk or something.

Here he is in Iowa, celebrating Jimmy Buffett night and an open bar tab. 


Enjoy the week, and I will see you on the road!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.