Did Today Even Happen?

It was around 8pm tonight, when talking to my housemate, where I said it felt like today didn’t even happen. There were conversations, some interactions, a heck of a basketball game (go, UCONN), but… eh.

Plain old days come and go, but not every day needs to be notable, I guess. Sure, be grateful and all, but trying my best to skip the guilt of the “make everyday count” hype.

Fundraiser for Maggie Montoya

This fund has been created for Maggie Montoya and her four pharmacy coworkers at King Soopers who survived the mass shooting on March 22, 2021. Many in the running community have reached out wanting to help Maggie. As many of you know, she is a national class athlete, I am part of her team (@JoshCox on social media).

I reached out to her and she was so thankful for the support but wanted the fund to benefit all five in the pharmacy that day (two pharmacists and three pharmacy technicians). 

100% of all funds collected will go to these survivors to aid in their recovery, therapy, self-care, and time away from work.  We are all grieving with them and these funds will help them navigate the long journey ahead.  

Josh Cox

What more needs to be said? I don’t know Maggie, but being a runner I follow her and a few other pro runner folk, and I see her training, her racing, etc. And now this… she was working, at her day job, and… more violence in America.

To think, also, that a Gofundme is even needed. To offset the cost of time away from work, for therapy, for take out, just to survive.

It reminds me of the insurrection. The tales of staffers and Senators who barricaded themselves in offices.

This is America, violent, dark, and scary.

If you can donate, click here.

The Band That Changed My Life

Thanks to MTV and ‘Paradise City’ by Guns N’ Roses, I’m where I’m at today. I was surrounded by people in bands, always making music, then always writing about music, covering music… I’d say this all really started in 1991, when I started playing (my moms) bass. That was 30 years ago.

And I started a music blog in 2001, which really put me on the path to where I am today. That was 20 years ago.

Humbled, grateful, filled with bees at all times.

Ending Streaks

This is the second streak I’ve ended this year. The first was a 70 day running streak, where I ran at least a mile everyday. And now I made it 72 days posting not just an audio loop, but a video to go with it.

Instead of getting up early and working on a loop, I stayed in bed. Work ran late. Once I had the space to actually work on a loop, eh, I didn’t. And really, it’s not a big deal at all. I still make music. I still create things. That’s enough.

I guess it’s just important to follow your energy. Like, I ended my run streak, but I still run. I ended my loop streak, I’ll still make music. It’s okay. Our best creative moments can happen when not being creative. Our best runs happen because on the days we don’t run our bodies recover and grow stronger.

Streaks are neat, and all. Seems like 70ish is my limit. Onto the next, I guess.

These Pebbles Are Fucking Heavy

This is as true today as it was back in 2007:

Email is such a funny thing. People hand you these single little messages that are no heavier than a river pebble. But it doesn’t take long until you have acquired a pile of pebbles that’s taller than you and heavier than you could ever hope to move, even if you wanted to do it over a few dozen trips. But for the person who took the time to hand you their pebble, it seems outrageous that you can’t handle that one tiny thing. “What ‘pile’? It’s just a fucking pebble!”

Merlin Mann

These days it’s not just email, or one inbox. We have DMs sitting in several social media apps, we have projects to follow up on, spread across multiple project management apps. Then we have text messages, voice mails, and oh yeah… email.

Lately I’ve been irritated by everything, mostly because everything is a pebble, and we’re all carrying around buckets of pebbles.

We already had to carry pebbles for our taxes and bills and all those emails, but we had release valves in the form of going to the gym, dinner with friends, going to a show.

For each of those activities we got to set down our bucket of rocks. The change in scenery, the change in context, it was a minor relief. We had a few of those per week, which was nice, because the bucket of rocks got heavy.

Now, on top of just all the normal pebbles and rocks, we see over half a million Americans dead. We see some states attacking transexual athletes. Outright racism. Dropping bombs. Rumors of another insurrection on the capitol. Texas lifting its mask mandate and opening everything up. No stimulus check. Massive unemployment.

Those are all pebbles, and rocks, and large boulders the size of large boulders, and they’re getting fucking heavy.

On Our Own

I wrote ‘Everything is Cancelled‘ on March 14th, 2020. That’s when this long, tired, mentally exhausting and physically challenging crisis took over our lives. Over 500,000 Americans dead. We don’t go to movies anymore, or shows, or meet people for dinner. We didn’t really have Halloween or Christmas. Now it’s almost a year since this all started and I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

How many hugs did we lose this year? How many pleasant interactions with strangers did we miss out on? All the leisure activities that buffered our work life from our at-home life, those were wiped out. Hours, days, weeks of laughter, intrigue, new adventures. Stolen.

I remember last year doing a 5K run for five days. In April I tried running four miles every day (made it to 21 days or so). In November I started a run streak that lasted 70 days. Now I’ve posted nearly 60 music loops since the start of the new year.

In the end though, it’s just about surviving. Don’t catch COVID. That’s it. Don’t get sick, like so many others have.

It’s tiring. It’s defeating. Our government, our leaders, our communities have failed us in so many ways. It’s more than “wear a mask,” just as it’s more than “hey, remember to recycle.”

We’ve got money to bomb Syria, and riot gear when Black people protest.

But $15/hr wages? Oh, we can’t do that.

A “stimulus check?” What a joke.

Above all, that’s what has beaten me down the most. The friends, sure, going to shows.. yeah, but knowing so many “adults in charge,” leaders, all of ’em – it’s a let down.

We heard from lots of gov’t officials last fall! Lots of TV commercials, YouTube ads, direct mail. Now? Crickets.

We’re on our fucking own.

Looping

Streaks, loops, new habits, whatever – shit is hard. Just got off the phone with my best friend. We literally talk a few hours a week on the phone. Have for years. We live close to one another, too.

I think we hung out four times in the past year. Socially distanced, of course. Safely. We hung out in our separate cars, in a parking lot with the windows rolled down. I visited his back yard. Shit like that.

Then I look at my recent posts here – maybe they’re not informative enough, they’re not kind to new readers, or packed with enough actionable measures for “creators” to take and apply to their own craft.

Well, fuck all that. This year I capped off a 70 day run streak. And I’ve posted a new loop – as a video – everyday on this site this year. I’m pushing my creative energies up a hill, and I’m exhausted.

It’s Friday night. Wrapped up some good work stuff, got in a five mile run, had a nice phone conversation, and now… I’m back on the computer.

Have a good weekend, friends.

Daily Loop #22

The thing you produce doesn’t have to be fully formed, or ready for prime time. The way you get better is with other people. Be them fans, or collaborators, or just casual friends cheering you on – fill the void with your thing, as often as you can.

The loop above took about 45 minutes to make. Find some sound to sample, work in a beat, make a bass line, figure a small arrangement. Find a good video. Edit together a video for Vimeo and IG stories. Write this post.

That’s energy going out into the world, and energy attracts energy. We saw the power of negative energy a few weeks ago at the US Capitol. That didn’t happen in isolation.

So consider the goodness we could birth in the opposite direction. Happy hoards of weirdo creative people releasing music, making videos, magazines, TV-style game shows distributed around the world.

We can do this.

LIKES

“Start now. Optimize later. An imperfect start can always be improved, but obsessing over a perfect plan will never take you anywhere on its own,” James Clear

“How can a magazine possibly hope to be relevant if it only has staff who can live in NYC on $45K? That salary is just code for “only apply if your parents pay your rent,” @lindsaycrouse

https://twitter.com/youyve/status/1352326254041522180

Video by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

Be The Tape Wizard You Want To See In The World

You don’t need to be a loud talker, have a $5,000 camera, a perfect studio, a big budget, or hours of time to “engage” and grow your audience.

There are success stories, sure. They can be deconstructed, taken apart and examined to figure out the “how” and “why,” but it’s nothing compared to the work.

The overnight success is 10 years in the making. The overnight success happens in a flash. Point being, if there were a map, a guide, everyone would be popular, all of the time.

There’s already a hundred “stars” who went viral, who crashed and burned, who’ve fizzled under the bright lights.

Do you work, craft your music, make your magic; everyone is waiting.

(video via Dino)