Too Soon

Everything just feels rushed right now. It’s not the opening of “everything” that scares me, but the whole “get back to normal.”

A client mentioned that it’d be great to get a week or so ahead of schedule, and I agree! But… there’s this haze of 27,000 people that died from COVID in PA alone. The haze of loved ones choosing not to get vaccinated. The fog of the insurrection that’s just been swept under the rug. The strain of mass shootings, police brutality, and the multiple laws being passed in the name of “election security.”

Like, it took us a minute to recover from 9/11. But all of the above? Take an hour to grieve, ponder, reflect – we got a Zoom call presentation to deliver tomorrow!

The mass death, the ambient doom, the ever present MEHHHH… but hey, let’s talk about getting back to the office, right? Raise the minimum wage? Nah, but hey, why should my latte take more than five minutes to make!

Miss You, Johnny

As I remember it, I started playing with Johnny Rydell in my freshman year of high school. I started playing bass because I wasn’t that great at guitar, and hey, I wanted to be in a band.

First we were the Jackals, playing ‘Horror Business’ in Johnny’s bedroom. Then FCC. Then we had a few other great people join the band, and we needed a new name. We became Nameless For Now.

It was in Tim’s basement where I learned how to be a musician, as I was surrounded by super talented folks. We would sometimes turn all the lights off, save for a blue light in the corner, and just improvise with noise and dynamics. God dammit we were good.

He was John Frusciante good. ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ came out in 1991, when we were just starting this thing, and we did a killer cover of ‘Give It Away.’ God dammit, I still remember playing that on stage at the Sherman Theater in like 1994 or so.

Johnny was that good. He filled any space, he brought us together, he was a monster on guitar.

Found out yesterday, Friday May 28th that he passed away.

We went out separate ways after high school. Him and the band left for Philadelphia to make it. I stayed home with my lame full time job at a grocery store.

And it all leads back to today, in a world without the magic of Johnny Rydell. Rest In Peace, man.

Report on an Unidentified Space Station

I love this story:

“Once again our estimate of the station’s size has been substantially revised. The station clearly has the dimensions of a large asteroid or even a small planet. Our instruments indicate that there are thousands of decks, each extending for miles across an undifferentiated terrain of passenger concourses, lounges, and restaurant terraces. As before there is no sign of any crew or supervisory staff. Yet somehow a vast passenger complement was moved through this planetary waiting room.”

From ‘Report on an Unidentified Space Station‘ by J. G. Ballard.

Here We Are Today

Lots of good offline conversations lately, at least out of the public eye, I guess. These conversations happen over email, DMs, and such, but they’re not out there in full display. A wonderful thing, really.

Been trying to be more present, and acknowledge than like 99.9999% of the time everything is fine. I have food, shelter, warmth. No one knocking at my door, no angry boss, no one is throwing shit at my windows.

Very simplistic, I know, but here I am. The CDC just said that if you’re vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask anymore, but for fucks sake, THE OPTICS.

If I walk into a store right now with no mask on I’m gonna get the side eye, big time.

As if the work of retail employees hasn’t been hard enough during “these trying times,” now they have to navigate the “oh, but I’m vaccinated” crowd, without ever really knowing if they’re telling the truth or not.

The fun never ends.

Some Miles on the Bike

This week I ran zero miles. I can’t remember the last time I ran zero miles in a week. I’ve never been this burnt out, where every run is just horrible. I’ve talked to other runners about burn out. Every run for the past few weeks has just felt labored. Like I took six months off, and I’m just trying to “get back into running.” Not a fun feeling.

In the last few weeks I set up a bike trainer and a Zwift account. I don’t have to think about the weather, the wind, nothing. And it feels good. Like, even hard efforts. They feel good.

I rode 104 miles this week. Six and a half hours.

I don’t think I rode that much back in my Bike Nerd days.

That’s more hours than I usually run each week.

Also started doing some dance workouts, too. They’re silly, sure, but they’re fun and quick, and feel good.

I’m pretty sure the running will come back. In the meantime I sure am glad I got this bike set up.

Stuck

My housemate read me a text they got, from someone saying “if you need a COVID vaccine shot, call this number, they have extra doses.” I called (I hate calling), and got myself an appointment. Just recently I got my second shot, so that’s good news.

Everyday is the same, except for weekends, when I stop getting emails from clients.

Random encounters are gone.
Bumping into an old friend, gone.
Trying something new on the menu. There is no menu. Stay home.

I go on solo runs in the woods, and hope no one is around.

Once a week I venture to the grocery store. I’ve taken to drive the extra distance to different stores, just to mix it up a little.

I got a bike trainer and a subscription to Zwift, so now I see people from all over the world as virtual cyclists. We give each other thumbs ups as we pass each other.

Just 41 days ago a shooting happened at a Boulder, CO grocery store. The fundraiser for Maggie Montoya and the pharmacy staff where she worked, it sits quiet and still, having not reached the halfway mark. The last donation was 15 days ago.

Everything keeps moving, business as usual. Yet everything is frozen in time.

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.