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And now for something completely different

I’m going to be making some massive changes here, and want to give my current readers — all five of you — fair warning. But first, some background:

I started writing on the web about my passion for guitar 2003, and moved from a static website to this blog in 2006. In 2007 I went through a major depressive episode (or burnout or nervous breakdown or whatever you want to call it). Bouts of depression have dogged me pretty much as long as I can remember, but the Great Darkness of 2007 was worse than anything I could imagine. It was truly life-changing. I won’t bore you with the details: the important thing is that I got better.

Even so, three years later it is finally sinking in that I crawled out from the darkness a very different person. Some things have changed for the better, some for the worse. Some things are either better or worse depending on how you look at it.

One of the things that changed is that playing guitar no longer gives me pleasure. I’ve fought against this fact for three years and it’s brought me nothing but stress and guilt — I KNOW what I should be doing to “rekindle the flame.” But I don’t WANT to do it. And because I can count the times I’ve played guitar this year on one hand (with fingers left over) I no longer identify as a “guitarist.”

How can you write on a “guitar blog” when you no longer consider myself a “guitarist?”

The truth is, I can’t. And I won’t. And that’s the real reason I’ve not written more the past couple of years.

Fortunately there are still plenty of things that interest me, and plenty of things I want to write about and share. But because of the guitar focus of my blog, I’ve not felt “entitled” to write about them here. I’m sure most would agree that it’s a crappy situation when someone feels that they can’t be themselves on their own f’n blog! So I’ll be reworking this one as a personal blog, and it will no longer be guitar centered.

I still HAVE my guitars, and who knows, I may become passionate about guitar again one day and write about it again. My last “guitar sabbatical” was 10 years long, and when I started playing again a few years ago I was keener than I’d ever been before. But until that happens, I’ll be focusing on other things.

So go on then, unsubscribe. I will understand, really!

What is the Astrid ToDo Mascot?

Astrid ToDo Mascot

What is the Astrid Mascot, anyway?

One of the most useful apps on my phone is Astrid, a eminently functional ToDo list with added charm and personality. Call me corny, but I actually enjoy it when Astrid nags me with her encouraging messages. I have been known to bounce gleefully into my BF’s office (we work from home) when Astrid nags me about a task, just to show him how f’n cuuuuuute she is.

But one thing is totally bugging me: WHAT THE HECK IS THE ASTRID MASCOT SUPPOSED TO BE?

Yes, I typed that in all caps because the question is SCREAMING in my head.

Is she a little octopus? A melted eraser? A character from Gumby who ended up on the cutting room floor?

I suppose life is pretty cushy when it’s questions like these that are your main source of anxiety.

EDIT: I audaciously tweeted the folks who created Astrid and they got back to me with the definitive answer: Astrid is a SQUID: “Astrid is an adorable little squid. We thought with all those tentacles Astrid would have some major multi-tasking skills!”

Whew! Mystery solved! And kudos to the folks at Todoroo for taking the time to answer even silly questions like mine!

Win a signed copy of Guilt Machine “On This Perfect Day”

Guilt MachineThe people at are running a giveaway in which you can win a signed copy of the Guilt Machine album, “On This Perfect Day.” From what I can tell you don’t have to register for anything. They do require you to enter your email address, but you can choose to opt out of their mailing list.

Go here to read the rules and find out more.

Shameless self promotion – recent interviews with LL

Lori Linstruth - Luna AndromedaI sincerely hate shameless self-promotion as much as anyone (really, I do!). But because the kind interviewers below took precious time out of their one lives to talk to yours truly, it would seem ungrateful of me not to pass on links to their work.

Carl Begai gets me talking about Guilt Machine, my lack of tabbing skill, and why my elementary school teachers were right when they marked “works well with others” as one of the skills that “needs improvement.” 20 questions about guitars, guitar playing, and my infamous distaste for jazz interview about my Luna Andromeda interview about my Vigier Excalibur