Sunday February 25, 2007




Today was like yesterday...with more company.

Yep, Amanda and I both went over to spend the day at Grandma's. We both couched it out watching Bonanza and Gunsmoke while small talking with Grandma and each other. It wasn't exactly thrilling or exciting but it was a good connection and re-plug-in for me.

Since we're in town for a meeting with a lawyer tomorrow, we've got an extra evening to spend. I was happy to spend mine over at my sister's place. My Mom and Vern were there along with Missy, Dwayne, Nichole, Robbie and Miss McKayla. It was nice family time. The only thing missing was my brother who couldn't escape the gravity of work tonight. It would've also been nice if we could've gotten Grandma out but at least I got to see her today.

There was also a very sad moment when we were told that Two-Tone had died. Two-Tone was one of the toughest, sweetest dogs I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. She lived most of her decade of life attached to a chain and yet she was still a happy, playful animal who always made me feel better. She will be missed. THAT was a good dog.

After dinner, Robbie dragged us out to the garage to play pool. I wasn't playing badly but Robbie's been practicing up. He barely beat me but he did it fair and square. Then he went up against Nichole who wasn't playing that well. He got cocky and she beat him on an 8-ball slip up. So there you go. You don't have to be "the best" to be the winner. That's especially true when the one who should win gets arrogant. Maybe there should be a fable about that. Maybe even make it about a lightning fast rabbit and a syrupy slow turtle. Ooh! Ooh! Maybe it would be cooler if you called them a tortoise and a hare or something. I think it would be good story. Tonight, the tortoise won fair and square!

While I was shooting pool, Amanda was playing air hockey with Missy. Mom and Vern were throwing darts and McKayla was hauling cargo throughout the garage in her wagon (with occasional breaks to do work on her tractor). What a nice family evening. I wish we could have more of 'em.





Saturday February 24, 2007



I woke up this morning in South Carolina. I used the locally available dial-up computer and checked my email. After three or four hours* waiting for the page to load, I had a couple of surprises that may indicate the sign of my times.

I had a record contract waiting for me to sign. Yep. Even more surprising was the fact that I didn't have time to read it yet. What was my big rush? I had to get over to my Grandmother's for a visit.

All I did was lay around and watch Bonanza and Gunsmoke with her while I was strumming along to the soundtracks on her guitar. I learned how to play on that guitar. I can't believe all that I've done with that ol' Aria. Too bad a certain cousin allowed some water damage to occur. It's still my favorite guitar on the planet. The latest song written on it is "Happy Here & Now" which will be on the next album.

In the evening, Amanda and I went to dinner with her parents and sister. It was a good one. Amanda's Dad let her know just how proud she was of all the charity work that she's been doing. It was a nice visit.

Oh yeah, did I mention that in my email this morning, I also had a contract from a booking agent looking to sign us. I don't feel as likely to sign that one (yet) as the record contract but if I do, you'll know it before (or at least within a month) of every one else. It's amazing how things happen so synchronously.

* May be a slight exaggeration



Friday February 23, 2007



Well, the biggest news regarding the band may be an upcoming record deal. There's been more talk about it lately and it looks more likely to happen than it's ever been. If so, there'll first be a national re-release of C'mon, Accept Your Joy. From there, we'll promote the first album while continuing to work up the Satisfactionista songs. By the end of '07 (closer than you think), I hope to have the second album done. I'm so excited about it. I'm still satisfied with the first album but while I like everything on the first album, I LOVE everything that's planned to be on the sophomore effort.

Amanda came home early from work. It looks like she'll be volunteering in a mentor program and she had to get indoctrinated today. I'm so proud of all the good she's trying to do.

Once she got through with her indoctrination, we left for South Carolina for the weekend. It's been a while. Has it really been nearly 2 months since we've been home? And nearly 3 since we stayed more than a day? Things have been crazy in that time and while "nothing ever really changes", I know that a lot has.

Amanda and I went over to Grandma's for a little while. She seems to be on the upswing again. I haven't seen her this clear and together in years. I'm proud of her for coming back yet again. It's so sad that certain family members only see her during the bad times and don't get to see her when she's doing well. Ah, but I'm not going to get sidetracked with "them". Good things are happening. I'm focusing on that as much as possible.

In the evening, we wound up at the Camden KFC with Amanda's sister. It was alright but not where I'd hoped we'd wind up. Still, something special happened that made it absolutely the right place at the right time. We ran into Debbie Reynolds out there. She's not Princess Leia's mother or anything but she was always a good friend when I was growing up. It was great to see her. She seems content and happy. I meant to tell her that I met "the other Debbie Reynolds" last year but I forgot. Oh well. I did.

Between Grandma's and dinner, Amanda and I went by the cemetery for my Dad visit. I was proud to see that Benji had come out and delivered some beautiful flowers. I needed that little comfort boost.

I wish my Dad was around for me to tell him about all that's been going on. Heck, I'm telling him all about it anyway so I guess I shouldn't complain.



Thursday February 22, 2007

This is what I call Critical Darlings 3.1. Amanda prefers 4.0. Either way, this is the Spring 2007 model and it rocks. I hope you get a chance to see it for yourself.


Wow! Talk about being "turned down for a better class" of gigs. We almost scored a major coup today. Jet is playing in Valdosta, Georgia at Wild Adventures Amusement Park on March 31. I made some phone calls and the effort was made to have us open the show. Everyone at the venue seemed cool about it. The proposal actually made it to Jet's reps in the UK who responded "No openers. We don't care who it is"...or something like that. Lee at the venue responded to me, "What a waste." You're telling me. That could've been the highlight of my musical life to date. I was soooo hoping I could go to rehearsal tonight and say, "Hey, guys I got us our first show. We'll be opening for Jet in a month and a week." Alas, it's not to be. Still, I'll keep working toward it in stealth. I've a feeling some big things are coming so don't jump off board just yet. The ride's going to get very interesting very soon. All we've got to do is keep moving!

In the evening, we all got together to do some initial portraiture of the band so that I can make the "official announcement" of the new lineup. It was very laid back. I purposefully didn't get fixed up. I didn't even shave or brush my hair. I threw on a favorite t-shirt and headed on out. I hope these pics'll be temporary. Amanda took the pics and she did a great job. It's so hard to get 4 people on the same page. I think we look "of a like". Individuality and group unity seems to come through in these pics to me. Frank still needs to loosen up and not be as self-conscious during photography. He's getting better while I'm getting worse at it. Maybe we'll cross at a happy medium. Joe and Josh were solid throughout. We took the shots around Nuci's Space (including at the steeple that's left of the historic church where R.E.M. first performed) and then we went inside for rehearsal.

Practice wasn't as good as the photo shoot. It wasn't the roughest and I don't know that it was that bad for us as a group but I was definitely having a bad night. I couldn't click into that magical mode and nothing really sounded right. I'm also concerned that "Waiting For The Siren" isn't catching fire like it was with the last lineup. There's always a trade off but I really want to focus on getting that song back up to par. The other new material is getting better and better and overall, I believe the second album songs are coming across much better than the Joy stuff (even thought that's sounding good, too). Maybe I'm biased. We'll see soon enough.

I can't say enough that I can't wait!



Wednesday February 21, 2007




Today I got a call from Joe Buck. He's a drummer that was in serious consideration for the slot that Josh finally won. I hadn't been able to get in touch with him (although I tried) to give him the word. I hated having to tell him. But I did. To my surprise, he was not only more than magnanimous, he let me know that he was ready to go. If Josh decided not to do it or couldn't do it, he'd be happy to step in. He even let me know that even though he wasn't chosen as the drummer, he's excited "as a Critical Darlings fan" that the band's going to be playing again soon. He also promised to come up after a show and let Josh, Joe and Frank know that he's waiting in the wings if he's needed. It's good to know there are people like that. If I start one of those side-projects I'm thinking about, you can bet that JB (as I like to call him) will be the first call I make.

Today wasn't so bad. I had a bunch of errands to run and still managed to make time to relax a bit. In the evening, Amanda and I sat around doing nothing important. It's been a while. It helped.



Tuesday February 20, 2007








Wow, I caught up a lot today. I edited so many Concert Shots pictures that I can't even think about it. It looks like I may even have a major update there soon. Don't make me promise but there might even be several big updates a-coming! It's good to feel like I'm slowly catching up again. Too bad I can't figure out how to do that with this diary!



Monday February 19, 2007




Today wasn't that spectacular. It was just the same ol' stuff capped by a major bottle of SUCK. That came about at rehearsal time in the evening. Frank never showed. I was very disappointed. He did call and say he might be "a little late" but not showing up at all really put a damper on my spirits. I'm so excited about the new lineup and I want to get out and play as soon as possible. Oh well. I have to let it go. Josh, Joe and I made all that we could out of it. We went through as much as we could and worked on some details. We are still progressing.

It took way longer than anyone hoped but we are nearly there.

Click here for last week with Monologues, Ainsworths, Bryans, rehearsals and maybe, just maybe something interesting...