Milk & Honey

NPR’s Carl Kasell just delivered the good news.

“The extensive heat wave across the eastern third of the country is expected to break tonight.”

Cool. Where I’m goin’, I don’t need any more heat.

It’s Video Music Awards season at The MTV. It’s all hands on deck. It’s full court press. It’s all kinds of clichés about being wicked pissa’ busy. Every year has to be bigger, better, badder, cooler, etc. etc. etc. than the last. Which means that much more work, and that much longer days. It’s fun, and it’s scary, and it’s overwhelming.

In the middle of it all, I’m recording three new CDs.

One of ’em, “The Rivington Sessions,” is pretty much done.

On Saturday morning, I fly to Des Moines, IA. The Nadas are performing a big outdoor show Saturday night, which I’m stoked to see. On Sunday night, Nadas bassist Jon Locker and I begin recording my next CD, “Heartland”. The band joins us in the studio Monday and Tuesday. They head to a gig in Kansas City on Wednesday, at which point I drive up to Minneapolis to hang out with Kevin Anthony and (knock on wood) record a really loose, countrified acoustic EP. On Saturday I head back to Iowa for two shows, one of which in the next town over from Waterloo, IA, where my parents were born. Plus a Wagner family reunion.

Itinerary, blah blah blah.

A valid question, at this point, might be, “Dude, what the fuck?”

I have kind of a twisted view on vacation. More importantly, I seem to have some sort of twisted view on achievement. And I’m not exactly sure why. And I guess I’m not exactly sure whether it matters.

I think I might be a little bit hypomanic.

More revealing still, perhaps, I think all these goals — marathons, triathlons, albums, tours — have some sort of relation to how I feel about my self worth, my value. Like, if I’m just some Corporate Drone, I’m offering nothing to the world. And if I’m not going to be on the cover of Rolling Stone (I’m not), then at least I can do everything in my power to spread my songs and my hope as far and wide as possible.

In the end, though, I just get these ideas, like, ‘I’ll release four records this year!’ And then figure, ‘What the heck, let’s see if I can pull it off.’ I love sitting in front of the TV in the AC like the next guy, but, jeez, there’s only so much on anyway.

So, yeah, I’m a little bit anxious. I might fail. I might play crappy shows, or make a crappy record. I might fall asleep at the wheel. My plane might go down somewhere around Clear Lake (I’ve got the glasses for it).

But in the end, heat tempers metal. And I’m pretty sure I can take the heat.

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