I just had to.
Let me explain. No, there is no time…let me sum up. 😉
I had some pretty impressive success with the last post, especially outside of WordPress, talking about how things had gone with my weight and quitting smoking. I’m always looking for things to talk about and that is true. Things were so ridiculously bad back then, which was so annoying because at the time I had just finally become a full time writer and musician so I was like really?!? Lol! I read everything you could Google about chronic nausea, sought out doctors, ran, exercised, meditated, and even drank gross weird things. I do a stripped down version of that now as those grant funded days are a thing of the past unless something changes. Anyways I am very glad I did that and am frankly scared to let things slip back, which keeps me moving. I actually had the pay version of the Calm app which was great and I genuinely kind of miss that. Still got to figure out how to include that again. I’m a musician so I’m all about patterns.
Random point, I’m writing this on my smartphone as always and I love the fact that when I put down “I’m a” it suggested “graverobber”. Little badass for my new MotoZ phone which I haven’t been honesty that crazy about, though it does have fm radio.
Which brings me to the title, which would make a good album title. Murphy’s Law, which is said to be based on this quote by Augustus de Morgan
Through grapevines and Chinese whispers (the latter needing a new expression considering it’s etymology) it has become Murphy’s Law of “What Can Go Wrong Will”.
I poked the spirit of this thing.
Result. Crap sleep because my tummy acted up and lost the entire day of blogging, hence Friday off. Least I kept that simple.
Nevertheless I am very grateful for the level of support on here and abroad for this. I was hoping maybe someone had been struggling with the same thing because I know how crazy making chronic nausea can be, especially when doctors act baffled.
I reset my alarm and though tomorrow is a longer day, I might be able to get one there or at least Monday. Sunday is pretty much the social media quiet valley of the week so not posting on Sundays is kind of fair enough. I am hoping to reduce the Sunday impact of the additional work I took on. I need the money but you need actual down time as well or the machine wont run right.
And that’s an album cut on Don’t Poke Murphy.
Speaking of today’s writing music is another classic from over 10 years ago now. Well I did mention Abba, so…
I used to work as a Barista for just years and back then it was this, Coldplay, Jamie Cullam and Jack Johnson.
Speaking of I really appreciated what NPR Fresh Air did with their 2016 Anthony Boudain interview. Like with Freddy Mercury I’m sorry I only discovered him now because of how he talked about his life being opposite of “Normal People”. As a Barista, cleaner, musician and even a writer I don’t know how often you feel like life’s biggest observer.
I’m drinking coffee in a duck blind.
Thanks for reading everyone 🙂
Since I’ve gone past my first one hundred posts and one hundred follows it does make sense to look back.
This really kicked off between a Uvic school thing and the Ollie and Emma project. I actually just flipped back and I yeah it’s been a heck of a journey to this point, with many posts I’ve forgotten about but I definitely have a sort of theme which is creativity, specifically talking about it. I don’t think it hurts that me and my mom are the weird creative types that talk my dad’s ears off whenever we are in the car, not just about this subject but generally.
Back when I was first self employed as a writer/pitch writer/musician I had all this extra morning time before I’d head to the shared office so I began just researching creativity since to me that was my product, plowing through almost every book in the library. There’s a potential blog for later… favorite books on creativity. Got three in mind all ready, but I’ll leave it for when I can really compile it. Considering this subject can get sometimes…well…”artsy” I want to make sure I’m actually giving you guys something I’d value. There’s so much fluff out there that I want to contribute a little more than that, or at least make it entertaining. Even voyeuristic into what I’m doing. Hey, totally cool. To me that’s like we went for coffee and you asked me questions. I’m a ADHD goofball like I mentioned before so I’d probably give you a moment by moment play by play of my morning if you let me.
Best not do that.
I also (here I go…lol) like the idea of this thing called tompogson.com (which makes me seem like a weird golf caddy clothing line) being about an overarching experience of being a creative spirit. From where I write this I can see most of my music gear, writing, books and even the visual art stuff I mentioned yesterday. There’s no rule stating what you are or are meant to be. One of my favorite little quirks of the band Depeche Mode was that for ages you never saw them on albums and not only did the liner notes not say who played what, but they’d flip the order of names around so for months I thought the singer was Alan Wilder. (nope.) All creativity is your playground and you can just experiment.
Though in a music situation you do feel safe behind your main instrument. Safe isn’t a bad four letter word or something. You can jump from safe to the deep end and back. Safe can get you to the edge.
Ok, I’m going way too global metaphorical axiom wacky now.
Have a great day guys and thank you all for reading this and going on this journey with me!
Ooh! One idea I had was I could put it what I was listening to this morning, since I usually work to music. Now it’s usually Low Roar or Harold Budd so I’ll start with L.R. but I can make it kind of a fun thing to add something different each day (it will be stuff you can work to so less on the metal side for me. If that works for you then that’s cool 😎
I still have a weird relationship with the falls that lasted ever since I saw this image. It was so long ago that I actually don’t remember because I was very small.
I was about 2 or 3. I was in Chilliwack, British Columbia when it happened.
I’ll pull out…
I don’t know how I ended up on page 133 staring at Niagara’s brink in this big volumn by the Canadian Automobile Association in 1976 but I did and it freaked me out so bad I cried and my father actually tried holding me while I looked at the photo (Still didn’t work).
The book is great if you can find a copy. It essentially goes from what it groups as “Atlantic Canada” and continues went through every National Park starting with Terra Nova National Park which is just west of St John’s on the Island of Newfoundland. The photography is of the time of course, but still quiet good, especially for that one photo that later on, when I flipped through the book would try to flip past quickly.
More recently, and I think due to stress, I had these waking dreams of going right up to that brink and being swept over but never actually falling. I’d just replay that over and over until I’d get out of bed. I tried neutralizing it by watching things on the falls or even the movie Niagara with Marilyn Monroe (where she does the walk that apparently many people have tried to emulate. Couldn’t find a meme of it but I love this shot…
Anyways all any of this did was make it more visual as I tried to be sensible with questions about it’s point of no return, and “oh so they can turn the spillways on and cut Horseshoe Falls down by fifty percent to help ground a boat out?”. Eventually I tried to write it out as I was trying to create more material this year. “Precipice” was born.
Haven’t had the dream in a while but I’m still fascinated by it and I’m conflicted about if I would ever want to go. I almost want to go and face it down, whatever the hell that is lol. I mean, how would I know I conquered the falls? Do I walk right up to it like a 50 gangster in a pinstriped suit and go “Ok Falls… Listen here, see?” Would a barrel be used (I think they are actually illegal now.).
Or would it just be randomly unpleasant for me and why go? There is lots of interesting stuff in the area, like the Thousand Islands, Niagara-On-The-Lake where Stephen Fry is presently taking up residence, or the Scarborough Bluffs on the shores of Lake Ontario which look like clay and glacial debris forming something from the Grand Canyon.
Has anything freaked you out so you just had to take it on? I think my fear of heights comes into my falls thing too, but yeah have you decided to take skydiving because of your fear? It’s all “false evidence assumed real” so if your skydiving (and naturally pull the cord as per instruction) or you visit Niagara (and stay on this side of the railing) you will get through it like anything.
If you feel crazy brave enough to tell us put it in the comment section below.
I know…oh, behave! But this subject seems to need talking, more and more as things get confused. In some less-known tribal communities in the present day everyone walks about either nude or mostly nude and the number of sexual assaults or sexual challenges are through the floor non-existent. These people still “do it” and I can’t imagine it doesn’t still feels good but it is simply a part of life.
If nothing else mankind’s fascination with this subject is the stuff of legend…both love and sex. Both are the subject of songs, poems and while they are connected…love is seen as the softer, magical thing and sex is like it’s darker seedier side that dare not speak it’s name.
Then there’s the recent Incel thing which first makes you laugh until you realize how serious they are and how angry that gets people. It’s the same reason that I think “Friends with benefits” and casual stuff of either side doesn’t work. There is still powerful emotion going on. Indeed with the writing of this I have to steer the ship somewhat carefully as I want to explain that a) it’s all going to be ok and b) no, I don’t discount how you might feel.
I really believe that there is someone for everyone and that even if it takes a while before that 1st time, it will eventually happen. Physically there is no kind of person not attractive to someone, it’s simply that we have put certain looks and body types up as the it girl and it boy. Go back a few hundred years and larger people were it as that, like in African cultures, suggested wealth. One of the challenges is of course the thing both you, dear reader, and I are staring at right now. Now of course I love my ability to make use of devices and technology to put out content and connect but it is still over a synthetic machine. We are social animals in the first place. We are tribal and family centric beings, even though many families have problems so your families may not be of a “traditional” set up (may instead be a group of friends, step parents, something else). As such we need to actually be out with other beings in a physical sense. That is the one thing no app can ever, ever do is recreate the physical presence of other people. It’s been “adult material’s” one failing since Playboy first hit the shelves, it can never recreate the actual size perspective, warmth and so on of (for men with this, in traditional sense) a romantic partner. Hey but if you need that until the real thing comes along, “whatever gets you through the night…”
It’s so funny with sex advice and love advice you see all over magazines and now online as well though. I take the line from a terrific British comedy and recently played with it in a song about how this idea could really make it all work. I’m a sucker for hippy like liberalism, I fully admit (are all hippys liberals? Another discussion for another day I suppose).
Anyways the comedy is called May to December
And the quote from it was “You make yourself happy by making the other person happy.”
What’s great about it is that it’s not about what you want, other than seeing her/him smile. Knowing you made his/her day. I think the other thing is then the joy of building something like a family.
I grew up a few friend nerd by the way so if this is you please believe me when I say that you’re not a lost cause. What helped me? Other people. But in order for that to happen, I went to work, started playing that bass I just got in bands (you don’t have to by the way, this is my example), got involved in other stuff. This probably made me less an impossible mess around people. Things weren’t easy. Still aren’t but I like what that one woman said about men she would date…
“Men are like wine. They have to be crushed and go through it a few times before they are something I want to have dinner with.”
She’s a comedian, so calm down…I don’t mean you need to be beat down but experience does come from learning with comes from bad judgement so use this phone to find out what you can do today outside of your four walls and get yer shoes.
Trust me, the friends, love and yes, the sex, will be worth it.
There’s a strong possibility that it’s all just procrastinating. I used to romantically think that I should work on things in the least fancy possible locations because then it was..well..romantically unfancy I suppose. Like if I did my writing or reading in a McDonald’s then I really meant it. Kind of like busking in the roughest area of town. Seems a bit Vincent Van Gogh out there. As I said in a previous post I have done writing on buses and that is true, but its usually the back of a fairly comfortable one with earphones in.
Victoria used to have some amazing late night locations back when there were 24 hour cafe’s. Cafe De La Lune was on the corner of Douglas and Pandora, across from city hall and sported a comfy second story that was perfect for writing. Then there is Qv’s on Government that made for lots of late night work while listening to “Warm Beer, Cold Woman” by Tom Waits. I think I ran into someone from the song there. She smoked menthol cigarettes like Waits said, but I dont remember much else that night. Didn’t turn into anything that seedy (though part of my imagination is fascinated by anything like that.)
I can’t really work at home. On music I mostly can because its more physical I think and active and there’s headphones and shiny blinky lights. Lots of stuff to keep a now forty four year old Adhd’r humming along. But with anything like this I feel like I like to be near activity, though not actually in it. I know, right?
This has lead me to search high and low for just ages, trying to find the best places. I even rented part of an office once with a former cowriter, and i do miss that. I like the idea of a downtown office but as anyone can imagine, the cost would be mind blowing. That was the corner of a room and it cost us a combined hundred and thirty in a building that the police had once raided due to extreme drug problems.
Its like wanting to be near the energy of downtowm but still keep it locked out. Otherwise you get situations were it tries to get involved with you and then you instantly regret your decision.
“What is that…homework?”
And now your a man with a coffee, putting away books to explain why you spend your time off work doing homework when you dont go to school.
Do you have any favorite places to work? Maybe you do work at home, or have a perfect time that’s never failed you.
Ironically this is written at home early on a Sunday with Cece asleep next to me.
So maybe I’m growing into the homebody role. Ooo I sure hope so.
When is the moment you felt actually grown up?
First thing that springs to mind instantly is what age would that be anyways?
Technically adulthood begins at the age of eighteen but I know I still felt like a kid then. I went pretty much straight from Nintendo to minimum wage with almost no discernable bump in the road. I’ve heard being an artist keeps you young. I don’t know if it’s that or just our immaturity that does it, and I mean that in the best possible way. The fact that I’m on a bus at 43 right now typing this because, “well, why not? It would be cool” is apparent to me. Despite the fact that it’s a trip to my doctor which is still in the same Saanichton location since childhood (hence it being a trip) Most people my age have a car, the real serious job, kids, credit cards, bank loans and are renovating something. I’m learning to tap on my bass, getting ready to play St. Patrick’s, trying to find new beats to track and other things that are, let’s be honest, as grown up as playing with moonbeams. Even when I first mispelled “moonbeams” just now my cantankerous phone didn’t really try. Come on Pogson, you’re blah blah years old. I have a feeling that phrase will haunt me.
I have moments still of grownupness. Working minimum wage like jobs has a weird vampiric effect of making you feel like a kid when you’re not. My job now is still one done by people who I could easily be the parent of, or the weird but adorably fun uncle with the guitar. Go me.
Still grown up moments occur. Most are health when you find yourself limping because your foot just got moody. My gut health is a long running favorite. Pretty bad when you get very excited about the health properties of golden beets. This really happened.
Almost at my stop so I’ll wrap up. I think we will always have the adult and child in us. We need both, each one taking care of the other. Your adult is the protector and the child is the one who makes it all worthwhile. The child is more fun. It doesn’t need the washroom and then says “nope, nothing” once you’re there. The adult is then understandably grumpy. The child makes the joke of it. Suggests Instagram. You’re adult screams #AreYouF’NNuts?
The child winks and runs off and the adult follows, still nursing that damn sore foot.
It has been quiet in Dameron since the last attack. You don’t expect that the thing that would wake you from sleep would be a child’s song.
It was part of a dream at first. I was there again, back on the hilltop surrounded by white flowers and the scent of the Southern Sea. The Bay of Mount Laer stretched around me then like a warm embrace, keeping it’s kin close in the little seaside village. I liked to spend most of my time as a child up on those bluffs overlooking the city and the sea.
That was one of the images that I always held during the campaign to the dark lands of the East. Well, that and of course dear Lenette. I was the shortest one of the six of us that would head off on our own little adventures when the grown ups were busy. We did use to get into such trouble, primarily being lost or late for dinner. It was never anything that involved actual danger like the sinewy fingers of the blackness. Those curling tendrils had not yet reached our little fishing village, like many protected by the rocky shore or the northern plains of Umahh. Dameron was closer to the plains but also closer to the bridges that would take me back to where we had travelled. Dameron seemed treacherous at that time. It was many winter’s snows in the city for me since Clantan the Grand Master lead us east. We sung the song on the road, our hearts thumping with seemingly unbreakable joy.
My eyes opened to he pale light of the moons flooding the room in gentle blue against the Leyleaf-stained roof. The song was still in the air, stealing in through the cracks in the cracks of the window. I got out of bed in my baggy nightclothes and peered down into the street. The song was fading and it seemed urgent that I find it’s source.
My gaze fell up and down the shadows and snow of the narrow streets. The snow was still falling but only lightly so I could make out much of the world below from two floors up in my room. There were tracks of people walking through the snow of course, the wind dusting the falling snow along like leaves catching the waterline in a river but I had no spell to tell me the identity of a singer. Slowly the sound melted away. A ghost of the home I could not return to, even as a wandering sight.
Then I heard it. It was so incredibly soft that you would scarcely believe it happened but it had not been the first time. Copper tumblers were being brushed aside with a thin needle. The door creaked to life as though simply pushed by the wind.
A man in rags, his swirl of clothes hiding a flash of steel left the floorboards and swung to the wall, the back of his head hitting the solid boards with a dull thud. He tried to reach his sword but I drew that away, the useless blade skittering across the floor and under the drawropes of my bed.
“First rule, friend,” I said coming closer “A mage rarely sleeps.”
He strained against my will. He wasn’t a big fellow as the best thieves typically are not, but he was from the guild and carried with him a relentless wirey strength. His eyes fell on the other side of the room where I kept my books, stacked neatly or somewhat neatly with bits of paper poking out, the soft chair and candles for reading late and of course, the chest beneath my desk.
“Really, you’d be better off with one of the books,” I continued as he glared at me.
His faced grew red as he breathed hard as though the man had just finished running clear across town. He was one of the brave and stupid ones. Perhaps he had just got the wrong room but not with the mark left on my door. I knew what that was carved for.
“So how about this…we treat it as a learning experience and I don’t tell Namal about your little…shall we call it…lack of communication?” I said looking at the man who only started to resign his attempts to move from his comfy spot a foot and a half above the floorboards. He took a deep breath.
“Sorry about all this Peter,” he said “Things haven’t been easy since I got back here.”
“Wait,” I said looking at the face now coupled with the man’s accent,”I know you…”
“And I know you are not a man to wake up.”
“Marc of second company,” I suddenly said, the sudden realization falling into place. He was a thief but he was, well, one of ours. I let him down.
Marc breathed, his back still on the wall, where he stretched it like his was in one of the city baths. He leaned back still a little wary of me, standing before him in probably a less impressive sight with my oversized bedclothes. He walked over to a chair and then turned to face half asleep scratching, me. He sat down and rubbed his feet.
“Sorry, I couldn’t get my dagger back could I?” he asked “I know I don’t deserve it but…”
“Oh, no that’s fine. I was awake anyways,” I replied, sitting on my bed and spirited his dagger across to him “Was that you whistling? You shouldn’t do that…kind of counter-productive.”
“The Fisherman’s Song…I heard that too,” he said “No, not me. I tried to go home and couldn’t find work and ended up with Namal’s gang. I just wanted to borrow from you but…”
He looked at me.
“Nah, I didn’t think you’d buy that,” he said getting up to go “Sorry again Peter. I won’t repeat this”
“Marcellian,” I said pointing to the barrel I kept next to my door “take the pouch, there. And ask me next time.”
He took the pouch and smiled at me. He gave a little hand gesture of thanks.
“Ask, got it.”
The door clicked closed. I locked it with a wave of my hand.
There’s a few people who would be good examples of this that I could have chose but Peter Jackson was my most recent biography find so it’s still the freshest in my head. I could have also mentioned Peter Hook of Joy Division for this one, the man who literally grabbed a bass and joined the band.
Peter, the one pictured that is, was inspired by film at a very young age. Only in his teens he was trying to make his Super 8 go as far as it could until he finally discovered a slightly better camera and began messing around with other little films. Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit was a long way off from those first initial attempts.
Being a singing bass player Sting is another huge inspiration that naturally springs to mind. Sting played gig after gig for years in a variety of bands (including a cruise ship gig) before he ever met a drummer named Stewart Copeland who already had this idea for a band called “The Police”.
The work these three gentlemen have created is indeed timeless, and they are only three examples of probably hundred of artists I could name. The connection to me is those early years of the work and the creative approach. During a tour of American colleges, Sting explained to music students “We’re not building cathedrals, we’re building sheds.” This is an insight that I think is worth keeping in mind when approaching anything creative, and possibly other things in life that don’t fall under that category.
It doesn’t have to be great. It doesn’t have to even be good. If you think of the early Beatle’s cuts from the beginning of their career they genuinely did not know what they were doing. Most bands (using music as an example) evolve slowly over a period of years and that’s the stuff we hear. The same goes for writers, visual artists, and film makers. Defy the white page and it’s patronizing nature. Make it all messy in spite of it because the odds are that it probably isn’t a big deal anyways. You’re just mucking around with it. I do this with Twitter and Instagram and I fully admit that. I just kind of go “Hey, what about this?”, usually said out loud because I admit I do in fact talk to myself. That’s me. I’ll be talking one way or the other and someone else may or may not hear it.
It even fits into most creative theory with the fact that the first part of creativity is simply getting it out of you and the second part is editing that mush for the little bits of gold in there. Also if something isn’t working, or you find it boring, try some other thing. Considering the expanse of possibility and remix culture out there you can always switch gears and bear in mind that you never have any massive thing expected (and should share that same expectation to others).
Even my biggest projects typically have roots that started little bits at a time, little bit each day at a time. You just relax and let those small things pile up.
So go ahead and mess it up all messy now. I’ll try to not sound like a motivational speaker now.
Perhaps it helps that I’ve had some background of being a morning person out of work related necessity. I worked a lot in cafes and therefore being ready and bright early just started to flow after a while. I’m also an insomniac so I kind of get a version of both with exhaustion kicking in somewhere midday. As I steer closer to my existence of working on my creative endeavours full time, my focus has become more about how to best use my time. I’ve always had the job that set the days program and now I will be doing that. I won’t go into the specifics of it all because it is not as mountaintop-with-guitar/notebook-and-windswept-hair as you think. The image I chose probably doesn’t help with that. I wanted to represent time.
So much gets piled on mornings I’ve found. There is so much of that “first thing in the morning” suggestion out there that I almost think it is like your early years of child development. Everything calls for attention. The evenings are like later in life when you can relax.
Which thing do you do first? For me its morning-page like free writing with coffee and something light after a walk and then bass practice before steering into the primary work that I do. I’ve heard exercise and water should be first. The Artist Way series got my writing going first. Some of these things I like at home and others out. I don’t know who else feels this but there is some thing in leaving the home to work on a creative process elsewhere. Your away from home distractions and you know are there to do the work. The word work shouldn’t scare creators away. Its still creative but as Billy Joel said “there’s a job…there’s a gig here…”
All of this hinges on any kind of major event. And yeah, I do like structure. It’s my parents coming out in me. My mom is the creative and my dad is the logical former service planner for Hydro.
And so I’ll be up again, in the young hours with the practical and exhuberant playing out.