Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Words and Music: Gray Blue Morning

The first people to ever hear this song were my wife-to-be and her friend Kerri, who were stopping by to check out our apartment on Comm Ave. I had just finished writing it and wanted to play it for someone. (Yeah, and so maybe I wanted to impress Gina, too, which makes me embarrassed. I was pretty smooth, let me tell ya.)

Anyway, I've always loved this song, even though it's kind of dark and melancholy. It was a dark and melancholy time — I'd just gotten back from a life-altering trip to Ireland, been laid off, and had no idea what to do with my life. I was writing a ton of music but had no money to record any of it. I desperately wanted to travel more, and had actually signed up for WWOOF in the UK & Ireland. Thankfully, Gina moved in shortly after, and I began driving her to work each morning, which made me feel worthwhile! (Yeah, that's pretty much all it takes. I just like to have a purpose.)

Gray Blue Morning
© 2004 by Jon Gorey

Oddball chords:
Em*: 075007
G6: 750700
Em7*: 075700
Am7*: 535000

Intro: Em* / G6 / Em7* / G6

[Em*] Nobody's home [G6] I'm feeling rotten
I [Em7*] turn off my phone so [G6] I can be forgotten
[Am7*] Every moment I feel [G6] I'm wasting away
[Am7*] Every moment, every [G] day
[Am7] Every morning I wake up [G/B] with nothing to say
[Am7] Every morning I feel [G] gray

Nighttime is here I feel entitled
To savour a beer a bosom in a bottle
Every night I think I might be living to die
Every night I wonder why
Every morning I wake up thinking of you
Every morning I feel blue

[C] Would it matter more if I didn't [G] care [Em] [G]
[C] I could be so sure if I wasn't [G] there [Em] [G]
[C] I could settle for your reasonable [G] doubt [Em] [G]
[C] Don't you say no more [D] I'll figure it [Em] out

Verse 2:
Curiously I can see my problems
Staring at me face up from the bottom
Every morning I would try to get out bed
When I could not lift my head
Sleeping to the sounds of words I never said
I should have lived I dreamed instead

[Am7] But every gray blue morning
[Bm] I feel my strength returning
[C] Like I might be made of [D] man
[Em] And now my blood is burning
[Bm] With every lesson learned and
[C] I'll do everything I [D] can

Last chorus:
[C] To make it matter more if I wasn't [G] there [Em] [G]
[C] I could be so sure if I didn't [G] care [Em] [G]
[C] Like a metaphor your reasonable [G] doubt [Em] [G]
[C] Don't you say no more [D] I've figured it [G] out

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sick Boy

Well, I can't fight it any longer. The sick has finally got me.

Oh, don't worry, I'm not swine flu sick or anything like that poor college kid. (Can you believe that? It's wicked sad. Whole campuses are like, infirm! It's mad. The first week of college should be the best week of your life, meeting hundreds of new people on equal footing, with a chance to define yourself on a blank slate. You should be exploring and conquering your new world, roaming from new class to new party with new friends — not in the sick bay. Poor kids.)

No, this is just that run of the mill cold you get when it's warm outside and then cold inside, and then it's cold outside, and then it's warm again and your body's tired of playing games so it just gives up. Plus everyone on the T has been hacking all over me for the last two weeks; it was bound to happen. And I got like, an hour of sleep last Wednesday night so that couldn't have helped things either!

But it didn't ruin our weekend or anything. (The Yankees took care of that all by themselves.) Our friends in J.P. threw a pretty fantastic BBQ during the open studios on Saturday. And the combination of an oncoming cold and Sunday's gloomy weather was all the justification I needed to laze about all day, reading and watching football and rainy-day television by the fire. Even though it was like, hot outside. We also baked a whole chicken (never done that before — came out pretty well! Except I had it in there upside down, whatever) so between the wood stove and the oven and the muggy day, our apartment was like a sweat lodge by 6pm. I think it helped.

Speaking of being sickly: despite a drop in support this year, Massachusetts residents still favor our mandatory health care system by a 2 to 1 margin, according to a poll by the Boston Globe and Harvard School of Public Health poll. I love this place.

And speaking of Massachusetts, we watched a couple episodes of HBO's John Adams miniseries over the weekend, too. It gets me all fired up! That South Carolina delegate really got under my skin; I guess things haven't changed all that much in 200+ years!

One last political note: looks like we'll have an interim US Senator to represent us after all, should a health care bill advance to a vote before January's special election. You can see a roll call of how your rep voted thanks to Boston.com. I was pretty surprised to find that my state representative, A. Steven Tobin (D), voted nay! I even wrote to him before the vote, urging him to honor the wishes of our late Senator Kennedy, not to mention our state's democratic majority. Guess who may have lost my vote in the next election?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last Days of Summer

Saturday night, after a gorgeous day watching Will Dailey perform outdoors and savoring some Great Pumpkin Ale at the Cambridge Brewing Company, we finally returned home to a chilly house — and lit our first fire of the fall.

Summer, I barely knew ya.

Now, I'm a huge fan of fall; October is even my favorite month, by far. But between the second cloudiest June on record, my workaholic month of July, and our late August sojourn to the cool, damp, west coast of Ireland, I kind of feel like I missed out on summer. For the first time in years, I'm not quite ready for apple picking, or football, or sweaters.

I mean, I probably donned shorts all of a dozen times in the last three months! What happened?

Anyway, this post is actually about a book: Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. Read it, and you will love it. It's hilarious, charming, and surprisingly beautiful. We met Mr. Kluger just last week at the Harvard Square "Bookish Ball," and I got him to sign a copy for my nephew, who's 8 years old and just beginning to develop what will likely be a lifelong love of baseball. I don't think he's ready for the book yet — there are far too many f-bombs for one thing! — but I cannot wait to give it to him when he's 10 or 11.

If you're a sentimental type, or if you love baseball, WWII-era history, or just good banter, pick up a copy and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So that was awesome

It's been a little over a week since we got back from Ireland. Gina and I promised ourselves we'd try to bottle (mentally) the inspiration and exhilaration we felt, to keep us going for awhile upon our return... it's lasted this long anyway, which is more than I expected!

In related news, I just took my first of 12 Irish fiddle lessons through Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éire, which was awesome. I'm so excited about this, and the timing of the class was serendipitous; I'm hoping I can keep my momentum going through the dreary Saturday mornings that are sure to lie ahead in November and December.

In more related news, I'm going to start playing out a little more (by a little more I mean more often than not at all, which has been the norm of late), so keep an eye out for upcoming shows. I'm officially inspired again. Thank you, Ireland!

We've got lots to catch up on. For starters:

The Pats
Last night during the Patriots' season opener, during the game-winning drive, the camera caught Tom Brady and he had That Look in his eyes. You know the look — it's not menacing, per se, but it's cold and determined and a little Terminator-esque (the good Terminator). It says, "I am a winning machine, and I'm going to win this game now." It was the first time I'd seen that look in over a year — and I hadn't realized just how much I missed Tom Brady until that moment. I feel confident again. About everything! That's the weird part. I even feel better about the Red Sox today, even though the two have nothing to do with each other. (Or do they? Until the Pats won that first Super Bowl, I didn't think a Boston team could, much less would ever win a championship again. Belichick and Brady saved Boston sports.)

The missus
Today is Gina's last day at work — her company shut down their Boston office. So if anyone out there needs an excellent editor with science and language arts experience (not to mention a lovely demeanor and adorable freckles), let me know!

Health Care Reform
To anyone who's all worked up about this (such as my very Republican parents): if you live in Massachusetts, universal health care is, in essence, already a reality. Over 94% of our residents are insured (compared to 85% nationally). There is a mandate to have insurance, and a penalty if you don't. There is a public option, and if I lost my job, I would not hesitate to use it. (And if it had existed in my mid-20s, I would have used it then, too, instead of drifting through portions of my freelance years irresponsibly uninsured.) Unlike many states, no one in Mass. is denied insurance for a pre-existing condition.

It's not perfect, and it's expensive. But no one has tried to euthanize you in the hospital. You still have the same doctor you used to. Your insurance plan is still the same, still mostly employer-paid, and your provider is still very much in business — making some pretty good profits, in fact — despite competition from the state plan. And while our health care costs are among the highest in the country... so is the cost of everything else here. Besides, you get what you pay for: the two best commercial health care plans in the entire US as ranked by U.S. News & World Report (Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts HMO) are right here in Massachusetts; so are two of the top 10 hospitals.

Anyway, even though they probably think this place is full of naive, insufferable liberals like their son, I'm grateful to my folks for raising me in this most progressive of states, the birthplace of the revolution. (I'm also grateful to my fellow Massholes for reliably drowning out the votes of the FOX News-infused.)

And speaking of politics...
I've been blogging for the Patriot Ledger/Wicked Local, about the mayor's race in Quincy. People are pretty fired up — one post garnered over 200 comments — who knew?! It's been fun learning about the history, local issues, and political passion in our new city. Anyway if you'd like to check it out, here's a link to all of my posts.

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