Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Checking in. Much has changed. Don't know where to begin.

Hello all

Just wanted to check in. The summer has been rough. I have not wanted to talk about it, and have only been sharing with close friends.

Long story short.

Back in May, an anonymous complaint was called in to the Austin City Code department about the RV park I had been living in for 4.5 years. We think it was a condo developer, but who fucking knows and who fucking cares at this point.

By end of May 2016 I was informed that I would have to remove all my external buildings in a month or the park itself would receive a $20,000 fine.

My place had 3 added-on external buildings. Half the lots out of 17 had external buildings or at least a patio deck and roof. So all those had to come down by end of June 2016. Whether it's just your patio, or the rest of your fucking house.

"But didn't you know this was going to be a problem Danny G?"

No. No I did not.

My place, my beloved Hobbit Hole, had already been built when I bought it. All the other structures people had as well. Hell, the lot manager built himself a second little office since I lived there. He never mentioned city code. The owner of the RV park sure as hell knew all the buildings were there.

So I was faced with the task of (a) finding people to tear down my fucking house, (b) selling the trailer as I could not conceivably downsize from 800+ sq ft to >200 without selling all of my furniture, nor did I have the budget to rebuild the interior into a single living space, and (c) finding a new place to live in a city increasingly becoming impossible to afford.

The following months were a blur. I did not journal much about it. I didn't want to remember it.

Other things that happened:

(1) the sudden move forced my hand in ending my relationship with Heather. She was springing into action to find us a new place together, and prior to the code issue I had been planning on having the conversation with her anyway. I wasn't about to let her move us both into a new place just to *then* break up with her and leave with with a lease she can't afford.

(2) I was amicably dismissed from the Bleu Edmondson Band. The code thing led me to asking for a raise I never got and missing some gigs because I had better paying opportunities come up, which I had no choice but to take because...

(3) I had invested my meager life savings and more into the purchase and maintenance of The Hobbit Hole under the impression that I could sell it for 3x what I paid for it and be fine. That didn't happen. I was lucky to make what I did on the trailer, which at first I thought I'd just have to sell for scrap. That money didn't last long because (2) had been my main source of income.

However. (2) was the only real good news over the summer. I wasn't happy and was planning exit strategy anyway. So it still ended on a good note and I wish those dudes the best. That, and looking at their schedule, there were only 3 more gigs my last month involved, and only 5 for the month after. Staying on would have been financially devastating anyway. So things have a way of working themselves out.

About this time I signed on full time with Stupid Drama, which suddenly had me busy during the week, which I was looking to do anyway. I was staying at Nathan Olivarez's house for a week and a half during the Hobbit Hole demo when I reviewed the text that Bleu's band was continuing on as a 4 piece.

The demo of my home took about 4-5 days. My friend Jason Patten provided his two crew guys who (it sounds really weird to say this) did an amazing job destroying my home. Jason paid them out of pocket and we worked out a deal where I worked it off with gigs and rehearsals and studio work, in addition to my stove as the new buyer didn't need it.

They also hauled off as much reusable materials as they could, so my home didn't just end up in a fucking dumpster. So a lot of my home went into projects on his property, which was awesome that it could be repurposed, but still strange: "That's part of my house."

I found (still) temporary lodging with Kyle Judd and Nanc, Kyle is Deann Rene's guitar player. They were kind enough to take me in and work out an arrangement. But to be honest I can barely afford to pay them anything and that is fucking with my head. I've been here since July or August. I honestly can't remember now.

I did start seeing a counselor through the SIMS foundation. Thank Crom for that. It's been helping. Not so much to sort out the dumpster fire that my life suddenly became, but just talking about it. He referred me to Consumer Credit Counseling (they couldn't help me) and has been constantly amazed at how well I seem to be handling everything. He's had people on his caseload damn near destroyed by less. So there's that.

But still. I'm dealing with occasional brutal depression. Hard to rebuild your life and get back on your feet when some days I can get out of bed and that's really about it. Depression is not a joke, or being melodramatic. The simplest tasks become insurmountable obstacles. It's destroying my motivation, and affecting my life. I wonder if I should be on antidepressants. But trying to avoid that.

My credit card debt is crushing me. Music is my most marketable job skill. If people were offering me jobs all the time I'd consider. But I keep getting gig offers on a weekly basis so there you go. Consumer Credit Counseling can only help with half of the debt; the other half is on business credit cards. And for clarification, the past 7-8 years have been more unkind than kind. It's not like I loaded my credit cards with dumb, frivolous shit.

Finally talked to a bankruptcy lawyer last friday. For $1680 (payable in chunks, and doesn't have to ben paid in full before process starts) I can clear my debt and hopefully be able to breathe again for the first time in several years, and hoping for a new lease on life.

So yeah. And there are things I am probably forgetting and there were other things that happened that are none of your business.

But I will say this:

I have surrounded myself with some truly amazing people in my life, without whom I would not still be here.

It is entirely 100% true that what you put out into the universe comes back to you. I've always been a helper. And now people have been going out of their way to help me.

Which fills my heart with love, while at the same time shatters it into 1000 pieces because I don't want to NEED help. I just want to live my life, make music, and stay on top of bills.

I have pics of The Hobbit Hole before, during the demo process, and after. I don't know if I'll ever post them because I don't want to fucking look at them.

So yeah.

If I've seemed distracted or agitated for past several months, this is why.

If I don't want to go out or fail to return messages, this is why.

If my expression seemed hard to read as I replied "I'm doing alright..." when you asked me how I am, this is why.

If I've lashed out, this is why.

If I've been quiet, this is why.

I'm just going to try to keep on keeping on, and not lose hope.

Thank you all for being my friends.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I haven't been wanting to post this, but here goes.

Hope you all enjoy the recap of the crazy/weird/terrible/fun/awesome Thunderosa January run.

But late on Sunday Feb 7 (Super Bowl Sunday) I received some terrible news from AJ

Our wonderful host, Bonnie Wade, had passed.

We didn't have any details at the time. It was almost a month to the day when we arrived at her home in Tucson. It had been barely a month since she had been serenading us with songs on the piano, since we had sat down together at the dinner table and ate as a family, holding hands in prayer before doing so. It had been almost a month since she took Drew and I out for a beautiful stroll in the desert. She found an old bleached bone section and gave it to me as a souvenir, and had already placed it with other mementos (cool rocks etc) from that trip and many others.

I was deeply saddened, but more numb with shock. You just assume you will always see people when you pass through their necks of the woods. I was and am set to return to AZ with Adrian Conner in April. Was going to invite her out, even tho the Adrian shows will be centered around the Sedona area.

But things got even more heart-breaking when it was revealed by her family that she had taken her own life.

We were going to keep that detail to ourselves out of respect for her family, but her family released that detail on social media and left it at that. So although I don't want to talk about it, I can. Doesn't make it easier.

She had some things in her life which were troubling her, as we all do. But she seemed eager to move out of the rental house she hosted us in and travel around in her little RV. She was even planning to swing through Austin and say hi to all her friends there. She seemed weary, but also hopeful and excited.

I'm still a little crushed.

There is an Austin memorial service/celebration of her life this Sunday. Unfortunately I will miss it as I'll be returning from a weekend of shows in Oklahoma this weekend.

There are lots of other great things to talk about, but I don't feel like it.

But, for now:

Tell the people you love that you love them.

Tell the people you appreciate that you appreciate them.

Call the people you haven't talked to in awhile. Write a letter. Send a postcard.

If someone wrongs you, forgive them.

Smile and say hi to the people you pass on the street. Pet their dog if it's friendly.

Treat everyone with kindness, for every person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

RIP Bonnie Wade

I hope you've found the peace you have been looking for.