My Toothless Beauty

August 25th, 2007 |

Angel had her wisdom teeth pulled on Thursday so she’s been doing a lot of drugging, sleeping, and repeating the last couple of days. Actually it’s been me who’s doing most of the repeating because she’s so doped up that she doesn’t remember a thing I say from hour to hour. I get a lot more mileage out of my jokes this way.

I almost lost my religion at the store this morning. I went around 7:30 or 8:00 to get some donuts and milk so there were very few people there. Mostly old ladies. There was only one checkout lane open so there was a line of about six old ladies and me. I was about half way back. Seeing that there was a bit of a backup, one of the employees opened the express lane. I saw her motioning to us so I told the lady in front of me to go ahead of me and I followed her over to the express. Before we could get there a lady (with a cart full of groceries) who hadn’t even been in line yet rushed over to get in front of us. Her total was $115.00 in the 12 items or less line! And then while she was checking out she heard that they were having a special on cases of Pepsi and had the bagger lady run and get her a couple while we waited.

We’ve been watching an inordinate amount of television the last few days since Angel developed her drug habit. Here are the shows that we will always watch if they happen to be on: Cash Cab, Ninja Warrior, Survivorman, Good Eats, and Unwrapped. We recommend you do the same.

My cousin Jake went away to college this past Thursday. He was the electric guitar player in the worship band at church. So since Jake is gone I am going be playing electric starting tomorrow morning. I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t played electric hardly at all in the last year and a half so I got out my stuff tonight to make sure it all still works. It does. Acoustic guitar players are so lame – starting tomorrow.

Riley Survives Day One

August 17th, 2007 |

Right after Angel dropped Riley off (for his first full day of kindergarten) today she sent me a text message saying “Riley is fine. I’m not. I’ll call you later.” You can read the full account of Angel’s suffering on her blog.

Riley did great. He seemed perfectly happy when I picked him up. He informed me that Tucker from Danny Phantom looks very different in real life than he does on TV. He didn’t seem to grasp the fact that we are allowed to have more than one Tucker on the planet at the same time.

You’ll have to forgive the recent nosedive in picture quality around here. Our camera died so we’ve resorted to taking pictures with our phones.

Speaking of phones – Angel and I recently defected from the Cingular camp and joined Sprint. Splitters! So we got some pretty sweet phones for free. Check it. Last night I finally decided to load a couple of tunes onto my phone to see if it would work. It does. One of the songs I loaded was “Muzzle of Bees” from Wilco’s “A Ghost Is Born” album. I couldn’t stop listening to it today. I’ve always liked that song but sometimes listening to a tune with headphones just somehow changes the intimacy of it. OK – somehow? – I know how – whatever. If you have 99 cents to spare go get this song from iTunes or somewhere. It is so phenomenal. Beautiful stuff. Gut wrenching beauty.

Last Saturday night Brian and Kim McClelland came over and hung out for a few hours. They brought these.

These cookies alone would warrant a continued friendship with them but it turns out they’re very tough and cool people to boot. That evening we spent some time listening to some of the new music I’m recording. Brian asked me a question very similar to a question that Chris Gustave has asked me recently. The answer is this – Yes I really am making a solo record. No I’m not just piddling around with some song ideas. Yes these songs are some of the best I’ve ever written. No it’s not just a stupid little acoustic-sounding record.

OK I actually just answered a bunch of questions that neither Brian nor Chris ever asked. But they were both interested in knowing if I actually planned to release the album and the answer is yes.

Sonic Temple

August 16th, 2007 |

Today I happened to be way out in Union, Missouri. Union is a small town about forty-five minutes outside of St. Louis and is also home to a church building formerly known as The Sonic Temple. The Sonic Temple was the awesome studio where The Formula Kid recorded “You Devil You” with engineer/producer J. Christopher Hughes.

Since I was in the neighborhood I decided to drive by and see how it’s looking these days. I wanted to get out of the car and take a picture but there were some dudes putting a new roof on the place and I thought they might be a little freaked out by that. So I had to do a drive-by with the camera phone.

Sonic Temple

It looks pretty unassuming from the outside but the inside was super cool back when it was a studio. There were some really great recordings made in that room. “Short Pants” by The Maxtone Four is one that comes to mind. And of course there’s “You Devil You” which is one of the coolest recordings I’ve been involved with. Here are some pictures from that session.

We only spent one weekend at The Sonic Temple but I still felt a great sense of nostalgia driving by. Great memories.

Riley Becomes A Man

August 15th, 2007 |

Tomorrow will be a day of great wailing and gnashing of teeth; Riley starts kindergarten. Angel has been dreading this day for exactly five years and one month. I’ve been looking forward to it since the day I realized that pre-school costs almost as much as my house payment. Angel is taking the day off work tomorrow so she can really get all up in the sorrow of the occasion. I could either mourn with her or go out and buy as Escalade with all the free money. I’m still undecided.

As if the day wasn’t going to be rough enough already, Angel also has an appointment with an oral surgeon. It’s a pre-yankyerwisdoms consultation. If letting go of your little boy is almost as fun as having your teeth pulled out then Angel will soon know.

Riley spent the day with my mom yesterday. Here’s a story she emailed me about something he said that was pretty hilarious.

Riley and Grandma ReRe went to see Underdog (Riley for the second time). Riley shared a number of times the “Have no fear; Underdog is here!” statement.

After about ten times, Riley said, “Grandma, what is fear?” Grandma said that fear is when you’re afraid of something. Riley said,“sometimes I’m afraid of things in the dark.” Grandma said that she understood . . . and then asked, “when you’re afraid of things in the dark, do you ask Jesus to help you?”

Riley, seemingly amazed at such a question, said, “No. I ask someone to turn on the lights!”

In the words of Dino Nicastro “Ata kid.”

Speaking of Dino, we are going to start tracking drums for my solo record a week from Friday. Dino and I decided that if we’re ever going to get anything done we need to start getting together on a regular basis and stop saying that we’ll just get around to it someday. Progress.

One of the songs that is going to be on the record is a song I originally wrote for a project (that I bailed on because I’m a selfish lazy bum) that Brian McClelland and I were working on. It’s called Falling For Me. You’re going to want to remember that title because it’s probably going to be your favorite song on the album. I was very surprised yesterday when I opened that song in my recording software and found that the thing is pretty much done. I had forgotten how much of it we had tracked. Nice. That means that (for the most part) everything except the drums is done on four songs so far.

My birthday is coming up on September 26th. That means if you start putting aside fifty dollars a week until then you’ll almost have enough to buy me a gift. The main thing I want is this. Then of course there’s always this. Get to work.

Mere Christianity

August 7th, 2007 |

I finished reading C. S. Lewis’ book “Mere Christianity” today. Go and do ye likewise. There is some incredible insight into Christianity, especially considering that Lewis was a former atheist.

I kept worrying that Santa was going to come trudging across the Tundra of this book to ruin the whole thing just like he did in the movie of Lewis’ book The Chronicles of Narnia. He didn’t. I was happy. Was anybody else totally cheesed by the whole Santa scene in that movie?

Want to hear a story?

There once was a boy who’s parents told him not to play with fire. He played with fire. It burned him. The boy decided he wasn’t interested in such cruel parents and decided that there’s no such thing as parents.

The end.

This past Saturday we celebrated my Grandpa’s 80th birthday. The entire family was there. It was awesome. I don’t think I’ve seen all those people in the same house at the same time since I was a kid. It was a very happy day. We laughed all day long. We Johnsons consider ourselves quite the witty lot.