Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal  March  2006


Kayden with Andie
Kayden 9 months

Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation. W. H. Sheldon    Thanks Dale
April 2, 2006
I recorded the show for the first time today. Me and my loop pedal making music at Columbia Winery. It was good for my soul to play. I may become a guitarist yet. I think I am going to concentrate on that for a while. I want to compose some music just for guitar. At present I just play my regular songs instrumentally. That is fun too. Listening the recording while I put into the studio from mini disk I realize there is something there. People seem to get the soothing part of this instrumental music. Diana at the Winery said it is just good wine tasting music. It is mood music, other worldly music. I am grateful for the chance to play and for the people who took the time to introduce themselves and say hi. I hope we get to know each other better. I will have a "Live at the Passport of Woodinville CD" soon.
  Freedom called to say the Doctors bailed on them and they are going forward with prayers and faith that Sierra will be born fine in July and that is our prayer as well.

April 1, 2006
What a fool's day it was. All the streets and I mean all the streets in Woodinville were closed today. I spent over an hour trying to get to the Winery to play a gig. I finally had to get out of the car and ask a Sheriff what to do. I had to head North on the freeway and switch highways and take back roads to get there. Then I stopped for gas and my car locked up and would not accept my key. Damn what a day. The funny thing is that I was set up and ready to go a half an hour late. I really was just about to head home and scrap the whole gig I was so frustrated. As it turns out I met some pretty nice people, some in education, some in coffee shop and music venue businesses, and some just nice folks. I strictly played instrumental pieces today. To top off every thing else I forgot my guitar pedals and my effects POD. I did have my loop pedal thank God and I realized that is all I really need. It allows me to play parts and go back and play on top of parts. I love the last part of a piece. I step on the left pedal and it erases every thing I have recorded. It is here and now and then gone. I realized my guitar is my partner on stage. I have missed having some one to set up and tear down with and play and perform with but realize this is the game. This is how it is. But when I sit my guitar in my lap I know it isn't going to give me a bad time, make me feel guilty, put me down or lift me up, it will just do whatever it is I do. The more loving I am the more music it makes. For the first time in my memory I did not feel lonely playing today, not at all.

March 30, 2006
 Kiss the monster. Make peace with yourself. I read a little quote of eastern philosophy that Sarah Maria gave me. Yes and No, there seem to be two but they become one. What? Maybe it is balance they are talking about. Kayden is learning a lot about balance as he rises from all fours to a standing position. He is surveying his kingdom and ready to claim it. There will be many meetings of yes and no in the near future. This cough has me near to passing out. I go on to the point my vision blurs and I get very dizzy and feel like I am going to faint. That isn't good when driving. Any time this wants to go back out of my body is a good time to me. Yes? Deal or no deal?

March 29, 2006
 Almost done with another month. My my time does fly. And it is another day. Kayden is off to visit his little pals at Daycare. Even though it is a really good one I wish he was not going there but being home with Andie or me every day. This morning he hugged her really big and buried his face in her sweater then let out a heavy sigh. When he is tired there is no one else he wants to see at all but Andie. Comfort; what a wonderful thing in its many forms. The comfort of friends, family, the comfort of comforting someone else, these are all a part of the mountain tops and placid lakes in life. There is so much motion is living. We are pulled like the tide and moon cycles in so many directions. We make changes and at times changes are thrown at us and we cope the best we can. Some times coping is the best we can do.

 

March 28, 2006 Happy Birthday Aileen Hope it is a good one.
  Dale sent me a funny e-mail for the ultimate search engine: www. wherearemyf-ingkeys.com. Funny. That would be a good one, wouldn't it? They're on the counter Bob, right where you left them.
   The rains have returned and with them the clean air and the gray skies. It is the picture of irony. Gray cast and absence of sun wrapped in lush and beautiful shades of green.
  I spent a few hours last night trying to determine the extent of the damage to my POD_XT live effects wrack. It is a complicated but marvelous processor for guitar which is great in the studio and on stage. A young lady inadvertently spilled an entire pint of water into it at Provinces. It has some damage but I learned a lot about dialing it in. I pretended I was Mike Daily and read the manual forcing myself to start at page one and work slowly through. I found two settings that were wrong for the way I am using it on the first page alone. Electronics and computers don't like water so I am noticing some not so funny sounds and behavior. I hope it passes. I hate to see something so expensive die even before I learn how to work it.
  I am looking forward to Columbia Winery this weekend. It is a very long gig but always a lot of fun. It will be in the wine cellar where the people from the dinner train tour and it is open to the public. 5 sets starting at 11 am. I checked the site and it says it is sold out. I guess they sell 3500 passports for $45 each but they went fast. Call the winery if you are interested and see if you can still come. There ought to be a law against playing in the morning.
It is off to the doctor now to see what happens next.

March 27, 2006
 What the heck? I feel like a veteran of 35 years of smoking Lucky Strikes. I can't seem to stop coughing. I hacked my way through Vesper Services in Bellingham last night. I didn't have a mic for that reason. No harmonies, just lead guitar and that I did with three cough drops at a time in my mouth while prayerfully asking Jesus not to let me inhale and choke to death up there on the alter. Try unwrapping a cough drop in dead silence of a church service in a very acoustically alive room. I would wait for a prayer with the congregation and then scramble to unwrap a few and pop them into my mouth. Kayden has had to get over his fear of sudden and loud noises as these coughing outbursts come without warning. I think the more stressed I am the more I cough. Go figure.
  No news for the mark about Freedom, Natalie and Sierra. I am praying that everything will be okay with the Sierra. Like Freedom said, I just want her to be born and be healthy. We are thinking of taking a trip or two or three this year and going to Arizona, and California. We are also bitten by the pack it in for somewhere sunny bug. The bugs in sunny places usually send us packing back to Washington.
   Andie did a lot of work in the yard today. She even managed to get the mower started which I could not; Wonder Woman and Gray Haired Pony Tail Man ( that is my Native American name given to me by one of Liz's Native friends many many years ago.) It stuck.
  Mike laid out some drums today and did a fine job. He is pushing to the end of this Samba Nova project.
Sarah called to thank me for spending Friday evening with her. It was my treat I am sure. It was an adventure for the old guy to go to Seattle by himself on a Friday night. Talk about over stimulation. We took Kayden on the Centennial trail today and then for a walk through Snohomish. He was like me in Seattle. I thought, we have got to get this boy out more. It was busy in downtown Snohomish today. What a beautiful sunny day it was though. Looking out at all the various views of mountains and lakes we have reminds you why people tend to stay here in the Northwest. It is beautiful.

March 26, 2006
  It is just another Sunday and I don't much feel like going to Bellingham to play. The cough is too mean and it occurred to me the last time I went I spent most of my energy trying to suppress this very same cough. What does it mean grasshopper? If I am done here then let it be otherwise I would like to get on with life without feeling like I am falling to pieces from the inside out. I also couldn't muster the energy to go and record Dee last night like I had planned for a month.
   Andie is running the new Dyson vacuum cleaner which sounds like a gigantic slug doused in salt if you run it on the wrong setting on a thin carpet. Kayden literally screaming in terror the first time it happened. I nearly peed myself. It is a great vacuum except that one very nasty sounding flaw. I think it may have even sucked the remains of the former tenants out of the carpet. I am wondering if there will be any carpet left when all the spooge has been removed. Oh well, we shall see. Mean time the dove is cooing in thanks that the vacuuming has stopped and Kayden slept through the whole thing.

March 25, 2006
 Kayden and Papa together does not equal a nap for some reason. It is finally after 1 pm and he lunched and then fell asleep in my arms without a bottle. And he seems to be sleeping hard now. Days are always full with a baby. Andie has hardly time to breath but she is such a good mama.
    Last night I went down to Seattle to see Sarah and we walked around a bit. We went up the pee pee stairs to go to a pharmacy for cough drops. Sarah referred to this stairway by that name jokingly but upon inhaling it proved a very accurate description. We had dinner at an elegantly quaint Viet Namese restaurant and chitty chatted about life, her music and upcoming film. We discussed what a pain the blues can be and how we share the affinity for dark and rainy emotional clouds. Her music from her recent show was so creative and energetic and kinetic. She showed me the racks of virtual gear she used in a software program called Reason. She is so smart. She and her friend Curtis created a series of shelves and a loft for her kitty that rivals something out of Cirque de Soleil. She would toss a toy and that kitty would leap from shelf to shelf to shelf to shelf and then up onto the loft and back down she would come. Then the kitty would drape over her shoulders for a spanking and hug. He is into that sort of thing. She loves her kitty. It was a good evening although I ran out of steam by 10 pm.
  Kayden and I just watched part of Pollyanna before his nap. It is a Disney day on TV, Swiss Family Robinson and all that sort of thing. It reminds me of being a kid my self. This may just be my opportunity to catch a little cat nap myself. Good idea. Enjoy the Saturday.

March 24, 2006
Well it is up and at it. I have things to do today. I hope I get to see Sarah but we haven't made contact. I am still attempting to cough myself inside out. It may make a funny sight if I succeed. I have to get some CD's in the mail. It is so near by I ought to just deliver them. I am almost done editing Saturday night's recording with Manolito Fuentes and I will put a few teasers for fun when I am done. We are thinking of ways to make a quick trip to see the Josh, Christina, Saria family for a few days. Still thinking. We are going to dump this place and move on and that is for sure. Make it soon. Our real estate agent never listed it so we will when our contract expires next month. That was a very strange liaison any way. One of those Outer Limits kind of experiences when the person's presentation of themselves later turns out to have nothing whatsoever to do with reality. Ever had one of those?

March 23, 2006
Happy birthday to Chani. It was a great day for me. We had a nice lunch together at Cafe de Paris and just having the one on one time was good for my heart. Her not so little puppy sure loves her. I got to see her house and it seems like a perfect setup for her. She is kind of being over worked at the place where she is tattooing. I don't understand industries that employ receptionists and clean up people for no wages. She has paid her dues and needs to be doing tattoos. It is funny how life works though, if you will work for nothing you can always be employed, it is just tough to pay rent or eat. She has been sick for weeks now like practically everyone I have talked to lately. She said she misses Chris too. I understand. She also wished she could have seen Josh, Christina and Saria when she was in California. She told me Josh sent her an e-mail birthday card. How cool is that? Cool. I am very proud of her and all she is doing and know she will be fine with her life. Her room mate seems like a really nice fellow too. Baby is having a hard time. Gotta run.

March 22, 2006
 One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
Eleanor Roosevelt. Once again, thanks Dale.

   Had a great evening with Jimmy and Mike last night. I was just watching them work with Mike on the console and Jimmy knocking out bass parts. It was fun and Jimmy really played some beautiful parts. Now Andie is working on new covers and Kayden finally went down for a nap. I got some really heart heavy news last night from Freedom and their are some huge concerns with their baby girl, Sierra. I called my dad last night to call on the prayer warriors because we need another miracle to help her have a chance to arrive. So if you heart is so inclined jump on the wagon. Many voices speak louder than one.
Tomorrow is Chani's birthday and I hope I get to see her. She sure grew up good.
    I am feeling a bit worn as for the first time in what seems like months I got up with Kayden. I had already been lying awake for about an hour and a half. He was not up for a nap all morning either so he may take a big nap right now. It gives us a little reprieve and rest. ON that note I think I will have a little.

 

March 21, 2006
Two still down sick, me and Liz. Kayden is back in the swing although he is cranky today. I can't seem to shake these chills. It is probably a sign that we should move to a warmer climate or take a trip some where warm.
 Thanks to everyone who prayed for Randy Fickel. He wasn't even supposed to make it through his first night in the hospital and Andie and I both talked to him on the phone yesterday. He had come from the hospital that day. It is really a miracle. He was saying that they asked him to call in his family because he wasn't going to live through the night. God is great. Randy said he was just not ready to leave because he has too much to be done.
  I talked to Sarah Maria last night and she wrestles the same demons as me; the kind that make you wonder if you can go on another day, if you can going on repeating the same routines and struggles week after week and year after year. They are nasty discouraging kinds of thoughts that are cruel and crippling in their purpose. Sarah is amazing in her kindness and caring and doing. I wish I had a wand that would stun those thoughts into stillness and replace them with wonder at how beautiful she is.
  Josh sent more amazing pictures of his daughter Saria. He really has a gift for taking pictures. He captures her stunning beauty, her sense of humor, there is a little mischief there too, and playfulness but what we see most of all is a very very loved, beautiful and happy baby girl. We are chaffing at the bit to go see her and Josh and Christina. I hope we can soon. I really have the travel bug, along with a few other bugs.
That is my story. I have to sleep some more before Kayden wakes up from his nap. Be good and God bless.
 

March 20, 2006
  Many every one in the house is sick now but Andie. She was down for a few days a week or two ago. Liz is about to turn inside out. Kayden is pretty much on the mend. I am in between, weak and feeling like someone beat me with a stick in my sleep. Faith has been a sweet heart and has helped us out two days over the weekend. I am going to go lay back down.

Well hello every one..this is andie writing in greg's journal.

Seeing how he is sick and all, I thought that i would entertain you with the latest updates.

Poor greg he is really had quite a time of it. He still thinks I should just dig a hole and bury him in the back yard and be done with him.

I don't think so.

You know he is sick when he can't hold the baby, that just about kills him (no pun intended). I think he feels it's ME beating in his sleep

with a two by four.............not the case.

We are thankful for everyone of you in our lives and to my wonderful mom who constantly sacrifices her work and time to spend helping us

with Kayden, she says it is her pleasure...it probably is,....... but still thanks .

well it is time for me to check on my babies and see how every one is..Liz is still talking to the porcelain god and greg is lying down. baby

Kayden is still getting some much needed rest. Sometimes life throws you for a loop, circles around and throws it again......we seem to be

spinning in circles. Any day now it will slow down to a small motion. The wave of life.

 

I'm sure you will be happy to hear from greg again after my rambling, this will only prove what I have been telling him..that he is a great writer and I should stay in the kitchen. Have a beautiful everyone !!

March 18, 2006      Tonight is the last chance to see Sarah's show!

  Time to head out to Provinces again. The whole day has been spent with Faith, Andie and I taking care of a very sick baby. It is so hard to see him cry and look at you with this question of what is wrong with me. I think he has somehow associated how he feels with me because he doesn't want to have much to do with me. He is only comforted when Andie is holding him. It is hard to head out under the circumstances. We did have a great night last night and were joined for the evening by Becky and Dan and they had a great time hanging out with Andie. I learned that Dan is a huge Taylor Hicks fan. Chani even came in although she was sick and not feeling well. That was a wonderful treat too. Dale, Kathy and Mary Ellen held down the fort for the evening after watching Phil Randoy play down the street. So I am off to do it all again but with the help of Manolito tonight. Yea.

 

March 17, 2006     
   Happy St. Patrick's day to you all! There is an interesting bit of history in the tale of Patrick, you might look it up and you'll know why there are no snakes in Ireland. Tonight it is off to Provinces. It has been a long three months since my vehicle started to fall apart. I have cast off the stones but my back is still spiking with a sharp pain. It must be those voodoo dolls. I have struggled to be a better person than I think I was in my younger days but I fear I have not been forgiven by a few and they are out there working voodoo dolls on me. That would explain all the weird sharp pains. Andie has another explanation. She thinks I am batty as a belfry. She may be right. Anyhow with a lot of lift I will make it through the night and get to see the many friends I see on this occasion once each month. That is what really makes it worthwhile. I have to round up my roadies now. Lucia. Anna Bella. Let's go!

March 16, 2006       
  I have often been baffled by stories of people who have been together decades and then some past incident comes up and the relationship explodes because it has "all been a lie." I have always wondered what kind of scale is used to make such a measurement. All the time, the joy, the pain, the sacrifice, the sharing, the caring is marked null and void in an instant. I don't understand that. I am now discovering a new perspective on relationships however. I realize you can spend decades around or with a person and wake up one day and realize you do not have a clue who they are at all. Their mask is so pristine and polished that you feel you are insane as you learn about their actions; actions that don't remotely align with this person you think is your friend or your relation. I tell you that kind of experience can ruin your kidneys. Do we see what we want? No, I think we see what we are shown and some people are such convincing actors that no matter how hard we search for the truth it is just too deep under a blanket of camouflage to be seen truly.
    Oh but my younger years have found me running against the wind in ways that I never would have foreseen. Life is funny that way. You can spend a lifetime building a fortress to protect you from pain and the back lash of bad choices but time is ageless and has seen these same scenes millions of times. Just when you think you can relax and say I am a good boy now life bites you on the heart and ass in ways you wouldn't have predicted in your wildest dreams. Love is both invincible and indefensible. It stacks your weapons and shields neatly in a pile and opens your heart up to trust and the unexpected sword thrust. Learn to love and learn to feel, learn to hurt and learn to heal. Healing sounds appealing at this time. (Ramblings of an old dude with a fever)
  Well I am waking after another rough night but it is small compared to so many. Our friend Randy Fickel is in ICU and we would appreciate any prayers for his recovery from a very severe asthma attack. That has weighed heavy on our hearts since we arrived home from the hospital last night. I got an e-mail this morning that says they have some hope now, there was not much hope in the first e-mail. It is a great thing to have people who love you and are willing to humble out and ask for some help from Higher Up. We are all in this together whether we realize it or not.
  It is Provinces weekend if I can stay out of the hospital long enough to play. I may have to dress up like the mountain man Jeremiah Johnson in case I get hit with the chills while I am trying to sing. It is time to cast off all this clinging malady and get on with life. It almost feels like I have been under assault. If it is true that stress causes most illness I guess I understand what has bee happening. I feel like a ship frozen in ice when it comes time to make a big change. It gets harder and harder to break loose the longer I have spent at sea. An old sailor gets set in his ways but we have to be able to change. We have to in order to keep on growing.

March 15, 2006
I had another night with high fevers and soaked jammies, chest pains, back pains, kidney pains. What a bunch of pains. The staff seems so bored and put out that they have to talk to regular people, people who don't dress in funny green jumpsuits and don't parade around with a stethoscope around their neck. I remember reading an article once that said there are many Hitler's in the world today. They are receptionists in emergency rooms, nurses in emergency rooms and doctors as well. Ven should I turn on the gas director? Can I do it now. Can I please?
We came prepared today. I brought my laptop, Andie brought me my own blanket, and I grabbed a couple of movies so we didn't really give a crap that they make you wait for hours and hours for 5 minutes of treatment. The doctor's office was insistent on me coming here and the people here have the attitude that the should punish us for being here. They didn't kill me again and we were only there for a mere 8 and a half hours. Stupidity runs rampant in the work place. Home again home again. There are portions of my lower lungs that have collapsed and there are dark spots there they cannot explain but could have been caused by the anesthesiologist. Good news. We are off to see the wizard.

 

March 14, 2006
   I have Sarah's Dreams CD playing in Kayden's room to see if he can go back to sleep since it is only 5 in the morning. He is stirring and rubbing his little stuffed frog. All the baby music was too intense but he seems to like my instrumental guitar playing. He woke up with the screaming terrors and he was not to be comforted. We tucked him in with us where he continued to cry until we put the heating pad under his bum and he then laid still and played with his toys for awhile. He is back in his crib but not wanting to give it up. He tends to get mad at the point of slumber. It isn't very much fun to watch him do battle with the sand man. I am sitting on the floor typing and he is so conscious of sounds I know he hears the lap top keyboard even though it is very very quiet. He squirms if I am quiet and stops to listen if I type. I have to stay on medication for two days while the internal trauma heals. If the medicines wear off too much I get a huge wow that hurts in there. Kayden is being still now. Is he sleeping? He likes the bell tones on the guitar and there is a song that is almost all that tinkling sound. He is just listening to that I guess. He loves guitar. I put a whole lot of love into this CD. I just improvised on the the Hernandez classical guitar I have had for 36 years. It was recorded as a lullaby record to help Sarah Maria sleep. It just worked on Kayden I hear his heavy breath of slumber. I shall lay back down to tend to my aching back and front. Breath in the new day and all the wonder it holds.

March 13, 2006
   Home again on what has been one of the longer days I have spent on the planet. Andie was right there by my side through the whole ordeal suffering worse than me. I am listening to PBS and it is a folk singer special. I realize we all got old while time was passing. The Brothers Four, The Highwaymen, Judy Collins, The Smothers Brothers are a few of the names of these seasoned artists. It reminds me of a much more innocent time in life. The very old audience is singing or humming along with the songs. Kayden was even enjoying the show while he was crawling around on the bed. I am weary from the surgery so I am going to sleep now. Thanks for the prayers.
   Funny thing happened in the hospital. The IV nurse, named Penni, asked my if I go by the name Greg and did I go to Everett Community College back in 1978? You said you play guitar right? We had a nursing class together way back then and she remembered me. I remembered her too. She had three little girls. She has been a nurse for 26 years now. Obviously I didn't become a nurse. I fear way back then I might have been more interested in nurses than in nursing. My but times have changed.
  I type this as I am here in my bed at Providence awaiting surgery to take out this kidney stone. What ever the lesson is I wish I would get it so I wouldn't have to keep repeating this same situation. I finally figured it out when it comes to relationships with people but I am missing something in the healing of my body. Maybe I am just tired of being here. I had a very profound realization in the wee hours of this morning that will have changed me forever. I will work it out slowly but I saw the course of my future and it is not what I had planned. So I just thought I would see if I can hack in with my laptop and post this on line. I don't know whether they are going to go fishing and drag the stone out or blast it with ultrasound. I am beginning to wonder what impact this will have on my Provinces weekend. We will see. But for now ouch!

March 12, 2006    
   I spent the better part of last night wrapped around my gym ball on the floor of the studio. That was probably the longest night of my life so far. I couldn't see going back to the hospital. The stone is going, staying, going, staying and seems to be staying at the moment. I have been looking forward to seeing Sarah's show but I may be in the hospital come show time. I am a little coo coo from all this pain. We are a mess between me falling apart and Andie's poor arms I am at a loss as to what to do next.  I will try inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. 

  To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it. Confucius
The quote by Confucius is like a blanket in which you could wrap yourself and spend a long hours contemplating. It is that old idea of perspective being the biggest influence on the quality of life. How do you see it? Each precious moment counts for everything. I remember a line from Joe versus the Volcano when Meg Ryan says that most people are really asleep but for those who are not asleep every moment is truly and completely amazing. There is the complexity of relationships, the letting go and moving on with life, the understanding that there are so many things that are beyond understanding, these are all a part of the wonder of it all. A sleeping baby, the wearing out of the body or parts of it, the deep dimension of pain all say pay attention. This is life, this is it. This is a strange time for us around here and my soul sense says pray and keep on praying. Sometimes, in some situations, a person can go through too much and there is so much baggage left over that it would take an entire train line to move it around. We look out on the dawn only to realize that we don't recognize the place we are standing. Someone who seemed kin is someone we do not know at all. Sadly the armor is pulled out and dusted, polished and put into place and the construction of the great wall begins. But perhaps it is work that is unnecessary after all; to be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.

March 11, 2006
Knees up, feet covered, just sitting here watching the stones go by, watching the stones go by. My good friend Mike Daily drove me to the emergency room yesterday. What a guy. Both of the kidney doctors who have helped me were unavailable so they sent me to Emergency Room. Andie and Kayden came down and Faith came to help and then get Kayden home. At the hospital it was service much faster than usual. We were only there a total of 7 hours and I only had to wait 5 hours to get my first pain medication. I was really calm until they suggested trying some high powered aspirin first and then waiting to see how that would work for stopping the pain. I expressed my strong opinion to the contrary and suggested they give my something that would knock me on my bottom. I gave them their little pee in cup sample. It was bright red and I paced the emergency room carrying that cup for 4 hours. I said "Shouldn't we send this to the lab?" and asked the nurse how long is this sample good? She said it will last a couple of hours. I said "It has been 3 and one half hours since I peed in this cup". I won't go into the fact that even though we are told our health care is tops in the world we are 37th on a list of quality care. They have one person caring for all the emergency room patients and 5 collecting information on how to get paid, verifying insurance and deciding if they want to see you at all. I think it is appalling. I was too tired and in too much pain or I fear I would have raised hell up through the hospital floor. Actually, I believe we were in hell. Anyhow, that was all small potatoes in a big stew. Andie insisted on being there by my side and Kayden did too so I had those lovely faces to look upon. So I stayed focused on my beautiful bride and my boy. Andie is so compassionate I feel bad for feeling bad since she seems to suffer worse than me by just having to watch me in pain. So after all that I have a 4 mm stone stuck between my bladder and the exit sign. How grand. Missy is standing guard to see if a stone swims by. I am trying to find something else to think about because you know the old saying:
A watched stone does not pass. What a pain.

March 10, 2006
I have been adding some tunes for the benefit of new people and old friends. The thought occurred to me as I am trying to pass a second series of kidney stones that I need to get organized. I have recorded so much music, some on cassette, mini disk, CD, and DAT. There are some real treasures that need to be archived. It is going to be a fun project. Also as I introduce myself and figure out what I am about as an artist, I thought I could copy the master song list that Kathy and Dale started. Of course I would have to delete tons of songs I have forgotten. I think the capacity of the brain to retain information diminishes with time. I might have read that some where, I can't remember. Ouch. I can share that our unawareness (most of the time) of all the inner parts of our bodies is a good thing. If I had some pain paints now I could definitely paint the whole kidney system from inside to out. Did I say ouch. I think I meant to say @#$^#^%^&(&__^&^&^%$?>!!!!!! this hurts. I have to go now, need to find a tissue. New song idea, Sitting on the pity potty, pity potty me. Oh. Ouch. Eeh. Ahh. Wow. It's not much fun to pee. Gotta go.

March 8, 2006    Judge a tree by its fruit, ditto for people. Karen Salmansohn
I read that quote from Be Happy Damn It. It is a guide to more joy in living and suggests that we seek knowledge from knowledgeable people. Follow our hearts and dreams. Sarah informed me today that one of the side effects of cortisone is anger. Perfect. Right now with all the crap going on I really need something to stimulate anger. Yea buddy. I am looking forward to seeing the dance performance for which Sarah composed some new music. I am sure it will be grand. Chani is on a 7 day work week at the moment so it may be awhile before we can see her new home. It is so good to see her so happy. I am getting calls on new venues, Scottie Drexler called with a few leads today. Warren, Chani's former soccer coach penciled me in for a cancer benefit in June in Everett. Rob Peebler gave me a lead on a new place in Everett also. It is a Casino but with no slots and no smoking. I am so glad there is no smoking in the regular bars. Even when I used to smoke I would go outside for a break. When singing you suck up a ton of smoke so it is a welcome relief to have it gone. That is it. I am babbling because I am sleepless in the woods once again. One moment at a time. Presence.

Journal 4-2006 Andie, Kayden and I stopped by to see Chani's new work space and it is awesome. She said Lisa Marie is getting her a massage table so people can lay down while she is tattooing making the experience easier on both of them. She is really stoked and the people are really nice. It is funny because the owner's wife is the sister of our good friend Becky. We get together with her and her husband Dan. They also have a baby Kayden's age so we watch them play while we visit. We have only been over there once but it was great fun and we are planning on a visit this weekend I believe, depending on how I feel. So Chani was just having a short break when we stopped by the shop so we got lucky and got to see her. I am so proud of her and it is so nice to see her happy and doing what she loves.


March 7, 2006
  It has been an interesting e-mail week with mail from Terri out in Ohio and they are all getting by okay. A great surprise was Derrick Harrison Chevalier. He really wrote Heaven in Your Eyes for Andie. I just tagged the end of the tune and I am not sure if I am playing the original chords. He sent some MP3's and it was wonderful to hear that full rich voice in song again. Derrick used to sing at a lot of the Banana Brothers shows and always got huge ovations from the audience. I still play several of his songs as part of my live shows. Casey Garland is out there doing shows and I hope to see some of them pretty soon. I have not been able to shake this flu, cold, plague or whatever in the heck it is. It and the back and kidney trouble have given me a case and one half of the blues. I am so down, down, down, down do be do down down. In Derrick's words "I've been down so long it's almost second nature." C'est la vie. It is all mountains and valleys. One of us is up and one of us is down and so goes the roller coaster of life.
Sarah has composed the music for a show of dance and sound that will be taking place at several locations in Seattle. Check out her link because I can't find the flyer right now. I guess I have to call her because I see the events are not listed on her website. Check back and look under special events. I will try and find the details.

March 5, 2006
 It got busy at our house yesterday. Faith helped out with Kayden all day and then headed home. Jason and Blu came over and so did Sarah Maria and Curtis. Curtis is studying fine art in Seattle and he brought several of his drawings to show. They were great. It was a very pleasant evening. Andie and Blu pooled crock pots and we got the goods. Andie made Strawberries in a Cloud, yummy and we all enjoyed some good red wine. We never got around to playing Cranium as we were too busy chitty chatting. My back is feeling a little better today. I probably should have laid down sooner than I did last night but I feel pretty good today. Kayden got us up at 6 and he is pretty rowdy this morning. He isn't fussy, just loud. Chani stopped over last night too picking up some of her things and still really excited about her new job and her new home. I am so happy for her.
   I think we were both wishing we could sleep in today. Fat chance but a new day awaits. Hey we did get a little snooze time. Andie took Kayden to the couch and they both had a nap and a snoozed too. It is good to rest the back and I am hoping I will quickly get better.

March 4, 2006
  It is early Saturday morning and Andie is feeding Kayden. I have to stay on my back for at least a day after getting the cortisone injection. I must say that it feels like it might be helping already. Of course it could be the medication because I did wake up in the middle of the night saying ouch.
  So I talked to Freedom yesterday and he sounded really good. He said he is working too much and wish we had time to spend together playing music and going on hikes and talking. He is not tired of the sunshine and says it is gorgeous around Sedona. Next week he and Natalie find out if they are having a boy or a girl. He said he is not sure he wants to know but is excited about being a papa.
  Chani landed a job and found a place in a matter of a few days of being back. She was very excited when she called last night. She has plenty of space in the house and it has a huge fenced in back yard that her puppy loves. Chani found one very sweet dog and I thinking she was wise to ignore my suggestion to not get a puppy right now and go with her own instinct. She loves the heck out of that not so little critter. I have been remiss on taking any photos at all for awhile. Physical distractions to my mental process have me forgetting a lot of things right now.
  Andie's hands and arms seem to be getting worse and we have got to make a new course of action and find a new way for her to stay home and be mama to Kayden. After I patch up this aging body I will continue my focus on finding new paths for making a living as we continue to simplify our life style. Out with the old and in with the new.

March 3, 2006
 Kayden is playing with one his amazing toys. It is a table top with several pull and push knobs, a little piano keyboard and a guirjo It speaks English and Spanish and he loves it. It is fun to watch his motor skills improve. He is now feeding himself Cheerios. It is still a chore but he manages. Andie is just a glow when she is dotting over him. He is a bit of a prince and doesn't seem interested in holding his own bottle or cup. He is content to be fed. That is okay because from here on out it is his slow preparation for heading out on his own. I am glad that takes as long as it does because we are enjoying every minute. It also brings back many happy thoughts of when all the other family members were little too. It is food for happy thoughts.

March 2, 2006
  I am nervous today thinking about hospitals and doctors and pain. It turns out that Andie cuts the hair of the doctor who is doing the procedure on me. He is probably the nicest person I have ever met. I hope his skills are on par with his persona. I have talked to more people who are sick right now with cold and flu like symptoms that don't seem to want to go away. What is that about anyway? Walking through Safeway I feel like I am in a scene from Stephen King's The Stand. I do have a flair for melodrama in my imagination. I am at a loss this morning. I pass, fingers poised on the keyboard, and no thoughts are forthcoming. Maybe a cup of Starbucks will help. Remember:

It doesn't matter how fast you get there if you are heading in the wrong direction. Karen Salmansohn

March 1, 2006
  They are going to inject my back with some medicine on Friday. I hope I remember to ask for pain medicine. Dr. says it may hurt more at first. More? I do not like the sound of more. On the up side of things I talked to Sarah Maria and she is going to come over this weekend and introduce us to a young man she is seeing, some one who is really nice. Who cares about shots when you hear news like that. Sarah is one of my favorite human beings and the idea of her being with someone nice, who treats her like she deserves to be treated is thrilling. It is what every papa wants to hear for his daughters. Yea!
  The month of St. Patty's has begun and we are all in this together. Oh yes, and no one gets out alive. The new month brings the promise of spring and renewal. I actually watched a few minutes of Billy Graham tonight and he said some interesting things about problems. He said "Your problem is not your job, or your husband or your kids. Your problem is that you are cut off from God." He said something interesting after that. He quoted what he referred to as the saddest scripture. God granted their prayers and but gave them a leanness towards God. He said God will give you that job, or car or relationship you are praying for but it is not what you need. You need to know Him. Pretty profound. Then Kayden wanted to watch Channel 9 so we changed it. I guess whatever the answer is we will find out and we will also have to answer for our time here to whoever and whatever. The point is to make it count and try to make a difference, add a little better to the batter.

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