Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal  February  2005


February Happy Birthdays
Josh & Christina

March 1, 2005
A new month begins. I got an e-mail from Sarah encouraging me to get some tracks to her to show what we can do at Silent T Studios. She has such ambition and drive. It really does inspire me. I have been good about working in the studio nearly every day. I used to do that all the time, but for some reason ( and I am not sure when it started) I wasn't doing much in the studio at all. It was good working with Bill Spies on his very positive music. There was a lot going on with Freedom and Rob Peebler was doing projects here until he got his studio set up. Music is so simple and so complex at the same time. I am really thinking about these songs we are recording and asking what is the best way to share this music. What is the best way to put it out to the world. Make it real, that is the main thing. Make in fun. Make it good. It is happening and yet it is surprising how long it takes to finish. It could go forever.
 Here is an update on our brother Manolito Fuentes. He is doing well and should be home from the hospital this week. I am anxious for him to heal up and get back to the studio. Scott MacGougan and I were talking about what a great player he is.
   Welcome to March. May it be safe and fulfilling.

February 28, 2005
Leap into March tomorrow. I am ready. Let spring spring. Let the blossoms bloom and the leaves come out in that rebirth of this season. June is coming fast and with it the arrival of our grand baby, Kayden. I can hardly wait. That event is one of the reason's I went to see Tim Ewing to stop smoking. I did the patch and all kinds of other ways but I was determined and still limited in my ability to overcome my subconscious desire to smoke. I had a couple of smokes on the way to my first visit with Tim on Jan 14. That was the last time I did. When you look at the cost of the habit it is extravagantly expensive. Tim recommends three visits at $50.00 per visit. That is quite a bit lower than the current rate of nearly $500 many therapists charge. I recommend you give Tim a try for weight lose, quitting smoking, relaxation and improved sleeping.
That's it for this day. Hope it is good.

February 27, 2005
  Some mornings I think I woke up in California it is so sunny outside. The weather is a wonder day after day. It is another quiet morning, well except for those external sounds we have learned to ignore. I saw something written in marker pen on the back of an old blue Volkswagen van that made me smile. It said that happily every after can only happen one moment at a time. Above that was a bumper sticker that read Dopeless Hope Fiend On Board. What a great philosophy. Andie teased me this morning saying that I am always stressed about something. If I feel depressed she says, "It doesn't take much, does it?" Yin and Yang represent the balance that we have, but I have a feeling I am getting the much better end of the deal. Sarah and I wrestle the same dark spirits that seek to rob us of happiness. I am ready for more happy. I know it is in here.
   I had a great time this weekend with Scott MacGougan. His wife Deb went shopping with Andie and Liz while Scott and I played in the studio for 8 straight hours. Making music with my old friend puts a smile on my face every time. I am trying to take pictures each time someone comes to the studio but I am no Andie. Any photo you see and say "that kind of sucks" would be one I shot. Any way this is a lovely day and I think I had better get to it. I will put a blurb in the newsletter about the recordings from this weekend maybe I will pop a sample MP3 in there pretty soon.
  I got some great pictures of Chani dressed as a Geisha. She sent us a nice note and the photos just this week. She seems to be doing great in that cold climate. Josh was supposed to spend the night Friday but we never heard though I am sure he is okay, just absent minded like his dad.
Missed Sarah's phone call and face this week. I hope we can visit next week. Freedom will be back in town in March and I hope to make it to that show. It conflicts with my Bellingham schedule but I have missed too many shows so I really want to go.
   I am also looking forward to getting together with Christopher Nichols and talking about having him join in the efforts to make music. He is another musician who is also a great guy. I am really blessed to know so many players who are also fine human beings. I cannot say that enough.

February 25, 2005

It is a good day today. The MacGougan's are coming over for the evening and tomorrow day. Scott and I will be going to town in the studio. Josh and Christina are supposed to come into town again today. It should prove to be a fun weekend. I was busy in the studio last night until 11 o'clock. Mike and Jimmy came over to work on Find Love. After Mike left Jimmy and got silly playing along with the record in a bluesy way. I ended up spending a couple of hours playing piano and djimbe after Jimmy left. When I looked at the clock I couldn't believe that two hours had gone by but that is how it is when you are doing what you love. That reminds me of a saying by Irving Berlin: Life is ten percent what you make it, and ninety percent how you take it. Don Quijano just told me that he thought I look so happy when I am playing and singing. That is simply because I am. It is still the one thing that makes sense no matter what else is going on in our lives. I enjoyed the time with Jimmy last night. We sat and played acoustic guitars and did some old unrecorded Murat like Home and Here to Stay. It was a kick. That is the one thing I do too little of, just sitting and playing music unplugged. It was very good. I loved the time I spent on the beach with Randy and Terri watching the sun set, and playing my guitar and singing to the wind and the waves. It is great to see my sons and daughter using their musical talents and Chani with her art. Liz is developing as an artist herself. The fascinating thing about this family is the diversity of the talents and approach to expressing them. I talked to Freedom last night about the beauty of his poetry and the power of his lyrics. Let's take this family on the road. We should just get a big bus and some gear and hit the road. Our home bases are just too wide spread though so I guess we will just get together when we can and make our own means of artistic expression meantime.

February 24, 2005

I got to spend some time with Don Quijano yesterday while he was working on the poster for his upcoming shows at the Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn. It has been fascinating to watch as he booked the gig, put together a large band of musicians, shot photos and is now in the process of promoting the shows. I will put the poster up on the website when Don e-mails me a copy. It is nice to make progress. I think I look for comfort zones and tend to want to stay in them. Some people would call them ruts. I think I have a low level of contentment and a tendency to withdraw from the world. I am very happy when I am out there playing and singing for people. That is the irony of my behavior. I think new things are on the horizon: new opportunities and new adventures. It is time for us to make a move and find a new place to live and that is another thing that is difficult for me: making changes. I don't know why that is. It must come with age or something. Perhaps undertaking this parasite elimination program and exercise will help. I think it is true that the less you do, the less you feel like doing. It is also true that the more you do, the more you feel like doing. I see that in Don. He is busy with school, work, music, family, church and he has energy for it all. There is a saying that a journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single step. I think it begins with getting up off your butt so you can take that first step. Has anybody seen the remote?
Dale's quote is right on the money: All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it, walk. Ayn Rand


February 23, 2005

Don't chose to be right, choose to be happy. That is a saying by some unknown author. I was looking for a little inspiration this morning to shake some of the weight of the daily news. It may just be too early in the morning to absorb that thought. I did get a letter from Terri in Ohio. It was on Pueblo Bonito stationary from Cabo San Lucas. It gave me a bit of the blues thinking we won't be going to have fun with our friends this year. Now we are starting to get phone calls from wayward want to be grand parents. That adds to the confusion of the day to day. People who don't seem to really care about anyone but themselves and who always arrive with a mouthful of "gimme" are better kept at a distance. My goodness, I had better have a cup of coffee and settle down a bit. Listening to the news just gets me going sometimes and then I am off on 10 different tangents, all of which are not good for the blood pressure. I can't seem to quit this morning though. Check out this web site I was just disheartened when I heard the news that viox is going back on the market after tens of thousands of people have died from the use of it. Sometimes I want to hide my head in the sand over the level of corruption in our government. But we all keep on and we will as longs as we can and mean time let's make music and stay away from pharmacies.

February 22,2005
I love the springtime. I was looking at the buds on the lilac and wisteria yesterday and thinking of the fragrance those flowers will bring. Springtime's hope is off set by the amount of natural disasters occurring around the world. Staggering numbers of people losing their homes, families and lives. I am thankful for each sunny day and for each moment of peace in our part of the world. The news is tough to take and still be able to keep your emotions available and not numbed by the sensory overload of so much suffering. Children teach us the joy of the moment. Even in war torn lands they can be seen playing in the rubble during lulls in the fighting. I will continue to leave these links to relief organizations for anyone interested in making donations to help the many many people less fortunate than we are. Pay attention to the good times because they come and go. The memory of brighter days come in handy when we find ourselves in those low lying valleys. In the words of Ray Charles, Heaven helps us help us all.

February 21, 2005

This is one of those mornings when I am staring at the laptop screen and it seems to be saying, "What are you looking at?" I guess I could be thankful I am not challenged by any thoughts in particular. In fact I feel like I am in a stump like state this morning. That often happens on weekends when I play double shows. I will ease on into this new week and eventually a thought or two might come around. While I am waiting I will just reflect on the words of Susan Sarandon, children reinvent your world for you. I like inventions. I heard another saying, great songs aren't written they are rewritten. There might be a parallel there, I am not sure. I will have to think about it.

February 19, 2005
Another beautiful sunny day in the Pacific Northwest. I have spent most of the day outside doing clean up and making runs to the dump. Fun stuff, huh? I have to find out how the show went last night for Josh and Freedom and the rest of the tribe. Our show was very much fun at Provinces. We looked like a bunch of guitar musketeers last night squeezed into the corner at Provinces. It was a pretty full house with lots of new faces. Kenny got up at the end of the evening and played House of the Rising Sun. Kelly called from Arizona and said she misses us. It was a steady flow of music almost the entire night with only a few very brief pauses. Don and Oman Quijano did a few their original songs late in the evening. Chris Nichols and Ron Llinas traded leads all night long and John Matthews held down the groove on Latin Percussion. Our friend John shot some pictures with my little Kodak. And Jimmy and I cranked out as much rhythm as we could muster. I am editing a mini-disc recording of the evening right now. Thank you to everyone who turned out for the shows, the musicians and all of our friends, old and new.
   Andie and Liz are in nesting mode and have painted Liz's room yet again. It keeps them out of trouble I guess. I best get a few hours in the studio this evening. What a lovely day!

February 19, 2005
Morning comes and though not a lot of sleep has passed I am awake and listening to the sound of the washing machine, now there is a modern wonder of words: washing machine. It seems like by now we would have come up with something more clever, hum, I can't seem to think of any thing, hygiene facilitator, stink diminisher, fabric thrasher, hang over booster. Okay, washing machine will do just fine. I got a chance to hug the boys yesterday. My sons Freedom and Josh are in town rehearsing for their show in Portland tonight. I had just enough time to hug everyone and listen to a song before I headed out for my two gigs. Jim flew in from New York. It was good to see everyone and hear how good they are sounding.
  It was pretty packed at Provinces last night. Jim Nichols, lead guitarist for the Penguins, came in and stayed for the whole evening. What a kick that was. He has a really unique approach to the tunes and we found ourselves laughing a lot with the joy of his playing. It was a fellow named Peter's birthday and he said something that really made me think. He said "I've watched you play with all these people, I've seen you play with a female vocalist, congas, with a six piece band, lots of different musicians and you always have a so much fun. You are so very lucky to be able to play music. You can do that for the rest of your life." Peter was right and it really is true. I am very fortunate indeed and very blessed to have the gift of music. It is such an intimate form of artistic communication. One of the greatest things about music is the endless array of fine musicians with whom I get to interact and play music. I have such a large catalogue of new and old songs that the world has not yet heard, but that I have played for years, a fresh perspective is nice sometimes. Anyway, it was fantastic last night and although percussion would have been nice, Chris mentioned that it was cool that he, Jimmy and I all have strong meter. We were grooving man. Chris is coming back again tonight and Ron Llinas is coming in and that is all the line up that has been confirmed. Hope to see you there, in spirit if not for real. Dale I hope you are feeling better soon.

February 18, 2005
   The weekend again and I am ready. I have just been feeling tired all the time. I dreamed I was swimming in the pool in Lynnwood again like I used to do when I worked at the Dive Shop. Just for the sake of balance I also dreamed I started smoking. When I woke up my lungs were hurting. By using Lobelia to help clear my lungs the transition to nonsmoking has been relatively cough free and painless. Tim Ewing helped me out on this adventure and I have lost his phone number but I would give him a recommendation and say that hypnosis seems to be a viable approach to stopping smoking. I do feel the need to go in for a "tune up" but my schedule and the loss of the phone number has made that a challenge. Say, maybe I should check the phone book. I got the number and will post it, if it is okay with Tim.
   I am looking forward to the weekend and hoping I can kick in some motivation to get some chores done. It is time to mow the lawn and clean the yard from the winter. I love that it gets light so much earlier in the day now. I love springtime. I love playing music outside in the summers. I think that is one of things I enjoyed the most on our vacations to Mexico and Florida : playing my guitar and singing in the sunshine. I will miss that this year. I will miss it very much.
Don't be run so much by what you lack as by what you have already achieved.
Marcus Aurelius

February 17,2005
It is early morning after a late night in the studio. Jimmy and Mike came over and we worked on Naturally and transferred some files. It is nice to be able to hot swap hard drives and work between our two studios. Josh took off for Rob's to rehearse for the show opening for Flow Motion in Portland Saturday night. It seemed rather laid back around the house last night. Andie and Liz watching TV, Andie scanning old photos and me in the studio. Mike and I talked a bit about Cabo San Lucas. He was concerned there wouldn't be anything to do. There is plenty to do and I wish we were going to be going. I think of those beaches nearly every single day. I had wanted to go to Europe but that doesn't appeal to me as much as it did. I just the craving for walking on the beach and forgetting about everything else for a while. We are talking more and more about forming a solid band. That would really be a first and could be a fun thing. I am ready in many ways. It could be a kick in the pants to play more. I am looking forward to this weekend at Provinces and the chance to play music with and see new and familiar faces. It seems like this week has zipped by pretty fast. There has been lots of music this week and that is a good thing. Here is a thought for you.
The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going. Ralph Waldo Emerson

February 16, 2005
I was reading a story this morning in which a Viet Nam veteran was talking about the sense of responsibility you learn in a combat situation. You learn to be responsible for yourself and for your buddies because you cannot survive on your own. I was thinking about music and that thought of responsibility came to mind. I learned that lesson too in some ways at least. It doesn't matter how good you are at something, if people cannot rely on you, if you are not responsible then chances are you will torch bridges as you go through life. Being flaky is probably the biggest sabotage that artists do to themselves. Knowing who you can depend on in your life brings a great sense of comfort and being someone people can depend on may bring even more. I am thankful for the people in my life who are there for me, and I want to be someone people can depend on as well. It is little things like doing what you say your are going to do, being where you say you are going to be and letting people know if you are changing plans. It creates more calm and serenity in our lives and opens the door on more opportunities as well. That is my take on it anyway.

February 15, 2005
Yesterday I received a birthday card from Terri and Randy from Ohio. I was just thinking about them. Terri is so funny, "Sorry we let your birthday slip by but you are still old aren't you?" Yes, that is certainly true. We miss them. We also talked to the MacGougan's and there is a possibility that Scott and Deb might make it up to see us this weekend. I need some pictures to put Scott in the band photos for the up and coming CD. He really rocked out on You Wear A Mask.
 We took a night off from the studio last night to celebrate Valentine's day. We had Thai Wraps that Andie made and later desert crepes with chocolate and bananas and strawberries. They were delicious. It was a nice quiet evening with candles and wine. Josh spent a good deal of the evening in the studio recording loops of his awesome guitar playing. I talked with Christina for a while about pyramids, UFO's and movies. We were tired out pretty early because the Washington Dinner Train took its toll on us. We had too much fun and it took about two days to recover. All better now, well, almost. I leave you with this Chinese Proverb: Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.

February 14, 2005  Happy Valentine's Day
Another Valentine's day has arrived. A day to celebrate your love. I think the history of this day is rather dark but the day has become a day for romance and a time to express love, caring and passion. I feel extra lucky on this day to have Andie. Andie didn't feel well yesterday and still she managed to cook a big breakfast and then a big dinner for Christina and Josh to celebrate their joint birthdays. It was a restful day for the most part. Andie, Faith and Liz watched movies while I worked in the studio with Casey and Alex. Natalie delivered six new kitties. It was one of those days where everything lined up and fell into place. Josh and Christina didn't arrive until I was finishing up in the studio. I had almost postponed the get together with Casey but decided to go ahead and it worked out perfectly.
  Sarah called last night and we talked for a while. It was a nice visit and maybe in the future we can encourage each other to be proactive in our endeavors towards artistic success. She is such a special one.
   The mixes and recordings of the new CD are coming along more quickly as the days pass. I am doing my lead vocals now and I don't think it will be much longer before the boys and I have a new release. Manolito should make another trip over from Whidbey Island and he will be getting an operation next week and will be down and out for some time. I was listening to some ruff mixes this morning and he is truly an superb instrumentalist and master of the flute. I am lucky to have him participating in the making of this music. That's it for now. I love my wife.

February 13, 2005
Sunday morning and Natalie is having her kitties in Liz's room. We are dragging around a bit from a late night of having fun. We visited Blu and Jason after the dinner train. Gary and Danny were there too. That was probably the best part of the evening. The train was wild and funny. It seemed like we were on a ship in rough seas. It is an adventure to play guitar and sing under those conditions. Then of course you have to play dodge the waiter and waitress as they go about serving the wine club members. Columbia Winery makes some great wines and I far prefer them over that place across the street. That was my last train trip on the dinner train. I promised myself that before and after we went. We did meet some great people and it is exhilarating to see the smiles on people's faces as they sing along to some ancient songs. I realize I am somewhat of a dinosaur now but I am still on exhibit from time to time. We had a drink and some appetizers before the train ride at the Road House in Renton. I think their dinner rolls are the best I have ever tasted in my life. I asked for a Bloody Mary in a tall glass and the waiter gave me a funny look and said sure. I had no idea what their style of service was but the drinks arrived in glasses that were almost a foot tall and each contained a fresh jalapeno That little side trip, thanks to Andie, was so enjoyable. The atmosphere is kind of funky, you eat peanuts and through the shells on the floor. Andie and I were having a hard time at first but it got easier with each handful. It is a very casual place and we were dressed for dining but nobody seemed to care. This place is about eating good food and lots of it. We are going to go back for the full meal deal soon. In fact I said, let's just skip the train and Andie said you can't Jason and Blu are only going because you are playing. We went, it was fun and now I am going to do a little shopping and spend some time working in the studio. Josh should be coming in from Oregon today along with Christina. He called and said he talked via e-mail to his other dad, Dexter, and said it was great to be in touch. He said he thinks about his family and has dreams he is visiting and it is all good and wakes up sad it was just a dream. Making contact is tough for all of us sometimes. I am thankful we have the choice to start each day fresh with forgiveness and acceptance in our hearts. It makes for a seemingly endless stream of new beginnings. So let's begin.

February 12, 2005
Tonight is the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train. It should be fun and we are actually planning on leaving early. We have a reputation now as the first time we went we held up the train. We had made a mistake on the departure time. We are ready today. I didn't play last night and like the other few times that I haven't been gigging, it was a treat to stay home and hang out with the family. We watched Shark Tales and that was fun. Not remotely as good as Finding Nemo in my opinion but still good. I had the studio fired up to do some recording but I never made it in the door. I ended up putting a few excerpts of songs on Josh's page: the solo to Bloom and the solo to Leaving Home. I would like to put up more when he is ready. He is writing some beautiful music. Wouldn't it be fine if we could collaborate on something as a family of artists. Maybe we could write some music with Sarah for one of her films. There are so many possibilities, so many members of this family are so richly blessed with talent it brings my heart a lot of joy. Now I am going to rehearse some songs that people riding on a train and drinking lots of wine will enjoy singing along with me.

February 11, 2005
Met with Mike's client Casey and did a charity consultation last night. I specialize in providing free services to people who pay other people for their services. It keeps me in this high style of living to which I have become accustomed. Casey is a talented and enthusiastic young musician that Manolito referred to me to record a CD. I was discouraged with the consistently non profit nature of my studio and referred Casey to Mike. It would have been my first lucrative endeavor. I think I have an Eddie Murphy sense of business when it comes to what I take on and what I turn away. After our visit with Casey, Mike stayed on and helped me record vocals on Mask and Naturally. I was pretty tired by the last takes so tonight I will take the time to give it a listen.
 Today both Christina and Josh have a birthday so happy birthday to them. I am not sure when they are coming back up. I would think soon since Josh has a concert on the 18th or 19th of February opening for Flow Motion in Portland. Hope to see them soon. I put up a few pictures that I shot of Josh when he was in the studio. There is a link on his page to the photos. Have a good weekend.

February 10, 2005
Manolito Fuentes came to the studio last night and breathed some new life into some of the songs we have recorded. He had great stories of Mexico and his vacation down there. We talked about the simplicity of life in the third world. No computers, no crazy pace, just the beach and the bars and the music. Swim, eat, drink, play music. It sounded great to me. He talked about the sound system in the village where he was staying blasting music out into the night. At midnight every thing cranked up even more and the party and the music went till 5 in the morning.
He also said he met some accomplished musicians there and is now some what of a celebrity and is known in all the local establishments. We also talked about recording a duet album of the kind of music we played at Jamie and Becky's Christmas party. Next get together we are going to break out the charts of some of the jazz tunes.
  The picture of Andie on the beach and the pictures I have on my cell phone remind me every day of Mexico and how much fun we had their with Jim and Penni who introduced us to Cabo San Lucas and to Terri and Randy who we have spent time with in Ohio, Florida and Mexico. I was listening to the BBC and they were talking about in England and Europe workers get 6 weeks of vacation a year and that in France where the work week in 35 hours productivity is higher than any where else in Europe and the USA. But the point of this wandering is that down time is good for you and I love the pace in Mexico and I hope Andie and I can make a trip down there to where Manolito goes and play some music on the beach. I think I need a vacation because it is on my mind every day. I need a holiday.

February 9, 2005
   Sometimes I wish I was more like the fathers I used to see on TV when I was growing up. I wish I could find the right words to convey support and love to the children of my youth. They are mostly grown now. I had such a focus as a young boy and such a clear picture of what kind of father I would be. I think the toughest part in reality is watching them experience the hard knocks that life can give you. It is natural to want to protect them from everything that hurts but that is not the way it goes. So sometimes you have to watch while they suffer through choices they make, make their mistakes and hopefully learn and grow from them. There is no greater fulfillment than seeing joy on the face of your child ( no matter how old they are) and no greater sense of helplessness than seeing the absence of joy on their face or in their eyes. You just keep believing in them, keep loving them and letting them know and keep hoping peace will set up house in their hearts and come to stay.
  I had a lovely visit with Sarah yesterday. She made a delicious Greek dish and we knelt on Japanese cushions and drank tea and talked. She showed me two more of her short films and they were very good: unique, innovative, abstract and humorous. She has such an array of talents it must be hard for her to decide what to do first each day. She has a profound intellect and I am humbled having a conversation with her. She is very patient though. I hope her wildest dreams come true and her kind heart is abundantly rewarded!

February 8, 2005
It turns out Chuck is fine. Thanks to Mish for calling me back and letting me know. She is so thoughtful. It is nice when someone shares their worries with you and then lets you know when the time for worry is done. Worry, is that ever a wasted emotion but one that loves to come into play. How often have you been so weary from worry that you can't get anything done? And what has worry ever accomplished? Caution is a good thing. Evaluation is a good thing. Consideration is a good thing. But worry is the friction of life. Don't worry, be happy.
 It was nice to see some long time friends Sheryl and Greg signed the guest book. I remember when they were first dating over 19 years ago and they are still going strong after all these many years. That is wonderful I think. I just now got an e-mail from Sheryl. Well, I am experimenting with not drinking coffee for a few days and I am noticing that I get a far away look in my eyes and the gears in my brain start to squeak and slowly grind to a halt. I sit with my fingers on the keyboard, my mind lost in space, or more accurately, in suspended animation. Fantasies of a pillow and a blanket and a nap are playing out in my head. I better have a latte. Be good and God bless. Greg

February 7, 2005
   I know this feeling of feeling like you can't go on for another day and that there seems to be no end in sight to the difficulties in life. I don't know where those voices come from but I have heard them speaking and they lie. It is never as difficult as it seems in our own minds. Those messages come through sometimes louder than any other thought and they are like dark clouds that blot out the sun and give day the appearance of night. It is no accident that we are here. We are all here for a purpose and that purpose changes. Sometimes it is as simple as survival. Sometimes it is a noble cause to go from breathe to breathe but it is worth it. We are interwoven spirits though we are mostly unconscious of that fact. We cannot take an action that does not affect every other person on the planet. I think that is the biggest reason suicide should not be an option because it is an act of violence against those who love us. The scars of that karma are eternal I believe. The state of mind that leads to such depths of despair as to cause us to consider harming ourselves is caused first and foremost from thinking too much about ourselves and dwelling on our pain. Life is laced heavily with pain but there is also joy. There is peace in the quiet. Be still and be comforted. Know that there is nobility in just carrying on, if not for yourself, for those who love you. If we could see ourselves through the eyes of those who love us, we would never think of abandoning the stage on which we find ourselves. Never. I think we miss the point of being here sometimes because we need to wake up. Wake up and live. Be in the moment and know the wonder of it all. We need to take actions towards dreams and acknowledge the good we have accomplished in our lives. Take baby steps forward always forward. It might at times seem silly since no one makes it out of this world alive. The game is staying here as long as we can and getting as many points as is possible. Whatever points mean to each of us. You can do it. I believe.
   I heard from Mish last night that her friend Chuck might be in trouble. I hope he is okay although she was extremely concerned. Prayers for Chuck where ever you are. Life is hard. I hear that a lot and it is true. It is part of the balance that we should have the good and the bad. No one would pick up the phone and call a bad time service and say, "Do you deliver? I want a double extra large bunch of trouble with a side o hardship and could you please through in some depression?" It just happens and we cope as best we can. It is sometimes necessary for some people to see when things are good they spend so much time thinking about what could go wrong they miss the picture when things are right. I had a nice visit with Casey Garland yesterday and we got caught up on our lives and our good and bad times. We discussed the CD project and how to move forward. Mike Daily had just called to ask me about Casey and Karen. We know the comparison to rough water and the passing of some of the days of our lives. Today I am hopeful for a safe journey and more time with my lady and with my music. Peace. Greg

February 6, 2005
Everyone is still sleeping and I am wide awake. We had a wonderful time last night at Provinces. I got to sing and play some percussion with Oman, Don and Kelly. But for the most part I was just a member of the audience enjoying the great talent of these musicians. Later in the evening they sang some of their original songs and some songs in Tagala. It was just a really enjoyable evening. Don sang Message in a Bottle and John Mayer's Your Body Is A Wonderland. It was cool. Dave Noran got up and sang Hotel California. It is funny how we can all sing along with the recordings but when you grab a mic the words go into hiding. Dave did great though.
 Kathy and Dale fed us a fine dinner before the evenings shows and they brought a cake in for Andie. We were having a day late celebration of her birthday. I was so happy so many people showed up for Andie and for the Quijano's show. Kenny was all smiles and I got a lot of pictures but you can sure tell the difference between who is behind the lens. At least I have a bit of a record of the show. That is it for this Super Bowl Sunday. Who is it who is playing?

February 5, 2005
  Tonight is the Quijano brothers at Provinces. That should be a lot of fun. A bunch of the band may show up down in Edmonds to listen. There are so many talented musicians in the area. It is great. Dana stopped into Cafe last night and said hi and asked me about playing at Ivar's ( the old Taylor's Landing) for Valentine's Day. I had just found out I wasn't playing at the Cafe so it was good timing. I am feeling a bit funky today. A case of the blues was delivered to my doorstep last night along with a half rack of poor me's. As I kick start this morning I am hoping to pull up and get some things accomplished today. I may be able to throw some business Tim's way if I stay on track. Tim is the one who has helped me stop smoking. It is a good way to go if you are ready. I still feel like the hulk is lurking just under the surface waiting to come exploding out shouting "Give me a smoke!"
   Josh and Christina took off for Oregon yesterday, Rob left for California but his friend Kestrel did not show up at the airport. That is kind of strange since Rob was going with Kestrel to his grandmother's wedding. No one has seen him for five days. In this day and age one would tend to worry were it not for the free spirited life style. I hope he is all right.
   We are going to do the one day a month celebration of the Andie's birth since we flopped on this one they can only get better. It seems like we are all having a hard time getting excited about anything. Christmas came and went without that spirit that usually comes with it. I don't know if it is the state of the world, the wars and natural disasters, and all, but I believe that has a lot to do with it. Find peace and look for the positive and get involved in creating some solutions seems to be what is calling to me. Now if I can just get moving. Be good and have fun. Greg

February 4, 2005
I am taking a rest day and though it may not be much of a rest at least I should be able to see Josh and Christina off and have some lunch with Andie. We almost never get to do that with our schedules. I am so thankful to have Andie in my life. I watched her last night talking to Christina and Josh and showing them all the pictures of our family that she had scanned. I was transported through 20 years in a matter of minutes as I looked on. Josh joked about his and Christina's birthday being the same day. Their theme song is the Beattles Song, Birthday. "You say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too yea." Josh really went to town with the Loop Pedal and played for a long time last night. He has really developed his playing. He introduced Christina to the Beattles and made her a fan. We all had a birthday dinner at Olive Garden. I love the salad and bread sticks, that is enough for me. Liz drank two 30 ounce pops and three 30 ounce glasses of water and gave herself a pretty good tummy ache. Otherwise, it was a pleasant evening. I think it is about time to take a breather from alcohol. I see the effects of abstinence on some close family members and think that it might give me a little more clarity as I try to plan for the next phase. So it is going to be a good weekend with the Cafe on Friday and Saturday nights and Saturday night at Provinces seeing Brown Groove.
Sarah sent Andie a lovely sweater in the mail that came in time for her birthday. Sarah Maria, what a lovely soul. She has an ancient look in her eyes that has been there since her birth. She shines that same kind spirit that dwells in Andie. I see that in Christina as well. I am blessed.
Have a great day and be good.

February 2, 2005
Josh and Christina arrived at around 10:30 last night, a little late for visiting for us. It is good to see them. I know Josh is anxious to be practicing and getting ready for the show with Freedom but Rob has been busy recording Rejoice: priorities are always a challenge and timing is crucial to success. Rob and I had scheduled a session last night but it never happened and he never called. Different styles of doing things makes the world go around.
   It is a busy month with Andie's birthday this weekend, Josh & Christina's next week and Valentine's Day. I just don't know what to get Andie this year. We have talked about celebrating her birthday once a month for the rest of the year. We will be going down to Provinces on Saturday night for me to sit in with Don and Oman and we will make a night of it. I am thinking what we both could use is a getaway and some time alone together. There is always so much to do. Last night was a lazy evening and we all just snuggled and watched a movie. That is nice too sometimes.
  I was thinking about how Andie looks at life and things in general and how I do. I tend to stress about things like shopping for birthday or Christmas presents, she looks forward to it. I want that. I will have it the more my awareness increases. More fun and less stress is just a point of view away.

February 1, 2005
It is a slow start this morning. It is another clear and beautiful day that seems more like spring than winter. It is strange how quickly we get used to it warming up because when the cold comes back it seems ever colder. I was looking at recent and baby pictures of Chani in the snow. She looked very happy in both pictures. I like the hot myself. We watched another special on the tsunami hitting Thailand. Weather changes are nothing compared to the shift from paradise to hell that event created. Such power and such destruction in just minutes is shocking to see. Why are some people spared and others taken, especially couples. One lady talked about being out in Kayaks with her husband and he told her to dive under the waves. She survived and he didn't. She mentioned that she didn't always do what her husband told her to do but this time she did. She just couldn't understand what happened to make him perish. So many stories had to do with the sudden change and the effect of knowing the warning signs. It just reminds me again to pay attention to the ones I love and to let them know and be grateful for all the moments we get to spend together. These are the treasures of life. In this month of Andie's and Josh's birthdays, of Valentine's Day and the promise of spring I am happy for another day just to be alive.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist