christ666's Diaryland Diary

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Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your kitchen?

I’ve been struggling with my depression a bit more than usual the last few months, exacerbated by exhaustion from lots of restless nights taking care of restless kids, and from the lack of projects or creative outlets to give me something to work towards. What additionally sucks is my depression flares up my OCD more than usual, and it kills my creativity and ambition which obviously further fuels my mental state.

I’m getting 3-4 hours of sleep most nights, making it difficult to keep on top of chores at home, or for having the energy to play with the kids. I used to be able to knock out all the cleaning and laundry during the few days I have them, but I’m so fucking tired, I’m only able to manage getting one or two things done a day, leaving everything else to stack up and deteriorate. I took a weekend off work a couple of months ago to do some detailed spring cleaning, and already all of the progress I made has been undone. Luke and Zelda are older now, wanting me to sit down and play with their toys or catch a ball, but a lot of times I have to tell them no, either because I’m trying to catch up on tasks, or because of my head hurting from fatigue. I do still try to focus on some one on one time with each of them however, and I’ve been trying to include them when I’m getting work done, it’s just gotten a lot harder as of late.

After touring the new album in 2022, Mortal ended up taking a back seat in priority so that Eric and I could focus on learning the White Zombie songs for Imposter, occasionally coming together to play a couple of really huge shows. After the last Halloween show, I decided that I wasn’t going to participate in the next iteration for Imposter so that I could put 100% focus back on Mortal this year, with the goal that we could start writing new songs for the next album and hopefully be ready to record the following year.

Easton got kicked out after he stopped showing up to practice or responding to the group chat, ultimately setting his priorities to… being an employee at a pop culture store downtown? I don’t know, but ultimately he just stopped caring about playing with us, but instead of quitting, he just sort of ghosted us on all things music related. He’d still respond if someone posted a stupid meme or joke, but when it came to setting dates for shows or coordinating band practice, he just refused to communicate. I wasn’t really surprised by this as it always seemed like he was part of the band as a favor, but Eric and Brandon were particularly offended by it. Ultimately, I ended up sending a message that he was out, and he promptly responded that it was for the best.

Eric talked me into letting Trevor back in to take over vocals, which wasn’t an easy decision to make. I’ve grown to enjoy sharing the frontman status with Eric, and I wasn’t really convinced that Trevor was going to be more dependable and participatory, but with Easton out of the band, I knew it was going to be a lot harder to take on vocal duties while being the sole guitarist. So, after the band discussed it a few times, we sent the invite for Trevor to rejoin, and so far we’ve done two shows with him back in the lineup.

But man…. there are issues. For starters, Brandon can be a real fucking chode at times, whether it be him acting like a bitch in the group chat over not having any help transporting his own fucking drums at a show, or for complaining about how hard it is to get everyone together on the same day for practice, when he himself often oversleeps and shows up to jams over an hour late. Our performances are suffering too. Brandon’s arthritis is getting worse it seems, and we are only able to get through about seven songs each practice, which makes it so we are less tight musically on stage. His timekeeping has gotten worse, leaving his tempos to drastically fluctuate during a song. He’s also gone into the wrong riff during songs at three out of four of the last shows we’ve played.

It would be easier to forgive if he did anything to counteract the effects of his arthritis or take better care of himself, but the dude doesn’t even stretch before a show, and most days we have practice, he’s worn down from a night of bar drinking the night before. I could also be more understanding if he wasn’t such an asshole about things sometimes.

We’ve been practicing again since January, with two shows in the books so far this year, and I’m just not having fun. After months of music block, I had a burst of creative energy a couple months ago and wrote four new songs for Mortal, and I was so, so excited to start work on the next album. Brandon and I were even able to get two of them down, and the plan was to play them at one of our shows this year. But the enthusiasm has died away, and now I’m almost ready to shelve them indefinitely until the dynamics with the band improve.

For one, we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard and make sure that we’re having meaningful practices so that our performances no longer suffer the way they have been. Brandon also needs to adjust his attitude and acknowledge when he’s being insufferable. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve seriously considered either finding a new drummer, or just quitting the band altogether. I try to be mindful that my feelings about the band and music in general right now are definitely affected by my depression, but I don’t think they invalidate what I think are things that need to change.

The northern lights were visible in Boise a couple of weeks ago. Heather and I were hanging out while the kids were with their mom, and we learned of this rare opportunity at about 12:30 at night, with the optimum viewing time to be between 10pm and 2am. Heather asked if I would be up for driving to the foothills to check them out. I was tired, and I didn’t think we'd be able to see them much with all the light pollution, so at first I wasn’t keen on the idea. But when she said she had always wanted to see them, I suddenly became compelled to make that happen for her, so we decided to go on a little adventure.

We stopped by the gas station to pick up some car snacks, then we set out for Boise. On the way there, we thought if we could get to the mountains up north we might have a better chance at seeing them, so we ended up taking the highway past Emmet towards Horseshoe Bend, driving in an area neither of us had been to before. We listened to music together, held hands while I drove, occasionally craning our necks to make sure the lights hadn’t disappeared on us. Around 1:45, we found a dirt road that led us up a mountain that was well outside of Emmet’s city limits, leaving the light pollution to an absolute minimum. We got out of the car, I wrapped her in my flannel shirt to keep her warm, and we took pictures together in the dark. The lights weren’t very visible to the naked eye at that point, but we could get a better sense of their shape and color in the pictures.

We probably didn’t even have to drive out as far as we did to see what we saw, but I was just so determined to get her to see the aurora, and even though we didn’t get the view of them that we were hoping for, it still ended up being a pretty fun and romantic excursion :)

6:33 a.m. - 2024-05-27

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