jeffconlin.com has been up in one form or another now for 14 years… once a design sketchpad / portfolio, then a long-running blog before blogs were blogs (currently archived but not easily accessible), then a second short-running blog (seen here)… now really the only thing I use it for now is a file dump and a place to store all of my excellent mixtape/podcast/radio show files.
I think the original intent for this most recent version was to be more of a photoblog than anything else. I think it still can be. I just got a little too lost staring at my navel for a while. So I’ll think about getting back into photoblog mode, and until next time, it’s Facebook and Flickr.
The new morning routine (subtitled, “toast crumbs on granite”). Breakfast, coffee, sunrise. Even when its overcast and gray, the skies are pretty amazing. I needed this.
You’ve been quiet lately. How are you?” asked a new friend
New job, more responsibility, more overtime (at 31, I’m finally making more than I was when I was 22 – thank you Social Security Administration for that awkward factoid); great forward momentum with my band, new studio project, great opportunities coming up; insurance reimbursement for the break-in means I’m rebuilding the home studio, some work travel coming up, some big family events and reconnecting with old friends back in MD all in the works… I have been quiet, but its going well and I’m getting a lot done, much to the dismay of my knees. more…
Though he passed on over two years ago, I’ve been thinking about Jesse James a lot lately. I don’t remember the exact chain of events, but somehow shortly after I started showing up at blues jams around DC at the tender age of 19, I fell in with Jesse James and The Raiders. Looking back, It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. more…
Descending out of Captain Point (5500′ above sea level) the other day, in a fairly easy stretch of doubletrack between two rocky, rutted washouts, while sneaking in the longest glances at the scenery I could afford to take in… I had a brief spark of an idea. Simply put, “faith = humility”. The ability to let things stand on their own. To relax the ego, the control (or worse, the attempted control of outside observation). The more humble (within reason) you can approach something, the less likely you are to take unforseen complications personally (or melodramatically); the more comfortable you are with the chaos of possibility just… working out – no matter what that means. Whether you want to extrapolate that out into the realm of God, the Universe, formal theology, or society in general… whatever. Not an amazing revelation by any means, but you never know what kind of things you’ll find alone in the wilderness. more…
I was sent out ahead of the pack about 20 miles, intending to help control traffic at an rural no-signal intersection with poor visibility. Instead, I decided to set up camp 2 miles closer at the steel grate bridge. We hadn’t planned on the fog and mist rolling in off of the ocean, and the problems we actually were prepared for suddenly became secondary.
My Suzuki’s low-fuel light had gone from solid to blinking at some point, but I couldn’t remember when. I put the sidestand down on the concrete shoulder about 500 feet from the bridge deck. Hell if I knew where I was, or where the next gas stop might be. Didn’t really think about it. There was no traffic to speak of. I clicked open the topcase, traded my helmet for a rain hat, lit a few flares, and pulled out my cell phone.
“Tough. For a lot of reasons. But its good just being here and seeing everyone. We’re in the car listening to your CD right now. Thank you.”
“I was listening to yours last night.”
“What are you up to?”
“Sitting on a bridge. In New Jersey. There are some ducks, rain, my motorcycle, some flares…”
(Those innocuous conversations were the ones that hit the hardest, making you realize that life was a lot bigger than you could handle on your own, and not in that painfully predictable melodramatic detached This American Life kind of way, despite how similar it sounds).
On the horizon, I saw the first wave. The pros came through quickly and quietly, but behind them was the real story. The NYC/DC firefighter team was first, each pulling 10′ US flags attached to their bicycles despite the brutal coastal winds from the storm system. Then the blind pedalers on the tandem bikes with their lead riders calling out cues to them. The team of Palestinian and Israeli bombing victims, riding together… most on modified handbikes since they were missing limbs. Senior citizens who usually got sagged out, but tried like hell anyway. Office workers, concerned citizens, family members, total strangers. Hundreds and hundreds of people, all pedaling from Manhattan to DC… without a real unifying cause or banner.
The next day, during the last 10 feet of an incredible 300 mile journey, my friend Michelle and I somehow crashed our motorcycles into each other at speed. It made us better friends.
in most places when you want x, you ask a question as follows :
“May I have x?”
in Seattle, it goes something like this :
“So… I’ll just assume that I’m going to get y becaaauuuussssee… ?”
[then pause with a shrug and an awkward half-questioning/half-accusatory facial expression]
First off – thank you so much for your comments, concern, calls, and good vibes. I really appreciate it, and in a time and place where I’ve been feeling kind of disconnected, if nothing else this break-in reminded me that I’m not… and that means way more than the value of any crap lying around the apartment…
came home from work and noticed the front door was open. A large white space on the wall where the TV used to be. Quick look around : laptop, gone. Ipod, gone. Speakers, gone.
The kitchen window screen was cut in half and flapped in the breeze, the window knocked off its rails but fully intact, blinds slightly askew.