I’m getting lots of calls and emails about the fire. Thanks for the kindness and concern.
We’re not in the path or the evacuation areas, and won’t be unless the fire makes some pretty incredible jumps. Once again, though, we have a number of friends who are evacuated, and a few who have pretty much certainly lost their homes. It’s been a heavy year out here for fires. There’s a mandatory evacuation all the way to the main downtown drag (State Street), which is something I never thought I’d see.
Anyway – fingers crossed for friends and strangers alike.
Here’s a couple of snapshots I took on the way home from the airport yesterday:
(Follow up on a previous post: oops. ouch.)
I get a few questions every day about the state of my left hand, so I figured I would put way too much information here:
I went to the doctor a couple weeks ago for a six month checkup (Six months already? Time is completely out of control and must be stopped!) and was told that…well…not much will change for quite a while. The initial trauma to the unsevered parts of the ulnar nerve (it was sliced about 70% through) has gone away, so I have a certain amount of movement back, but there’s still the lion’s share which has to slowly regenerate (at about 1/2 inch a month, from just below my elbow to the tips of my fingers) and won’t be back for at least a year, more likely two.
The current state of affairs is as follows: The outer side of my palm, pinky and the outer half of my ring finger are numb, with a serious sensitivity to cold and exciting random flashes of burning/itching/tingling. My grasping strength is about 70% of what it was, and my lateral/stretching strength is 10-20%, depending on the finger. I can move the pinky, but I can’t control it very accurately.
I’ve relearned most of my songs on the guitar. There’s a few that haven’t been as easy to remap, but I’ve been able to work most things out. Some songs have lost subtle harmonic or countermelodic parts, some have had to be capoed up the neck so I can use chord shapes I’m better able to play. My hand won’t do barre chords and can’t stretch further than a couple frets. It’s been interesting to simplify voicings and satisfying to see that most things come across just fine.
Mentally? Usually I’m pretty good. I can’t imagine what this would have done to some of my more virtuostic friends (it’s been the first time in my life I’ve been thankful not to be a better guitarist). As it is, I can still sing write, and I can play passably. Considering I was sitting on a glass table, I am lucky to have not been castrated or have my guts impaled. It’s given me some good perspective and a healthy dose of gratitude. I’d been wanting to have new challenges and a reason to play more music with other people – this wasn’t quite how I imagined it happening, but it is exactly what I had wanted. Be careful what you wish for…
Anyway…there is is. Getting better slowly but surely.
I don’t know who Olinick, the blogger who recently started Downloads Alternative is. I don’t know what language he/she speaks. I’m not exactly sure what’s being said in these reviews before they are auto-translated, but I am in love in love in love with the results. I have a Google alert for my name (kind of creepy, I know – but useful for a musician without a manager), and this review popped up a few days ago:
I enjoy be a dedicated charity donor of Toad the Wet Sprocket all for years, and have long-standing listen to their difficult sweat post-breakup. While the songs of Lapdog have a deliciously frenzied and bluesy pellet to them, I always twirl to Glen Philips for all that you can presume of import. Lost Highway Records Glen Phillips.
This CD have quite a lot of of my favorite Glen songs next to them, mutually with the folksy-pop tune with lethal hooks: “Thankful,” “Falling,” and “Finally Fading.” These songs have been contained by a perennial curl in my mp3 actor for an complete month while traveling through the US and have provide brisk acceptable moment of introspection and acuity on an otherwise humdrum time off. Pop/General Glen Phillips.
“Winter Pays for Summer” be more upbeat than Glen’s early solo album, “Albulum,” but it also shine with academic singing and mere humor. It perennially surprise me that Glen is not a destroy above specified, in plonk of his songwriting skill overtake map of the newsworthy pop beat act on the chart today Alternative Rock/General Glen Phillips.
AWESOME! There are similarly excellent reviews of John Mayer, Sarah McLachlan and others.
Time to go work on my lethal hooks….
So happy to be back!
Cayamo was wonderful, the Toad dates were a blast. Life is not so bad.
Of course my youngest daughter has a nasty flu and Laurel got called to a marathon-length birth just a few hours after we’d arrived back in town and gone to bed, but that just seems to be the way it goes. The price of a full life is a full life…
Oh – I’ll be at Soho in Santa Barbara this Wed. That should be good, too.
Slightly last minute notice:
I’ll be in Nashville on Saturday, Feb 21 for the taping of a new PBS music show called Legends and Lyrics. The show is a writers in the round format, and I will have the honor of sharing the stage with Guy Clark and Roger McGuinn. I’ll also have my good friend Sean Watkins along to play some guitar. Tickets are free! Go to legendsandlyrics.com for more info.