All posts by picklejuicesoda

A dad here that shares custody of our beautiful daughter. 2 older ones that pretty much stay with me all the time. 2 cats and a house. Plenty to keep me beyond busy but I enjoy sharing thoughts and little stories with people that appreciate those things. I enjoy music, somewhat of a musician(depending on who's listening I suppose...) I play mostly guitar and I have been practicing banjo and a mandolin that has taken the backseat. I must play that more... I also enjoy drawing and will most like be sharing the weirdness that ends up on paper. Just keeping this brief and simple now until I get a system down. I hope you all enjoy.

Blondie- Pollinator

I haven’t posted or even been on here I a while…life gets hectic sometimes. Had to express my delight in the new Blondie album. I was slightly hesitant at first, not sure why, wasn’t that I doubted it. I decided to listen on Apple Music first and bought it had a pretty good sound so I ordered it from my “dealer”. Found a record store with a really cool owner that always lets me know when he gets stuff he thinks I’d like. I wanted the red vinyl but were sold out and now are going for 75+,he was able to find a cool white vinyl. With that being said I brought it home, dropped the needle on the record and turned it up. The sound of course was way better through my speakers than my earbuds and the album delivers! Has a good nostalgia feel to it, and if you didn’t know it would be hard to believe it’s a now 71 year old woman belting out the lyrics. Full of energy and emotion. Fragments has become my favorite on the album the few times I’ve listened to it this weekend. I highly suggest checking this one out! 

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Sunday vinyl

I’ve been playing a few records today and I was thinking of when I was younger, either sitting around with my girlfriend or the times when a few friends would come over. There would be those days when there just didn’t seem like there was anything to do, or we were too poor and didn’t have gas money to do it! Other times I’d be sitting around myself possibly bored out of my mind. Usually listening to music would be the go to event, actually most of my life music was in the background. It was almost an event, I mostly had cassettes and I can remember sitting on the floor pulling out tape after tape, the playlist of the 80s and into the early 90s. Making mix tapes was a lot of work, I recently got a taste of how much work it was one rainy day when I decided to make one. It took a few hours, and that was recording from vinyl with the ability to choose the song without fast forwarding and rewinding. I wonder how many hours of my life were spent making those tapes? Good times…

I’m happy the vinyl craze is back, not so happy some of the ones I’ve been getting or want are pricy but coming from an ex drinker I justify some of my purchases because at least it’s not bad for me. It’s especially nice when you find a beautiful pressing that was well taken care of, which is one of the video I’m posting. Orchestral manoeuvres in the dark, I especially love the song “electricity”. It’s one of those upbeat songs that get you going. Enjoy. 

Growing up

While reading a blog post last night I was inspired to write this one. It started as one memory and during my 2 hour commute to and from work today (horrible), it gave me time to think. Think I did, amazing how your mind can pull up so many thoughts and emotions and before you know it you’re in such deep thought that you don’t remember the last 2 hours going by.

My blogging friend’s post was about root beer soda, which brought up a good memory of mine. When I was young I would go to my grandfather’s house with my dad, we would sometimes stop for a soda on the way. We would get R.C. cola in a glass bottle and he would put peanuts in his. I of course had to do the same, and I liked it. Now and then I will stop and do that still, the memory with me every time. Such a simple pleasure. Most people I tell this to look at me funny, a few understand the peanuts in cola thing.Anyone else out there do this? If not you should try it.

So while reminiscing it made me think of the “good old days”, now, Im not old, 46 this year, but old enough to have those good old days memories. This sent my brain on another track and I thought how so many people talk about the good old days and how things just aren’t the same.Sure, this is true,but something that stuck out to me is how a lot of older people will look down on the younger generation. “You kids don’t know how easy you have it” and “If i would have done that when I was a kid my parents would have…”. You know what I mean. I sometimes feel the same but today I felt enlightened. These are my kids “good old days” they are living now. Who am I to deny them that, after all, the world they live in and the things they do are a direct result of what our generation did to get them here.

I’ve had that thought for some time now actually. My parents generation shaped mine. I know there is so much bad happening and there are epidemics that are worse but, think of all the good that has come from each generation. I had a great talk with my 20 year old daughter when I got home about what I am actually writing now. I bring her up because I mentioned to her how women were treated, and people of different races and cultures. That is something I wouldn’t consider as part of the good old days. Of course we still have a long way to go and with our next generation I’m sure it will get better. When I was in elementary school they still spanked, I got a few. One funny story (not really) was when my friends and I were swinging as high as we could and jumping off to see how far we could go. Our teacher told us to stop and if we got hurt we would get a spanking. Well, she walked away and of course I said, “watch this”. I had my winter coat on and it was unzipped, when I jumped it hooked to the swing and down I came. Head first. There was an immediate goose egg and here comes the teacher. I’m bawling now and she tells me to go stand in the hall outside our classroom. Yes, she went to get the paddle, spanked me making me cry more of course. Sure, I should have listened to her in the first place, but looking back at that now I’m almost appalled by it. Did the spanking stop me from doing it again? No it didn’t, the memory of my pounding head and the luck that I didn’t get hurt more did though. Then there was a kid in kindergarten that had to wear a sign that said “blockhead” around his neck at lunch because he misbehaved, and me getting spanked in front of the class then having to sit in a chair by the chalkboard facing my classmates so they could see me cry. Oh yeah what about the time I didn’t finish my lunch (never did, i was a very skinny kid and didn’t eat a lot) and the teacher made me take the tray to the classroom to finish it all while everyone else went to recess. This is where I insert ‘lol’, not really but it’s been a long time now.

I can say that there is not one time I look back and say that by being spanked it made me a better person, or even prevented me from being bad again. I generally don’t like to say things that may start controversy or get people wound up but must say that when I hear people saying they spank because their parents did and they agree, I cringe. Those are the people I don’t need in my life. I use this example and yes it is the same…If you work for me and you mess up or purposely do the opposite, I should be able to come over and wail on you. A good beating will make you do it right. Of course that’s not the case, so why do it to a child. My point here is so many kids had this same thing happen to them. A lot of parents don’t spank now and trust me, with the luxuries our children have it’s very easy to punish now. So, i will apologize for my spanking rant but it is one example that I can relate to that shows one of the “not so good old days” ways.

Now to turn back to the positive, engage your children. Be part of their good old days, make them smile at the thought of something sweet and out of the blue you did. Write them a letter, hug them, tell them you love them. Tell them stories about yourself, open up a little. Yes we are parents first, it’s our job to make sure our children are safe and to teach them, but make yourself part of their good old days. Make them laugh years from now because they remembered the funny thing that dad said or did. I don’t want to get old and die, I want to see grand,great,great great grandkids. I do hope that when that time comes my children will be able to remember me as a good father. Sure i’ve messed up countless times, yelled, blew my top, but I have also apologized when I knew it was uncalled for. Nobody is perfect but it’s learning from our mistakes and actually correcting ourselves when we see what we may need to work on. My kids are 20,19 and 8 and I am constantly learning, sometimes repeating mistakes but always trying to do better.

I realize this took quite the turn from peanuts in cola, so after all those spankings I got from my mom and dad, it’s good to know that it isn’t the only thing I dwell on. I’ll always remember that special time with my dad and I know that he loved me. I will be sure to tell him about it when i see him again.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed. Now go make some memories!

80s club mix

So I wrote a whole post, then couldn’t be post the link, then just deleted it out of frustration. Now I’m too tired to start over! Oh well, here’s an 80s playlist from a mix tape I just made, because I wanted to feel nostalgic. I’ve made a few recently actually, and yes they are as time consuming as I remember. I enjoy it though, when I’m free to do it that is.

Some of these songs are popular and some are more underground. Some a little mor chill but most have that 80s dance beat that makes you want to crank it up and dance around like you were a kid again. Hope you enjoy! I will write a separate post about my club experiences later.

My song for tonight

I’m sure you’re familiar with the band The Human League. Don’t you want me, and Fascination both great songs. Dare is a good album and the instrumental version is a great listen, but the earlier stuff in my opinion is better. The first album is awesome, of course I’ve been going through a synth pop phase lately. It happens, I’ll listen to a lot of hardcore punk, switch it up with some rockabilly, some roots Americana stuff. Like I said, I’ve really been enjoying that 80s synthpop sound, it just gives me a good feeling when I listen to it. I just want to go back to the clubs and hear it play and have a good time.

So this song, “Zero as a limit” starts off a little slow, then the beat picks up just making you want to jump up and by the end you wish you had a bunch of people join you bumping and spinning out of control almost like being in a pit. I have had my eye out for their first two albums on vinyl, I suppose I will prefer them if I don’t come across them soon. I’m not a vinyl snob but there’s nothing like the feeling of dropping the needle on a great album at home!

I will put together a playlist of some of my favorite 80s tunes later, but for now enjoy this one! I used one of my 80s inspired drawings for the header image.

Coping (or not) with anxiety

Those of you that suffer with anxiety will understand. I’ve been dealing with it for, I’d say, 15 years maybe. I took Zoloft for 10 or 12 of those. I finally quit taking it because it wasn’t doing much and instead of increasing my dose or trying something different I decided I didn’t want to be dependent on something. I struggled with alcohol after my divorce years ago after being clean for 12 years. It was 2 years sober this past September, which I’m proud of and yes, that in itself helped my anxiety.

I know some of it stems from financial troubles, some from procrastination. Sometimes I worry about things in the future that I have no control of. Unfortunately I’m a worrier. Other times it just seems to come out of nowhere, I just go around with a heavy pressure in my chest. There are days I end up walking around aimlessly in my house knowing there’s things I need to do but I decide it will be better to just lay in bed.

It’s a horrible way to live sometimes. It’s not always like that though, if I’m very busy with work I generally (not always) don’t have those intense feelings. I know there are things that help, yesterday for example, I went on a hike with my 8 year old daughter. Nature in general helps tremendously, almost instantaneously when we step on the trail I get a feeling of calmness. I’m somehow able to leave those worries and focus on my beautiful daughter and how happy she is to be hiking with me. Hearing the birds, the wind through the trees and the sound of the river running beside us. One time in particular I felt as though the wind was pulling my worries out of me and could almost sense them being circulated through the air and then being refreshed as I breathed in fresh air. I can’t always go on a hike though so I just need a way to remember those feelings.

Music is also a big part of my life and as I’ve gotten a little older I find myself reminiscing of my younger days. Reliving those memories while listening to the soundtrack of my life. I can almost always listen to music, which I do.

Most of my anxiety is most likely self inflicted. As I said I procrastinate because the pressure to handle something at times is too much. As always when I take care of it I think to myself, why didn’t I do that much sooner. A lot of times it would have helped a situation.

I’m writing this now just to get these thoughts out. I could probably dive deeper into the ‘craziness’ which is my brain but as of now I’m just doing some “cleaning”by putting those feeling into words. I hear my daughter laughing in her room which just gave me a sweet, warm feeling. So now I must go and give her a hug and be happy I have such a wonderful child that loves me and looks up to me.

Thank you for reading. I’ll be back with some happy positive thoughts, maybe some funny stories to share of those embarrassing and awkward teenage years we all went through. Happy Sunday everyone!

Where were you when…

Music has always been a big part of my life. I have my parents to thank for that, they had a great record collection and I remember my dad playing album after album. My mom was more into doo wop and my dad leaned a little more to the psychedelic side. I liked it all and as I grew older I started getting my own style. When I heard “jam on it” by newcleus that was it, I loved the beat and soon after I discovered U.T.F.O., Whodini, Run D.M.C. Etc. then I remember watching American bandstand and out comes this white rap group called The Beastie Boys. They did fight for your right and at that moment they became my favorite. My mom hated them. She threw that tape away several times! When I was 10th grade I started hanging out with some skater kids and started listening to punk/hardcore. I can’t tell you exactly what the first album was I heard because honestly it was a whirlwind. I do know Dead Kennedys was one of the first and I’m pretty sure it was the album frankenchrist. I remember where I was, school was dismissed early because it started snowing and my friend let me borrow his copy. I was still on the bus at the school when I put it in my Walkman. I rewound it, pushed play and when I heard the guitar on “soup is good food” I immediately loved it. Then Jello started singing, I had never heard anything like this! To this day I can evoke that same feeling sometimes when I play that album. It still reminds me of a cold snowy day. They were my favorite band for years after that. After that I couldn’t get enough of this music. I would read articles in thrasher magazines about bands or just look at album covers then go to the tape store. So much to buy! I can kill a couple hours in a record store no problem. I took chances on bands I didn’t know and mostly it worked. I really love hardcore so I started seeing how many songs were on the tape, then I would look at the tape to see how long it was. A lot of songs in 28 minutes?, ok I’m getting this. I don’t get that feeling as much now. I still discover new bands,composers, vocalists but the excitement is not as strong as it was then, or should I say it’s just different because I do enjoy finding a great band.That was my heyday and I’m okay with that. I hope to write more about my musical and artistic life journey, as any music lover knows there’s so many stops and passengers on the journey. I hope you enjoyed it, and bear with me as I’m tired and not a writer but hope to get better and entertain some of you with my thoughts. And please excuse the long run on paragraph! Maybe shouldn’t have wrote this before bed…