Blog... what a funny word. Blooogggguuuhh

Thicker Than Water 

Being diagnosed with a chronic and debilitating disease is truly a version of Hell. The term “being diagnosed” sounds so neat and sterile. There's so much more to it. There's sometimes a few years of worsening symptoms, which are painful and life-limiting and life-changing before ever getting an official title for the disease. I can tell you first hand, it is ugly; it is messy; it is merciless, and yes,it is Hell. 

One aspect of it is the mental toll it takes on the patient, or victim. People say things like, “You find out who your friends are!”, and that's true. Not only that, you find out who your family are. 

In a three year period, I lost my energy, I lost control of my legs and arms (thankfully only some of the time), I lost my career, I lost my marriage, I lost my home, I lost friends, and I lost the ability to believe family will stick with you, no matter what. Blow after blow and blow can really get to you. Nothing, however, hurts as uniquely or as deep as watching family turn their backs on you. 

I had gone from being a high school drop out, to holding two degrees: one, EMT-Paramedic and the other, RN at a level one trauma center. I enjoyed my job, but couldn't continue to do it with the amount of fatigue I had to live with. I would adapt. 

I lost my marriage. I guess I saw this coming, as I had realized (after extensive personal study and research) she was a narcissist. Getting out of that (un)holy union was actually a good thing for me. The stress she manufactured from constant manipulation, mind games, control and flat out crazy three day screaming binges was killing me. I had planned to beat it to the punch and kill my own self, but that's for another story. 

I was losing my house,which I had invested heavily into; monetarily and with blood, sweat and tears, but in the end, it is just a “thing”. Luckily, I knew that “Things” didn't hold the key to fulfillment. It sucked, but I dealt with it. 

Friends quit contacting me like they had. This really hurt, too but I could understand it. I could see how people tend to avoid things which bring them down. After all, they are still in the rat race and sometimes it takes every bit of positive energy to keep going. 

One of the saddest things to me, was realization of how easily some family turn away from you when times are darkest and most frightening. That's when you're most isolated and alone. 

An example is when I was going through my divorce, I knew my ex's ability to be evil yet convince people she was a saint. I had to go into damage protection mode, so I sent private messages out to a very few people I trusted the most. I asked them not to share anything about me with the ex, and briefly explained why I was requesting this. 

It wasn't long before I heard that one of these family members I trusted had rejected everything I had said about the ex and instead took sides with her, saying: “I just don't believe she's like that. She seems so nice!”. Yep, so does the devil. This family member had spent very little time around my ex, yet took it on herself to campaign against me, and try to discredit what I knew first hand to be true. 

Another example? 

A family member was in town, and I really wanted to develop our relationship. After all, we were family. I asked her to go with me to an hour long concert just up the road from me. I knew she liked music. Hell, she's one of the main reasons I have the love of music that I do. I said I'd come pick her up, take her back home, buy her dinner and the whole nine yards. 

I got some of the most lame excuses I've ever heard from her. “Oh, I'm waiting on a phone call” on her mobile phone, and “I guess I'm getting old. Riding the roads really gets me these days” (good thing she has a brand new vehicle). But maybe she meant something else when she said the roads “get her”? 

The following night, which was the night I had invited her, it turns out she was with another family member “riding the roads”. So, basically, rather than just be honest with me and say, “I don't really want to spend time with you”, she chose to lie to me. I'd much rather have truth any day of the week. 

Now, if someone had done her the same way she had done me, she would hold a grudge for life. While I am able to do that, I try to not do that, especially with family. Maybe I held “family” in too high of regard. 

One final example: 

A family member as it turns out is telling other people that she won't be contacting me until I contact her because She contacted me first the last time. Well, first of all, what a tit! Besides that, it simply was not the truth. I had sent her a message just a few days before with the link to a video I had done. I thought she would appreciate it. (I think I've learned where thinking gets me). I was hurt by these things, but had decided to let them go. 

I could see the message was delivered, and read. I got no reply, but instead got passively-aggressively attacked and falsely accused. Yes, it pissed me off. I guess more at myself than her, but a fair amount towards her. Especially because life for her is so fantastic. Don't misunderstand, I'm happy her life is now fantastic! It's the fact that my life has been the toughest over the past several years, and it was during this time I found out I couldn't expect any “being there” from her. 

Oh yeah, all examples are from the same family member. She's pretty stubborn and probably thinks she's got me beat in that area. But if she had tried to be family to me, spent a couple hours with me, she may have gotten to know me. Maybe even liked me, as she (must have) pretended to all along. 

Blood's thicker than water, but you damn sure can't make coffee with it. 

Darren

Dream: Smoke on the Water, Fire from the Sky 

Smoke on the Water (Fire from the sky) 

Darren Camp 2018

Photo: Kyle James, published at www.thegoldwater.com             

 

Recently I had a discussion with someone about the dream I blogged about titled “AM Radio”. I said I'd consider posting some of the other dreams I've had that have the same “feel” to them. This is one I had probably 8 or 9 years ago actually. It was deeply troubling to me then, and still is today. Just thinking of it gives me a very unsettled feeling. 

Numerous times over the past few days I've considered sitting down to write about this dream. Finally, tonight I was determined to make it happen. I was finishing up some reading and about to close a browser tab when I noticed a news/banner for “The Goldwater” announcing a ferry boat had crashed into the dock in San Francisco. 

Ordinarily, I wouldn't have paid much attention to it, but this time I just froze, staring at the photo above the headline. The dock, the water and actually the ferry looked just like the setting in my dream, which went something like this: 

I was just milling around on the dock, having a smoke and taking in the sights, as were what I guess to be 80-100 other people. It was an absolutely beautiful Bay kind of day. The usual smell of food and sounds of soft conversation and laughter until there was a loud whining/roaring sound over the water, which everyone seemed to notice in unison. 

I looked up to see a passenger jet crashing into the water, roughly 1000 yards out from the dock. What made the situation even worse was there were numerous sailboats, the above mentioned ferry, and a handful of ski boats which were struck by the plane as it attempted a water ditching. 

There was a huge simultaneous, collective gasp from the crowd there with me on the dock. Right away, what was previously a perfectly beautiful day was now a (literal) nightmare. There were hurting people scattered across the water, now screaming for help. There must have been a few hundred people pleading in agony for help. 

I immediately began stepping out of my shoes and quickly unbuttoning my shirt so I could swim more effectively. I assumed I'd need every bit of advantage I could eke out. I glanced around to assess how many other of my fellow dock-dwellers were also about to jump in to go save these people from dying. 

What I saw was more disturbing than the catastrophe: Zero people besides myself were readying themselves to jump in. ZERO! About half were even casually strolling back indoors or resuming their meals on the tables scattered along one edge of the dock. The other half were just looking out watching people suffer with no evident reaction. Just looking at the mass casualty as if they were studying a painting or sculpture at an art gallery. 

My blood boiled immediately and I rebuked the entire crowd. Indignant, I screamed at them, “What the hell is wrong with you people? No one else is planning to swim out and try to help these wounded and hurting people? A very few began stammering verbally, searching for some suitable excuse, although clearly, still not having any intent of trying to save people's lives. 

Others glared at me, seemingly pissed off that I had called them out on their inaction and lack of concern for human life. Still in disbelief, I shook my head while muttering under my breath and slid my watch from my wrist and let it fall into one of my shoes. “This huge rescue effort just got way bigger” , I thought as I dove from the dock. 

That's when I woke up.

Full Circle  

Full Circle 

Darren Camp 11/14/2018 

I woke a couple minutes before 1:48 a.m. on 1/27/2018 from one of “those” dreams. One that feels amazing and haunting and profound. Unusually, I was able to recall more of it than I normally remember a dream. I thought, “this would make a great book,or screen play”, so I got up, lit a cigarette and jotted down the dream as accurately as I could recall. 

Over the next few days, it played over and over in my mind and stubbornly persisted,but I was stuck. I couldn't think of any next step to write, so after making a crude storyboard, I set it aside as I do with song lyrics. I revisit them from time to time or pull from those to create something else. 

I began researching different “conspiracy theories” hoping I'd be inspired enough to write more. I thought, I must have got the NASA and space threat angle in my thoughts and it wasn't in the actual dream. Perhaps there were other options to explore to help the story be more believable and realistic, as my dream had been. 

One after the other theory I critically read through my skepticism. There were things I had always suspected weren't right about 9-11, from seeing the very first tower implode. I began studying it more in-depth, as well as some others. But, digging deeper led me to something: Qanon. 

It felt different, it could not be quickly brushed off or dis-proven. I began sinking my teeth in, looking for what was really going on; where it could be originating; possible motives, etc. The more I chased facts,the more I was sure that Qanon was indeed who they indicated they were. 

Eventually, I went back to read the first post and “played along” following the trails. A few months went by as I continued my research into this, still,becoming ever more clear this was the real deal. One day, it suddenly hit me: The Dream!! The whole reason I began down this trail! 

AM Radio 

Notice the date and timestamp of the document creation.

 

 

 

 

 

We need to talk... 

I've begun speaking out more on certain things. It may on the surface appear political, but it is way deeper than politics.

 

Undoubtedly, one thing that all Americans can most likely agree on is that we are currently in a time like no other in history. There is a feeling of concern and urgency regarding the state of the Union. No matter what political party you find yourself aligned with, I would be extremely surprised if you did not sense the tension in our great republic. I firmly believe that it is important we acknowledge areas in which we are like-minded. After all, we are all Americans. 

We are bound by the good fortune to be citizens of the greatest and most powerful country in the world. This is no small thing. Depending on your religious and/or moral beliefs, this should be seen as a blessing, or good luck. Even for the most cynical among us, it can be boiled down to a simple “plus”, right? 

Some may speculate that where we veer onto different beliefs,is the “how” the aforementioned tension and discord can be resolved. This may or may not be entirely true. However, I propose that if we break things down to the fundamental beliefs, we are closer than we realize. If this has any truth to it, then what is the source of the obvious strife and contention in America? 

To truly accomplish making our country the best we can possibly be, we need to move beyond our anger towards one another and to the point where we can work together at the very least. Could there be anyone that can offer a way for us to have actual progress while simultaneously screaming insults and obstinately refusing opposing views? As far as I know, the only direction that would lead is closer and closer to physical altercation as ultimate resolution. 

Most would agree that violence is incontestably the less civilized and cerebral choice. Using wisdom and intelligence expressed through respectful dialogue will advance us further more positively in a shorter span of time. We can achieve an equilibrium where this life can be enjoyed to a fuller degree. I don't know about you, but I would much rather exist in a world of happy people than what we have today. 

There is nothing weak in wanting peace; in working towards peace. Don't fall victim to shaming from the ones of your “side”. The types who would shame another for disagreeing should not be leaders of the pack. Real leaders are confident in their beliefs and would rather have an alliance with people who have arrived at agreeing ideals by choice. True leaders do not fear facts. 

We have reached a point where we are past being able to pursue the course of resolution which is more positive and beneficial. We must choose if we will speak up or follow along. Like it or not, the time to decide is now. After all, the more we delay the more harm we do to our own country; to or own team. 

Let us choose wisely.

I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Here's why I'm telling you that.... 

March 30, 2018

 

I've never really been one to complain. I mean sure, everyone complains, I don't deny I've had my times where I gripe and vent.; but I've at least tried to be a positive person overall. Even though I'm a musician, singer, songwriter, and performer, I'm an introvert. I have never been comfortable with the self-promotion that is necessary in order to keep playing music and performing. Usually, I only share personal struggles with those closest to me. 

The past several years, I've undergone quite a change internally. I have experienced some of the toughest and darkest days of my life. I've spent a lot of time alone, which caused me to do some serious evaluations of my self and my way(s) of thinking. When your thoughts are all you have left, it forces you to either give up or adapt. I didn't give up, but I can't truthfully say it wasn't very tempting to do so at times. 

I have publicly stated that I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but I have tried not to be too negative about it. Sometimes, that is a very difficult thing to do. MS is a bastard that takes everything from you that you've always known, leaving you to fend for yourself entirely. 

Pride in one's self and character is something I've tried to maintain my whole life. That's a tough one as well when you struggle with self-confidence. However, it is worth the struggle because having a certain pride will help you hold yourself to a certain standard of behavior. That being said, Pity is something I have never wanted. I still don't. 

In my self-promotion for my music, I have not shared very much at all about my MS and its symptoms. I've never wanted it to seem like I was trying to “use” my disease for gain. My thinking on sharing some of my struggles with MS has changed some though. 

Since I do try to be a positive influence on the world and those around me, I have realized that it might be encouraging to anyone else out there who has gone, or is going, through the same struggle. Instead of thinking I'm being a “negative Nancy”, I'm now seeing it as just plain ol being real. That's easier said than done. 

It isn't an easy thing to open yourself up and show the world your worst side. We, as humans, try to show how awesome we are doing, give only the best impression of ourselves. One of the hardest things for me to do is roll over and expose my vulnerable spots. 

With all that in mind, I'll be more open in the future about my disease, the resulting symptoms, and the difficulties that accompany them. Never with the intent to whine or complain, but to hopefully show more of what life is like. My intended end-result will be to show others who are struggling that they aren't alone. I hope and pray they will be encouraged by it, and hope that the folks that don't have to deal with such a huge issue can have more understanding. 

Stay tuned! 

Darren

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Musicians 

Here's my story of some of the things I've had to battle through the last few years. Although I jokingly referred to it elsewhere as a "sob story", that's now how I mean it to be.

You see, my goal isn't to get you to feel sorry for me. Anyone who truly knows who I am will know this is true. Instead, my goal is to be more open. This isn't an easy thing to do for me. It is outside of my usual comfort zone. Being open and vulnerable is what an artist is supposed to be, right? Well, here we go!

 

Rewind back a few years to 2015. I was working full-time as an RN in the Emergency Department of a Level One Trauma Center. I was so very tired all of the time, no matter how much rest I got at home. Maybe it was partly because I was realizing how much my home life sucked and facing the facts that it was only getting worse, not better. Through a long process I came to realize with certainty: The person I was married to was an evil bitch down to her core. A narcissist who got off on causing drama and hurt. A manipulative, controlling, rotten to the core, sick individual who was deceitful, un-empathetic, and unfaithful (huge understatement, as it turns out). This person was a skilled deceiver and liar who had honed those abilities for years. I had finally arrived at the realization that I could not and would not live like this. I'm not a puppet. I'm a rebel who's determined to be me, not what someone else thinks I should be.

I also began to notice other things going on with my body besides the extreme fatigue. My arms and legs would be numb and paralyzed every time I woke up. No matter if I slept all night or if I had a five minute cat-nap. Even though it didn't make sense medically, I sort of blew it off as a pinched nerve or something, which hardly every affects both arms or both legs, much less all of them at the same time. I also found it very hard to concentrate. I realized my job performance was slipping due to things just not "clicking" right in my brain. This was very frustrating, sure. It was also very frightening. When you've got someone's life in your hands, seconds matter. Being able to prioritize matters.

After a year of jumping through hoops with one neurologist, I finally got a great Neurologist who took two weeks and determined I had Multiple Sclerosis. Great. Now I knew there was something real going on and it sounded like he could treat symptoms and I'd be back to my old self again in no time. I started on 14 different medications to help me out, but I kept feeling worse. New symptoms kept popping up here and there and not going away. Some others did go away shortly, then return, but that's the nature of the MS beast, I'd soon find out.

My then spouse would accuse me of using this as an excuse to be lazy. She'd berate me, insult me, and generally use my desire for peace against me. She'd blame me for everything bad that has ever happened (no, seriously.)

I had to leave my job. I just couldn't risk hurting or killing someone.

I had to get the hell out of my living situation. I knew she'd be spiteful and hateful and she didn't hold back.

She made about a hundred grand a year TEACHING NURSING. I made less than half that when I worked, now nothing. I knew it would be hard but it was my only chance of surviving. That is no exaggeration. My life depended on getting away from that fat ass devil.

After years of paying for health insurance for her and her kids, she had to pick up insurance from her employer once I had to quit working. Once I left, she began demanding payment, knowing I couldn't afford it. Finally, she offered to continue paying and I would just "owe" her. She never said exactly what I'd "owe", but, No. She had me dropped off her insurance immediately. We had not even been to lawyers at this point. Throughout the divorce, she was ordered twice to re-instate my health insurance but she thumbed her nose at the law.

I lost my home. She had decided a couple years before to move from the beautiful lake home I had remodeled myself (while working a full time and part time nursing job, and playing occasional gigs) in favor of a tiny rental house that leaked. I wanted the house and was willing to do whatever I could to keep it, even though it would be hard. Things were definitely hard. I fell behind due to my truck breaking down. She refused to let me get my car, which I could have sold and not got behind. She refused to give me other property of mine I also could have sold. The bank saw a chance to double their money, started refusing my payments, then eventually foreclosed.

For a year, I had to be off my MS medications because she dropped my health insurance. She was hoping I'd be sick enough and broke enough that I wouldn't fight back. Having a doctorate in nursing education, and specializing in teaching Neuro, you think she knew what would happen? Of course she did! She's obviously smart enough to know since she has the highest level of education one can get.

Once I let it be known that I had proof of her sleeping with people across the country, she immediately offered to settle the divorce and give me the two rental properties that were previously in dispute. Finally that's over. The divorce is, anyway. Legal charges could soon be filed against her which are pretty serious. Prison may be in her future. She deserves every second of every year of it. That's all I can say about that right now.

My one source of income dried up. I had tried to be responsible so I bought a Long Term disability policy through the hospital. Turns out I needed it. For two years, they were very shady, constantly tried to weasel out of paying, and finally they changed their definitions to prevent paying the claim.

I applied for social security over two years ago and was denied, which they do for nearly all first time applicants. Having the long term claim payment prevented me from getting any help with food. My income was used entirely for surviving, paying cash for medications when I could, but had to just stop taking the medicine which prevents further brain damage. I've gone days without food, and cried being happy when I finally did get groceries.

For the first time in my life, I had to ask for food help from a food pantry. On my birthday last year, I picked up my food box handout.

I finally got to move to one of my rental houses when the bank took my lake home. It was colder than I can remember. Frigid, I mean. I stayed up for days getting things packed up and moved to the new place. I finally got there the heat pump wasn't working. It was so cold. I turned on the water to find out pipes had been destroyed. Once I shut off the water to fix it, the other pipes busted. I had been awake for days working my ass off, now trying to get all this fixed. I didn't try to make things miserable.

I had to entirely re-plumb the house. I've not felt so alone before.

My computer quit working. I couldn't use it to make any money.

My phone quit working most of the time. It was nearly unusable.

Thanks to some good friends, I've got a computer, a phone and I'll be fine.

Hopefully soon I'll be able to start back on all my medicines and feel much better. Until then, I'm trying to use the only thing I've got left which happens to be my passion- Music.

So there you have it! There are some highlights, yes there are so many more things. That's why I need some gigs, need some downloads, need some folks helping with some articles and reviews, or just anything you find you'd like to do to help me make money.

 

 

No more pretending 

What in the world, right?

Here it is: I need your help and I hate asking for it.

Bearing that in mind, I'm also trying to constantly improve myself. I always thought being super-stubborn and rejecting help was admirable and strong. But, I've come to realize that it really just shuts people out. I enjoy helping other people (who truly appreciate it), so I'm sure other people do too!

Here's the sob story, "Best Laid Plans of Mice and Musicians" if you want to hear what's up

 

7 Quick and painless ways to help:

  • Please sign up for my new email newsletter! There's some very intimate things I'd like to share with you but I don't want to do it on social media. This is way more important than you may realize! Thank you so much!
  • I need some money but not a handout!  If you know someone who might be into my music, please tell them about it and ask them to download something (Here's the link straight to my music download page, please share it! 
  • I need gigs I suck at booking. Anyone interested in booking a few gigs for me (or even one), I'll gladly share a percentage or give you free stuff :-)
  • Reviews and opinions I really need some honest reviews, opinions, and critiques to add to my website and my promo package. Just a few quick lines are great! If you don't want your name published, I'll honor that of course!
  • Help spread the word Tell someone who likes music, buy a few CDs to give as gifts and I'll cut you a deal. Bring some friends to see one of my new shows. It is guaranteed to be different than before!
  • BLOG BLOG BLOG Do you blog? Even better, do you write about music you like? I would be honored if you like my music well enough to give it a listen and do a write up on it! I'll help with resources, pictures, music to listen to, whatever. Reach out! If you know someone who writes about music, please tell them about me!
  • Buy a T-shirt Soon I'll have some very cool shirts for sale. Please help a brother out and buy one. Honestly, if I had unlimited money, I'd give one to everybody, but I'm on a poverty diet and struggling to pay for peanut butter over here!
  • Host a home concert Okay sure, this one isn't for everyone. Imagine this: You invite some cool friends to an intimate and personal get-together that only lasts a couple hours. Suggest $10 donation per person (most people will donate that or more) We split those donations;  it covers the cost of snacks and drinks. If someone doesn't donate, it's fine. Feed 'em anyway :-)  I'll put on a show for you and your friends right there in the living room, or in the back yard. At the end of the night, you've had a private concert, had some nice friends over and haven't lost any money. To top it off, you've helped a starving artist. What's more honorable than that?

A Soldier's Advice 

A Soldier's advice 

by Darren Camp 

I have witnessed death more times than I can count. I have stood face to face with death. I have had bloody fist-fights with it; the no-holds-barred kind where anything goes. After all, death doesn't play by the rules. It fights dirty. It is unfair and uncaring and shows no favoritism. All men and women are indeed equal in its eyes, and none will escape it. 

Death itself can not be defeated by man. We wage war against it in obvious defiance of the inevitable. We curse it, despise it, fear it and even respect it, although admitting such respect is nearly impossible at times. We ignore it as best we can; thinking that if we don't acknowledge the truth of its inevitability, we'll somehow escape it. 

The war against death and dying has an outcome that is as sure as the sun rising each morning. Whether we are one of those that remain in denial about it, or embrace the truth, the facts remain: It is appointed unto man once to die. So, why fight so strongly against something we know will eventually defeat us? It is not to win the war itself, but to win as many battles as possible. 

I have no idea how many battles with death I've won. I don't want to know. Deep down, it does not feel as though I've won more than I have lost, nor does it feel the opposite. Based on those feelings, I'm going to have to estimate that I've come out even. 

Even though I do not have an exact number, I can say with certainty that it is in the hundreds, maybe thousands of times that I have fought tooth and nail against death. I have sacrificed my body and my mind to fight for complete strangers. People whom I had never met until death was trying to drag them away. 

I dedicated much of my life to being a good soldier in the war against death. Learning about life's microscopic intricacies, the effects of the behavior humankind has on death, and everything in-between. I have educated myself, I have trained countless hours, and I have learned from mistakes of others and myself. 

Each and every battle I won, you can bet was celebrated. Yet, even as I reveled, there was always a knowing that the victory was temporary; that some time in the future, whether it was an hour later or if it was fifty years later, death would return and would win. 

Now a veteran of that war, I do as other war veterans do. I reflect and ponder, and try to make sense of it all. Perhaps it is to justify the scars or to have some sense of value within my own self. Sure, there are times where bad memories prevail, causing an emotional retreat from waxing philosophical. However, I tend to arrive at the same conclusion no matter which perspective I view it from. 

The conclusion reached over and over is: 

I marched willingly into war against an enemy that is certain to eventually win the battle of life and death. Every single time, without prejudice or judgment, I fought as hard as I could, using the skills and knowledge I had obtained. 

I did the best I could. Not with the illusion that the lives for which I fought would continue forever, but the knowing that these people would have more opportunity to make the most of life. For some, I was able to give them that chance, for others, I was not able. 

Having seen the things I've seen and knowing what I know, I would only offer once piece of advice. That is, make the most of every opportunity you get to bring meaning to the life you are given, take no one for granted, and never think you're guaranteed tomorrow.

Lookin for perks in all the wrong places 

 Darren Camp, March 2017 



The summer of 1986, I volunteered to help the local Civitans put on the annual Dixie Cup Regatta boat race. 

Already the second biggest guy on the high school football team at 250lbs, I suppose I looked like I could work security and that's what I was assigned to do. I was put in charge of only allowing authorized people through the gate by the pit area and keeping people from parking anywhere around the gate. 

The man who showed me to my assigned spot and gave me my “training” told me, “Okay, this is an important place by the pit. If anyone wants through, and doesn't have a Pit Pass, they don't come through here, they don't park here, period. I don't give a shit who it is, no one can park here. I don't care if it is the president of the United States. Can you handle that?” I assured him I could and would. 

Traffic in and out was minimal and most of the morning was uneventful. Suddenly, I noticed a large tour bus turning into the hotel parking lot and heading for the gate where I was posted. I noted that the speed of the bus was really too fast for the area of the parking lot, especially since there was a lot of pedistrian traffic. The bus came to a stop inches from the chain-link fence gate and immediately activated the air brakes, causing a loud “PSSSHHHHHHH!” 

After a long few seconds the side door of the tour bus opened and a man stepped out and began surveying an empty area of the pit, just inside my gate, as he briskly made his way to me. 

“I need you to open up this gate, boy. I'm going to park this bus right over there”, he said, pointing at the unused strip of asphalt. 

“Can I see your pass, please, sir?” I asked him. 

He obviously found this funny and chuckled while shaking his head. 

“We ain't got no pass, son. We don't need a pass. We just need you to get the damned gate open so I can park this bus over there!” 

Remembering my strict but simple guidelines, it was easy to determine my decision, which I unapologetically shared, “First off, sir, unless you have some damned good proof, I'm not your son. Secondly, If you don't have a Pit Pass, you're not coming through my gate. Thirdly, since you have no proof of fathering me and no Pit Pass, you're gonna have to back that damned bus out of here and go park somewhere else.” 

Apparently, this gentleman didn't find my response as humorous as my last one. He became visibly angry and raised his voice and pumped a fist in my direction, saying, “You don't know shit, do you boy? Don't you know who's bus this is? This bus belongs to Johnny Lee!” I was familiar with Johnny Lee and his successful hit, “Looking for Love”, but I've never been impressed by celebrity. Besides, I had my orders. 

“I could really care less who's in the bus. As a matter of fact, I don't give a shit. The only thing I care about is how fast you get this damned bus out of my Pit area”, I explained. He spun around and took a few steps towards the bus before pausing to turn and shake his pointed finger at me and say, “You're in a heap of shit!” 

He stomped up the steps of the bus and I then heard muffled frustrated sounds, which were plainly him recounting the story. It was then that a bright light brilliantly glowed from the tour bus door... uh, nah, not really... but Mr Johnny Lee did come out, both feet hitting the pavement at the same time, immediately followed by two other men. The made a bee-line towards me. 

“Listen here, boy!”, Johnny Lee said to me, “We are parking this goddam bus over there, so open this F*&king gate right now and let us in!” 

I smiled at him the entire time he was talking. When he finished, I answered, “Nope.” 

“You're telling me you ain't letting me in there?” he asked. 

Being the natural smart ass that I am, I replied, “I'm glad you're catching on! I don't give a damn what you say, you will not get through this gate today, or ever. See ya!” 

Mr. Lee poked out his chest as he stepped up to me toe-to-toe and said, “You must want your ass whipped, boy!” 

Not intimidated whatsoever, I said, “How do you think it's gonna look in the newspaper when they print a picture of you on your ass with a busted lip, that silly hat knocked off your head, and those sunglasses laying broken beside you, with a caption that says 'Local Teen whips country singer's ass' underneath it?” 

He then said a thing or two about my mother, hopped on the bus and backed away. I made it a point to continue looking at them while I laughed. I'm not sure if he found a place to park, but I doubt he had much luck. I guess “Love” wasn't the only thing he was trying to find in “all the wrong places”.

So, basically...

 

Expect random stories, ponderings, observations. Expect some goofiness and some shenanigans as well. What can I say, I'm mischievous.

 

Here's a snippet from the book I'm writing:

"I've Already got SO MUCH. What you know about what I know is just a speck. Incredible. The Truth will set you free! 

You are such a terrible, evil person. You hid well for a long time, but that disguise is about to be ripped off. You are a liar, a whore, an abuser and plain evil.

I have all of the proof. I'll never stop spreading the word. The more lies you tell to attempt to counter it, the more of your ugly will show in the end. I have so much proof that your lies won't ever be able to counter them. The world needs to know. You are Satan!"