The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

September 26, 2008

Within Without and what it's all about

Nostalgia's a beautiful, enduring thing that can't change.

Deep feeling and friendships are too. Quite often, at least in my life, all those things go hand in hand.

And blogging has given me plenty of all of that since May 2006.

It's given me a chance to show myself as the total doofus I am, in a sometimes revealing if embarrassing way, and to be myself, with warts and all.

I've been feeling nostalgic for a while, fact, I always am. I'm not so much in the here and now, and I know how that's supposedly a bad thing.

I never let go of the past. And I love that I don't.

I think who you are now is a huge product of where you've been.

And so that's always with me...where I am or whatever I am.

I cherish it, I laugh over it, I cry over it, I deliberate over it.

I play songs like Photograph and In My Life and other old songs that talk about what's happened before, that resonate with me, because everyone's a product now of what their past was before.

I know it sounds so simple, but it's so true...and I'm not sure everyone follows that (for me) reality.

I'm proud of what I was before because it has made who I am now, despite all the screwups and dumb decisions I've made in a very Doh! sort of way.

And I can't let go of that, because half the time, I don't KNOW who I am now.

I'll only know who I am now at some point in the future. And it's OK if you don't get that or don't agree with it or wonder how the hell I can say that. I'm not asking for anyone's approval.

So...who gives a shit about all that?

Well, I'm sure no one gets why I called this blog Snippets from Spaceship Orion.

And they sure as hell don't know why I picked Within Without as my handle, although that has now been transformed into Winky Weinerhead, at times.

And I'm going to explain that now. Because no one in their right mind would get it. And because someone on another blog recently said something to the effect of, "WW? WTF?"

Anyone who has visited this blog before knows of my association, at least on some level, with Homo Escapeons.

AKA Donn Coppens, aka Donnnnnn, aka Lord Tennisanyone, aka a million other totally ridiculous pseudonyms he takes on on virtually a daily basis.

Fortunately for him, unfortunately for me, we live in the same town.

I consider him a lifelong friend -- not because I've known him all my life, but because from the time we met in college, he instantly became my lifelong friend.

He knows me inside and out. And I know him inside and out.

I won't bore you with all the details, some of which I've posted about before in the past two years, such as cross-country skiing in the buff in -25C temperatures at 2 a.m. in the morning.

Suffice to say that we have, and always will, spend a lot of time together.

A few years ago, in what was one stage of my transition time from broken marriage to single-again existence, when I had actually bought a house that he helped me paint...

...He came over to play pool in my basement.

In what was a perfect fit for our off-kilter but totally in-synch friendship, the pool table was irreparably lopsided. Our balls, so to speak, always rolled to one side.

As I recall, I usually beat him, mercilessly.

But as had always transpired during our only-slightly-interrupted-by-marriage-and-work 25 previous years as friends, he gave me his gift of music.

His vast knowledge, his tastes which he knew didn't necessarily jibe with mine.

Donn is a music maestro or maven, a maverick who's in the know. All through our friendship, he has ALWAYS played music he has hoped I'd like.

Sometimes I have, sometimes I haven't.

In recent years, he's made tons of CDs for me and used his artistic talents and warped humour to illustrate them with his own covers that often were intended to embarrass me, or at least to show what was going on with him or me or us both.

See how he picked my worst possible photo below right and his best to make me look bad? (Just FYI, the pic of me was taken AFTER he insisted he and I get haircuts to look like goofy RCMP guys).

And to this day, he still does that.

Music is very much a unifying force between us, even despite his stinging criticisms of me when I don't like what he likes -- or when I go crazy over a song he DOESN'T like.

We used to play Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees and do air guitar and air drums to it and do the whole John Travolta thing, laughin' the night away as we sipped on rye and Pepsi or rum and Pepsi or beers.

Or as we played Blackjack or Phase 10, which we still do.

I must confess, he usually beats me at those girly games. (Runs away laughing). But his lovely wife, Alice, usually beats the pants off us both.

Still, she gives me big close hugs, so I don't care...

Anyway, on one of those nights several years ago, when we were downstairs in my house blasting the music away -- I think it was the night he accidentally destroyed one of my speakers with his pool cue -- he put on some music I hadn't heard before.

He pulled out an album -- and I mean, an album, a black vinyl record, I believe -- by a group I had heard of before but had paid no attention to: The Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

I was blown away.

One of their songs was Spaceship Orion. Another was called Within Without.

Both spectacular songs with tons of acoustic guitar, which he knows I like. I believe he had just started blogging (in 2005, I think).

He was trying to get me to start blogging. I did, in 2006.

And I dubbed my blog Snippets from Spaceship Orion. And for my handle, I picked Within Without -- to signify my thoughts from Within being transferred Without.

That's that story.

And I'm stickin' to it.

The way I've got my blog set up, Spaceship Orion will play automatically when you click on my blog. If you want to listen to Within Without, it's at the top right side of my sidebar. Do as you will or won't.