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Entry date: 5-21-2024 – Departure Day – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


Please forgive me for the next couple of days as I will probably not be the happiest blogger. Four people I love, one of which I rely on a ton, are going to Maine. I hate these days. They stress me out.


I deal with anxiety a lot. I used to try and keep in check with booze and weed, but I’ve realized in the last couple of years that this didn’t really work. Weed only made my anxiety worse last year a lot of the time. The booze never helped either.


The last couple of years, though, when Rhondi would leave, I would start drinking a lot. I thought I needed it to fall asleep in my bed alone. Last year, I was in a really bad place emotionally and mentally for the first two or three weeks of Rhondi being gone. It sucked.


This year, though, I have a new way of looking at the world that continues to evolve. The desire to drink is not there. The desire to smoke is not there. If I were to do one, I would probably visit cannabis occasionally in the future, but maybe not. I don’t really know at this point if I am completely done with that…


But booze…every day that passes, I don’t see why I would go back to it. Now that I have discovered a few good NA beers, there is no reason at all. I can have a beer that I like with my friends and not feel bad the next day or progress in my destructive thinking as I drink more of them.


Having said all that, I’m going to really miss my wife, my daughters, and Doug until we get up there in a little over a month. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve got a lot to keep me busy, so that’s good. A little bit of everything is on my plate. A veritable smorgasbord of busy-ness.




The field trip was great. The kids were pretty good for the most part, especially the Cocaine Baby. He chilled when I asked him to chill, and I think he had a blast. He was a bit afraid of the fish, every so often, and it was funny to see. When a couple of his classmates pointed out that he shouldn’t be afraid because there was glass, I stood up for him and said, “He’s not afraid” and a few other students started sticking up for him as well.


The weirdest part was how the voice over recordings at OdySea Aquarium often mentioned how the fish were “thriving.” I guess they don’t want people to think about the dead dolphins anymore.




Safe travels to my loves.




“Use your… head/be a…ware/give… a… fuuuuuuuuuck!”


I’ve always loved that line from “In Your Face” by 7 Seconds. In 1985, I bought their Walk Together, Rock Together EP because I had written 7 Seconds on a pair of shorts I had, so I figured I better listen to them. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this EP.


I may have used Taco Bell money to pay for this, but my memory is telling me I had it before the summer that year. Who knows when I got it, but in 1985, a few of us did a lip sync of 7 Seconds’ cover of “99 Red Balloons” that is on the EP. I was the singer for that one and I remember getting pulled into the crowd by some enthusiastic teenage girls at Tommy’s.


On a side note, doing those lip sync contests at Tommy’s cemented my need to be in a real band and, on occasion, enthusiastic fans have tried to pull me off the stage. It’s pretty glorious. I recommend it highly.


I also recommend visiting (or revisiting) Walk Together, Rock Together. I go years and years sometimes without listening to this EP, but it is so good. The lyrics were so different from a lot of bands I was listening to at the time. They were easy to understand, well thought out, and positive in a way that was not offensive to my ears.


In those days, and for another ten years or so, I wanted my music to be as offensive as possible a lot of the time. I wanted the “adults” in my life to recoil in shock and fear, but 7 Seconds didn’t do that. Instead, they were inclusive and fun and while they were a little bit pissed about things, they offered solutions rather than just problems.


“How Do You Think You’d Feel,” for example, is one of the first songs in the punk world that I can remember that asked the listener to use a little empathy and treat everyone, especially women, equally. Kevin Seconds has always seemed like a good dude.


Now, of course, there are more versions of this EP, and it even became an LP a year later, but I never picked it up in the expanded format. For one thing, some of the later 7 Seconds I heard I didn’t dig as much. They got a little too “Whoa, oh” for me.


By “Whoa, Oh,” I mean they had the poppier punk kind of thing going on where there would be gang vocals happening on the choruses with a bunch of dudes going, “Whoa, oh.” That’s never been my thing. I don’t hate it every once in a while, but too much of even a good thing starts to get lame after a while.


This record was in heavy rotation for me, though, in 1985 and 1986. I never did end up going to see 7 Seconds play. I’ve seen Kevin Seconds do the solo acoustic thing and that was okay. I kinda wish I would have seen them in the mid-80s, but it wasn’t in the cards. Alas…


For a time, though, and even today to an extent, the title track, “Walk Together, Rock Together” still gets my blood pumping. It certainly impacted my thinking as a young’un because I liked that people were into different bands than I was. Life would be boring if everyone liked the same thing and even then, I knew that to be true. Now, I would have argued all day about a band you might have liked that I thought sucked, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t respect that you liked them. I would have just questioned why you liked them.


Looking at the cover reminds me of one of my shameful, poser lies in those early days for me. One of the guys in 7 Seconds is wearing a jacket that looked very similar to a jacket I had. I had stolen it from my dad a year or so earlier because it kind of looked like one of the jackets somebody in Suburbia wore. After getting Walk Together, Rock Together, I told a few people it was the jacket from the record cover so I would seem cool.


Only one person ever called bullshit on it, though, and after that, I stopped telling that lie. I wonder what happened to that jacket? Probably loaned it to a girl who was cold and never got it back. Dumb.




See you tomorrow.

Escape, turtle, escape!

28 views5 comments


I often try to leave 7 seconds left on the microwave after nuking something up.....


No one else around me gets it but it sure puts a smile on my face 😁


Jane McClung
Jane McClung

We finally got around to trying Wilderness Brewery on Sunday and I noticed they have several decent looking NA beers on their tap list and of course I thought of ya! If you didn’t already know you do now! Check it out 🙂


Good to know! Thank you!

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