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Lies, Gratitude and Love

Life has been somewhat surreal since September. I have been collecting on every piece of karma I have put out into the cosmos.

It’s tough to talk about my depression in real time and not in generalities. This one was a mother fucker. Sorry but that’s really the only way to describe it.

When ever I am stressed to the max I will literally black out. I lie about the stress and the horrible feelings that come along so that I don’t scare the living shit out of friends and family. This is a double edged sword.

I lie about the stress and the horrible feelings that come along so that I don’t scare the living shit out of friends and family.

One it makes me me a liar. I lie to escape the advice of  Dr. Phil watchers. I lie to quickly get rid of the immediate stress until I can hide. Kind of a ‘Look over there” as I make an escape. I lie about how I’m feeling. That one is more like talking myself into feeling better. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

I found out that the lies I use to protect myself and others, make me a “pathological liar.” I know this is true because I heard specific examples second hand by a person who wasn’t looking out for me and was doing their best to feel better about themselves by trying to hurt me. I’m a pretty easy target because I internalize my sadness instead of getting up and punching you in the nose for being cruel. But I’m not going to point fingers today or any-day. I will just know who is and who isn’t there to count on.

I blacked out in September and I tried to remove my hand by cutting it off at the wrist. I did a pretty good job except I hung on. Barely, but I did. I awoke in the hospital after bleeding out in my apartment for about three hours. My sweet neighbor Brooke found me hours later called 911 and I guess they drug me out and I came to in the hospital. I would give anything to have not put her through that. I am not her cross to bear.

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You brought this on yourself

My ‘friend’ went into panic mode and started making calls to make sure she looked 100% innocent and called around and gathered info to make sure that even though I felt bad, I didn’t feel bad enough. As they were pouring blood into me my friend called and wanted the Version account number. My ER nurse actually ripped the phone out of the wall and wouldn’t allow anymore calls after the ones that came through.  Let me repeat… SHE RIPPED THE PHONE OUT OF THE WALL! “Don’t let any one else call this guy!” The Mother Theresa’s were out in full that day making sure I knew I wasn’t feeling bad enough for them.

From there I healed and then checked into the Monterey Monkey House. I walked around in my jammies and went to Group, colored pictures and watched movies with the rest of the loons.

As the song ‘Message in a Bottle’ by the Police says, ‘I’m not alone in being alone.’ in fact I’m normal when it comes to severe depression.


In Group they finally explained the stages and severity of depression, mania, and bi-polar condition. As the counselor went through the habits of each of these conditions she would ask if any of us had these habits. EVERYONE in that group of 20 people raised their hands.

I’m going to explain it once and for all and never apologize for it again.

I’m going to call this the Fuck Dr Phil and his Bullshit Show and his Dumb-ass forty minute diagnose’s  or FDPAHDAFMD for short.

Imagine a  scale of 1-10.  1 being bad, 10 being good…kinda

scaleMost ‘normal’ people live around 5. but can fluctuate up or down a number or two. Having a bad week might make you dip to a 3 for a bit or waiting on Christmas might put you at a 7. They are short term and will pass and the median will still be right in the middle.

Bi-polar people can range from 1 to 10 depending on the day and usually stay around 3 or 7 depending on the person. Mine is depression so I stay about 3-4 daily. I’m going to only focus on depression.

The term they use for me is Dysthymia. It is long term but a person can function. You can work, be social, go places, take care of yourself and hide the pain.

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Changes in sleep habits — oversleeping or not sleeping enough
  • Changes in appetite — overeating or poor appetite

When I am under stress, I can dip down to the 1-2 area, also called Major Depressive Order

  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
  • Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others)
  • Restlessness or feeling slowed down
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month)
  • Feelings of fear
  • Memory problems
  • Suicide

And there it is. I usually hit 1-2 when under a ton of stress. I have abandonment issues that pop up and people either don’t know or worse DO KNOW and use it against me as a threat.

depression-meditation-8Some people strike out and crawl up in a tower and shoot into McDonalds. Some people like myself internalize it and their brain just shuts down. Too much stimuli and fear, and months of feeling like you can’t do anything right. It becomes a self fulfilling prophesy but all I can do is follow my doctor’s orders.

The abandonment comes from the feeling of not being worth sticking around for. Friends and family write you off and you hear from them twice a year out of some sense of dreaded duty. Like having to pay taxes. Ya do it, but you don’t want to. I can tell and I can feel the resentment and the out of sight out of mind attitude. Hell I’d probably do it myself. I put these people through a lot so I can’t really blame them, but I also can count on them to either disappear, distance themselves, or pawn you off onto a doctor. I’m not looking for happiness. I have happiness. I’m looking for peace.

I’m not looking for happiness. I have happiness. I’m looking for peace.

The funny thing is, the number one thing every doctor and counselor tells me that I must have is emotional support. I’ll say it again THE NUMBER ONE THING YOU NEED IS EMOTIONAL SUPPORT! If you can’t get it here, then find it somewhere else. I get it that you need to distance yourself but you have to also get it that I will too. The difference is  you have the choice. My part is getting over the resentment I feel when I know I can’t call and cry. I don’t blame anyone really, but I do miss them. Life goes on, just without them.


It is Thanksgiving today so I’m going to give thanks where I know it is due. In no specific order.

  • Brooke Weston. My beautiful neighbor for two years who makes the greatest lowbrow art. Thank you and I love you.
  • Jen Shipley. A surprise friend, and my angel.
  • Lily, the other angel in my life.

Lily and Jen met for the first time when they broke into my apartment and grabbed my guitars and computer. They had never met in person and I hadn’t met Lily until later. When I got out of the hospital they brought me home, put me up. Now that is a friend.

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The Mighty Dr. Wu

  • My brothers and best friends from Dr Wu’s Rock and Soul Revue. They dropped everything and gathered the money and the love and support to get me home to heal up and be around people who loved me. My Doctor, myself, and the fellas thought this was exactly what I needed. So Pat ‘Mr. Sax’ Lee, Mark ‘the Master’ Cornell, Dr. Shane Pitsch DMA, and his ex-wife Jamey, Kent “Sweet’ Aberle, George Ozier, Doug Evans, Chris ‘H.C.’ Taylor, J.B. and Michelle Faires, Bugsy Eagleson, and Doug Evans.
  • My brother’s in the Matt Poss Band, Matt Poss, Tim Alverson (I want that Tele back someday!) and Mac McDevitt.
  • My brother’s in Poprocks Jon Clarkson, Wally Hooker, and Brendan Gamble.
  • The loves of my life Kelly Guerrettaz, Brandi Yagow, Beth Kintner, Karen VanBlaircum, Jenny Green, Michelle Robertson,  Joi Green, Marna Neese. If I ever get married again, it will be to one of these women. Don’t worry ladies I’m never going to get married again, the last wife cured that and the last girlfriend cured me of relationships. Rest easy.
  • Tommy Dunn, Ike Edwards, Damian Light. Corey Neidigh, I have more love for you guys than I can ever express.
  • Rich Matlock, I never had a bad time at a Rhythm Pigz show, or with you.
  • Aaron Cox my oldest friend.
  • And who ever I missed. I got out of the hospital and found hundreds of ‘I love you’ messages.
  • My sister Mo for talking me through a lot of this.

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

A special thanks to J.B. and Michelle Faires. You put me up, took no shit, gave your love your time, your advice, and your studio to a guy and his cat who had no place to go. I have been thinking everyday how to tell you what that meant to me. I have never found the words that even come close to the the appreciation I feel. Thank you.

Dr. J.B. Faires

Dr. J.B. Faires DMA

Jon invited me to lunch and to hang regularly. Pat did too.

Michelle Faires said something as she was walking out the door one day. I told her I was overwhelmed by the out pouring of love from so many people and she replied “And the common denominator is you”

So I can look at these scars and know these people cared enough to get up and help me when I was sicker than I have ever been in my life. You don’t get in the paper for helping with an invisible illness. You did it anyway. I can’t express my gratitude enough.


So I’m back in California, I’m feeling better than I have in a really long time. It’s a shame some of the people in my past couldn’t hold out a little longer because the best has yet to come. I am actively searching for work in San Francisco doing Graphics. I sold my guitars, even my beloved Telecaster that I have had for 25 years, to get back but what the hell I don’t feel like making music anyway. Now I have no choice LOL.

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A Ketch, not THE Ketch

In the interim I just spent the week at the Breakwater Marina in Monterey working on my new friend’s boat. I spent seven days 8-14 hours a day in the sun, climbing ladders (the boat was in dry dock) cutting wood for bulkheads, painting the boat, smelling salt air and listening to the sea lions bark. I have a farmer’s tan and a new friend in Eric.

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Eric is a character. He fits right in with the rest of my friends perfectly. He laughs a lot, He looks like Ritchie Havens, he listens to 80’s Rush, He hates Trump, and he’s famous. For real famous, not infamous. Award winning film star, scuba instructor, lives on a boat in the Caribbean. I’m sure many of you have enjoyed his work and I have put the pressure on him to hook me up with his friend-ish Sarah, who is also famous.

I want to take her to Dairy Queen for ice cream and then to the ASPCA to pet kittens and puppy dogs.  Eric seems to think she’ll expect a nicer date but ya know what? That seems like a great date. If she wants to dress up and go to dinner and dancing, we’ll just crash a wedding. If Sarah doesn’t want to go screw her, He knows plenty of people that I’m a fan of. I bet one of them would love ice cream.

sarah jay

Ice cream and petting puppies with Sarah

I watched a beautiful Ketch (it’s a boat) being lifted up and put into the Pacific yesterday. We smoked cigarettes and sat on the boat he restored. The two masts looked a mile high. It never felt so good to be so tired. Thank you Eric for giving me the opportunity and for not getting too pissed because I can’t remember anything. Call Sarah…

I have too much to be thankful for. I hope you all do too.

S.

 

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Bob Dylan, Springsteen, and ‘Diamond’ David Lee Roth Walk into a Bar…

A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:
1. Not everyone who sh*ts on you is your enemy.
2. Not everyone who gets you out of sh*t is your friend.
3. And when you’re in deep sh*t, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!


I don’t know if anyone reads these or not? I tend to write when I have no other outlet for spouting off where no one can tell me I’m wrong. I know I’m wrong. I don’t need your verification. But I don’t mind discussion. If you want the philosophy of a grumpy hermit with social anxiety…I’m your man!

I have a great friend who is a teacher. Mr. Taylor. The only thing that matches his guitar playing is his taste in music. Top notch. He was cool before it was cool to be that cool. We love many of the same bands. The same guitarists. Obscure tunes and forgotten gems. He’s always laughing. He has a Chicago accent. Good guy to be around… We had a discussion the other day about songwriters.

Bob-Dylan-Ray-Ban-wayfarers-500x333

Robert Zimmerman

We were discussing some of the greatest lyricists of the 20/21st Century. Not music as much as the guys who write amazing lyrics. Dylan, Springsteen, John Hiatt, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett. There are more I’m sure but these guys are regarded worldwide as top shelf lyricists. They know how to turn a lyric into an image that also pulls a switcheroo on you.  They can make you laugh, cry, both and make the hair on your arms stand up.

Some of the names you may not recognize but if you have a favorite song John Hiatt probably wrote it.

28e0eb16d3ad9c349dfe4198a34e9ab5I added David Lee Roth. The singer for Van Halen. The peroxide Mark Twain. The last shameless rock star. Mr. Taylor said that Dave made him smile. Hell Yeah he did. I of course told him I would expound on why DLR is the most underrated poet of our time. Any DLR era classic Van Halen song was co written by Dave. Every word you sing along to was from the mind of a hyperactive kid from San Bernardino, The son of a Dentist.

  1. I can snap my fingers and require the rain
    From a clear blue sky and turn it off again
    I can stroke your body and relieve your pain
    And charm the whistle off an evening train
  2. She comes like the secret wind
    Shes as strong as the mountains,walks tall as a tree.
    She been there before,she’ll never give in,
    She’ll be gone tomorrow like the silent breeze.
  3. Forgotten empires
    Lost victories long past
    Every time I bloomed again
    I thought it was the last
  4. Tell you a secret to make you think
    Why is this crazy stuff we’d never say poetry in ink?
    Speaking day-glow red, explode opaque
    Purple mountain’s majesty
    Show me you, I’ll show you me
  5. I need a little shot of that rhythm baby
    Mixed up with these country blues
    I wanna trade in these ol country boots
    For some fine italian shoes
  6. Except roll down the window
    And let the wind blow
    Back your hair
    Well the night’s busting open
    These two lanes will take us anywhere
    We got one last chance to make it real
    To trade in these wings on some wheels

Case freakin closed…

7b9c73f62b2cfa09f2b616cd95ed1e24It takes a hell of a writer to get those images in your head down on paper and then deliver it. To do it in a poetic, satirical, self-deprecating, but clever inner voice is another thing. David Lee Roth has the ability, the imagination, the vocabulary, and the experience to match any of our greatest writers. Don’t dismiss him because he is a great entertainer.

Just remember…. This when you think of the great writers of our time;

Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorn

Yeah it does

Oh here is who wrote what up there:

  1. Silvio – Bob Dylan
  2. Secrets – DLR
  3. Blood and Fire – DLR
  4. Tattoo – DLR
  5. Memphis in the Meantime – John Hiatt
  6. Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen

I just felt like writing. Dave is as good if not better than most. I won’t really fight you over this.

 

I can't find work due to my prison tattoo.

I NEED A JOB!… So why does this guy get the offers? Hello! San Francisco!

Mr Cropp was serving a two-year jail term for aggravated robbery when his brother did the facial art using a makeshift needle and fermented food.

He went to Facebook and pled his case. “No one will hire me because I have a tattoo all over my face.” He received 45 offers for work and he’s just waiting on the right one…

I can't find work due to my prison tattoo.

I can’t find work due to my prison tattoo

I’ve been living in California for over a year and since everything cost five-times what it did in the Mid-West, I love it.

I have been hitting all the recruiters who alert me to Graphics jobs. I apply I hear nothing. Yes or no. I don’t even know if these alerts are real.

I replied to my recruiter to one of my daily recruiters today. Phil from Ziprecruiter.com

Hi Phil, I hope you are real. I get your updates.

I have been living in CA for over a year. I have applied many times through Ziprecruiter but never received a single bite. I have never heard back. I’m not even sure the position is real.

I am good at my job. I have freelanced for Disney, Warner Brothers, CNN, I have worked at a newspaper. Talk about deadlines. I’ve always met if not exceeded my client’s expectations.

I can list off abilities all day. I can design your next product, brand it, make a graphic for the container, animate it, and build a website from scratch. Take your ad for the product and design a wrap for your car plus a design for the business card and the billboard.

I could stay in and work pre-press making sure files are up to  par. Then separate it into CMYK and print it in a magazine that I have laid out myself, import the Excel file of addresses and walk to the post office to send them.

While I’m there I can work on a forklift and a coal boiler. I can show your children magic tricks at a professional level, teach you to play a guitar or bass, write and record an album, book a tour, and come back with the cash. I can juggle. Where am I going wrong?

I’m going to  Petco tomorrow and asking them for a job. I’m college educated, 20+ real world years of skills to offer, I’m reliable and dependable and I’m going to be cleaning up Parrot crap. I will give it 100% like I do everything. It’s a shame Petco is going to get one of the finest graphic artists you’ll meet.

I have a bad ass sister also looking for work. One day Fortune 500 Company where she managed hundreds of employees with her hard head, smart mouth, and the ability to get things done, the next day going over job boards. I have to shake my head when I hear of her troubles with work. Some company is going to luck out when they hand Michelle (my sis) a job. Stand back, you’ll only get in her way. I think they have a Pet Smart in Mattoon, IL. I hope they are hiring. Gonna be some lucky Parrots in clean cages.

I’m frustrated Phil.
–Samuel Roan

mark-cropp-facebookSo Mr. Moog, while waiting for the right position to come along. You know; desk job,  secretary with a face tattoo.

Forty Five offers were given to this guy while Forty five people who never held anyone at gunpoint, made the decision not to tattoo their face in prison with a makeshift needle and vegetables as ink. Forty five people who were at a disadvantage because they were wise enough not to do what Mr. Moog did.

Plus Moog hasn’t taken a single one of the offers.


My Dad died a few weeks ago. He wasn’t the man he should have been, an alcoholic with a penchant for going to town for smokes and coming home three weeks later. I think back and I really don’t remember doing much with him.

I played little league on year. I remember going with him to the local parts store and sportsman supply shop in Greenup. He bought me a ball glove way too big (You’ll grow into it) and went home and put 3 in 1 oil all over it and I think we put a ball in it and put it under my mattress. I don’t think he saw any games. I remember calling him when I got on base the one time. Michelle and I used that glove for years during P.E. class. He took us to see King Kong (70’s version) and Jaws at the drive in.

18816215_1166151936828489_2122914391_nI could go on but it hurts a little too much and the guilt is a little heavy and my great support team is 2500 miles away. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of best friends, the community of Greenup and specifically the kindness of Priscilla Schrock who had a ticket waiting for me within an hour of being told to come home. The Greenup Southern Baptist church who got me back and helped big time with the rent. My family. Michelle and Mom and Jim.

I didn’t tell anyone I was home even though I’m sure they knew. I spent two weeks 24/7 with a sober, funny, and frightened father. Not that he ever showed me he was scared. My old man doesn’t get scared.

I’m an Atheist so I don’t imagine Pa sitting back with his brother and best friend John Roan tossing back Busch beer and telling Navy stories. I also know energy can’t be destroyed. So somewhere the energy that was my father is floating around in the either. I don’t think I ever did much to make him proud. I’m all music and art, he was carburetors and beer.

18838444_1166146326829050_1056582043_oI think those were the best two weeks I ever had. We became close again and of all things nightly, we would watch Frasier, the A-Team, and Miami Vice while smoking cigarettes and telling stories. I never knew my dad was in Italy, Greece, Jamaica… He never spoke about it and wasn’t one to take pictures.

We laughed a lot. I get my vision of absurdity from him. Michelle and I both got our sense of humor from him. I got his curly hair, which was always too long for him. Does that shit matter today? No. It’s just hair and too many wasted years.

If I can ever get my favorite singer Brandi Yagow to sing my version of an old Iron Maiden tune “Wasted Years” I will record it. Mine isn’t heavy, fast or angry. It’s just me missing my dad. I can still hear him telling me to “Turn that shit down!” and ironically I’ll be dedicating one of those tunes to him.

Here is the original. Mine is nothing like this except the words and the chords. Until I get it done it’ll have to do.

If you want to do me a solid, follow and share, and get me a freakin job doing what I do best!