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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Life's a roller coaster, not a merry go round

By Ted Slowik

Life is full of highs and lows. It's a lot more like a roller coaster than a merry go round. It's not always easy or fun, but if you're good at coping with change you'll be fine. Remember, it's not the strongest or the smartest species that survive, it's those that are best at adapting to change.

I've been through a week of pretty dramatic change. I'm a nonsmoker now, after 30 years. I didn't want to quit, I had to. I was losing circulation to my fingers and couldn't play guitar. After a week there's much improvement. I'm coping with the physical change just fine. There are some social situations where my energy level isn't quite there yet, but I'll be fine. I'm not smoking ever again. If it's a choice between smoking and being able to play guitar, that decision's a no brainer.

Musically, it was a great week. On Tuesday, I got together with my great friend and former Nobody Knows bandmate Dave Kent. We went to Berwyn. I played a couple tunes at the open mic at FitzGerald's, then we went and heard a set of great acoustic blues by Jeff Massey of Steepwater.

Wednesday I was back at Tribes Mokena for the weekly acoustic open mic hosted by John Condron. Greg Toombs and Matthew Law from Bluesonic were there, so that was a great surprise! I got to hear great performances by John Green, Scott McNeil and Ryan Olsson, and Bill Ryan and Greg Woods from Time and the New Romans were there, showing us the progress on their new recording project.

On Friday Bluesonic rehearsed, and we're making good progress getting ready for some gigs this summer. Saturday was Mustache Fest 2013 at Chicago Street Pub in Joliet, an event that Jeff Jullian of Vaudevileins puts together. He lined up seven great bands from all over, plus a great opening acoustic set by Matt Biskie. It's a great time meeting and talking to musicians from Champaign, St. Louis and elsewhere, and great hanging out with Bill Aldridge, Triz and many others.

So it was a week of doing what I've been doing a lot of these past 18 months, playing music and hearing and seeing music being made. The only change is now I do it without cigarettes.