I’m a board. I’m chairman of the boards.

We used to use this white board to play hangman. We drew all kinds of crazy things on it when I was a kid. But at the time we moved into this house, it hadn’t been used in years.

I thought I might give it a new lease on life as an “ideas board”. It would come in handy if I ever had something resembling a band again, I thought — an easy way to keep track of what we were working on and how far along we were.

Of course, that wasn’t happening. So I set it up and used it for my own nefarious purposes. That up there is what it looked like in late 2008.

This is what it looks like now.

Note how the smiley face grew a ‘stache and turned evil.

What it’s turned into is not a list of things I’m working on at the moment (there hasn’t been room to write much new information on the board in a while now), but more of a safety net. If I’m having trouble figuring out what I want to tackle, or if none of the recent things I’ve written are screaming at me, I can take a look at the board and find something to work on.

It’s now mostly made up of songs intended for THE ANGLE OF BEST DISTANCE, along with a list of projected albums that may or may not come to fruition at some point. With the work I’m doing on ANGLE, a lot of those songs should be getting crossed out over the next little while, so it might soon be time to wipe it clean and start fresh. A new board for a New Year, maybe.

What else? I had a dream last night that put a new spin on the well-worn “love potion” theme. A girl removed a tree from the backyard of the object of her affection. The trick was, she needed to dig it out by the roots and then transplant it into one specific field in a desolate wooded area, hoping it would survive the trip.

She had to chop the tree into three different pieces in order to get it to fit in her truck, which seemed to doom the whole thing to failure. But somehow, once it was back in the ground, the tree healed itself almost at once. The top of the tree morphed into something resembling a human face, and then nothing more happened.

She realized there was one missing ingredient — she needed to utter a random phrase in the voice of Elvis Presley. So she said some nonsense in her best Elvis impression. In an instant the tree was gone, and in its place was a shaggy-haired musician.

He explained, with the assistance of some flashbacks, that there was never any need to go to such extremes to get his attention. He always liked her. She just didn’t notice, and he was as shy about expressing his interest as she was with hers. When she threw out some random historic detail and he fleshed it out with authority and confidence, she took it to mean that he had somehow been with her the whole time she was learning about the world, and so he possessed the same knowledge she did and it was all part of the spell she cast. But something in his eyes said it wasn’t so, and no spell had ever been necessary.

After all the dreams I’ve had that end in romantic ambiguity, mind games, betrayal, and missed connections, it’s strange to have one with a clear happy ending, even if it’s a strange one and I took on the role of the camera recording the film as opposed to an actor on the screen. You could argue that the shaggy-haired musician was my obvious stand-in, but his hair was much shorter than mine, he had no beard, and he revealed he’d once been a part of a band named Murder Murder.

I would never be caught dead in a band with that name.

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