practice.. 2023 Sep 30 Sat.. listening and making music!

8am.. breakfast and readings
I mean, not at the same place.. haha! I went to the Lander Art Center early and listened to a few authors read their works as part of the Bookmarked Literary Festival. I thought they had cancelled the jam session, and was ready to stay for a while.

10am.. jam session!
It turned out they just moved the music down the street to an art studio owned by two local women. We had our usual crew and some nephews and friends of one of our regulars showed up. It was pretty fun!

the rest of the day..
I wandered and explored with a friend all the way to Denver! Didn't get home until 7am Sunday!

practice.. 2023 Sep 29 Fri.. slam poetry!

5pm.. flash fiction contest
I got to the library early to listen to readings of this little flash fiction contest for kids in the area. It was pretty fun. I tried paying attention and also was finalizing the leaf poem I was hoping to do at the..

7pm.. slam poetry!
I got everything set up to read the final version and right on stage decided to do the butt kills John's family story that I posted in August. I never made it to round 2.. bleh.. haha! I'm fine! It was an amazing evening of creativity shared!

practice.. 2023 Sep 28 Thu.. new song!

all day.. Ryan's birthday!
5pm.. practice!
The smaller group includes Carl, Pat, Kenny, and Susannah [sp?] and maybe others who I don't know about yet. We're working on the song called You Ain't Going Nowhere by Bob Dylan and then covered by a lot of groups around that time.. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.. The Byrds.. and others.

practice.. 2023 Sep 27 Wed.. jam session

6pm.. jam session
This was just the usual! There was some pretty great mac and cheese, too! haha! I get to practice a song with one of the groups that practice together for the larger jam session tomorrow!

practice.. 2023 Sep 25 Mon.. timing a slam poetry idea

7pm.. slam writing and stuff
There's this little slam poetry contest I've entered and it's almost here.. Friday night, Sep 29! I'm pretty sure I'm doing the little story about adopting a kid because my butt killed his family. I still need another entry and tonight I sat down and wrote one out. I recorded it and here's that..
The text.. first draft. I'll clean it up. It fits in the time already, though.. less than 3 minutes.

I grew up in the same small town from first grade until I graduated. At the end of all that, I went to college like most of my friends. After 12 years of proving myself, I was suddenly in the "real world" where people were once again amazed at what I claimed my disabled body could do.. if they gave me the chance to prove myself. One day the pressures all hit me in the form of voices telling my I shouldn't be there. Now I could and did walk much more and better in those days, and one day, I walked. I found myself in a quiet parking lot on a hill with a cement wall just high enough to sit on. I sat down and just as I did, an autumn leaf landed on the wall right beside me.

That was the first time I felt the vast churning and spinning and infinite series of coincidences that put me there at the exact moment the leaf landed there. It answered a question I didn't know I was asking..

YES! You are right where you need to be. It didn't get easier. In fact, before the end of that first semester, I broke my collarbone. That moment with the leaf carried me through all of that and more.

Many years later, on a rainy day in Olympia Washington I left family court after finalizing the divorce ending a 15 year marriage. I drove to one of the many lakes in the area. The rain kept everyone away and I walked into the cold water alone. It started to rain and the drops would pause a millisecond before joining the lake.. except one. Far out in the water a globe of light stayed at the surface. I got closer to find a large droplet of water held aloft by a leaf bent just so like a tiny canoe. It was beautiful in its random stability. I longed to capture the moment. In no way could I get a picture. I saw how it was made, and again I got an answer to a question I didn't know I was asking that day.. The answer.. do it again.. to the question.. now what?

So.. here I am. I'm in a new place pulling together experiences and making new friends.. doing it again. Like a kid on a beach making sand castle after sand castle with whoever comes along with ideas and curiosity. I wonder what this one will look like? 

practice.. 2023 Sep 24 Sun.. connect and practice

all day..
It was just a day.. haha! I left the harmonicas in the car and went out in the morning sometime to bring them in. I ended up playing some songs on the stereo there in the car and practicing a little bit playing along with the harmonica.

We had company soon after. Tammy, who owns the house, and some of her family came and helped fix a door and seal the roof for winter storm stuff. Later, Ken and I wandered a bit.. Ken helped his friend and then we ended up at the store. It was a decently active day for me. I think it's helping. I also found out the Andy Griffith theme song has a name and words.. The Fishin' Hole.. I think I'll learn the whole thing.. singing and whistling and add in a harmonica break.

practice.. 2023 Sep 23 Sat.. jam session!

10am.. jam session!
This was fun! I had a nice little breakfast at the Shoshone Rose restaurant there at the casino. I was still playing around with the Andy Griffith theme, but I'm not ready to try it as a whole jam session song. I'm happy with the idea that I'm building up songs for that, though.

the rest of the day.. renew? connect?
I had a nice long nap and then Ken bought Domino's! We watched some movies and snoozed longer.. bleh.. I'm fine.

practice.. 2023 Sep 22 Fri.. renew and Andy

most of the day.. renew
It took me quite a while to get moving and doing anything today. I ate some oatmeal of Ken's for breakfast and didn't make it to Wendy's until almost 6pm. The rest of the day was sleeping.. often through movies.. and watching movies.

7pm.. Andy Griffith theme song
I don't know why, but this song jumped out and is now on my list to learn. I played it a few times, looked up the sheet music to get the notes and then played some other stuff. It was a nice evening.

practice.. 2023 Sep 21 Thu.. BandLab!

all day..
I keep putting off playing around with stuff that ends up being a lot of fun to play around with. I got out the mic and headphones and played with the new amp a little bit. I still don't know what I'm doing there. I'll try again sometime.

9pm.. BandLab fun
I recorded myself playing Row Row Row Your Boat over two or three tracks since it's supposed to be a round. I realized I have no sense of rhythm.. or rather I don't know the official rhythm for that song. Instead, I recorded over all that and came out with a nice version of Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms by Thomas More. It's here on BandLab and below on YouTube.

practice.. 2023 Sep 20 Wed.. jam session!

8am.. breakfast and play!
I'm struggling with gambling.. haha! It's not all that bad. I'm just making silly mistakes with money and it's stressing me out. Yesterday I stopped at the casino and found out they were doing something called $25 match play.. They gave me $25 of free play on my club card after I played $25 of bets on the slot machines. This morning, I went back because I found out they were offering $20 free play between 8 am and 2 pm. I like their breakfast and made a morning of it all. Over the last couple days, I doubled the $20 I started with. hmm.. That's actually just retrieving the $40 I pulled out the other night.. see? ugh.. I'm good.

6pm.. jam session
No stories tonight. I had a couple of decent solos. One of them that went really well was on a song I wasn't really ready to solo on. I decided to try anyway and it came out really nice. It's always a pleasure to play for hours with people who are fast becoming friends!

practice.. 2023 Sep 19 Tue.. literary rug and stuff

9am.. what are you afraid of?
I'm telling some spooky stories in October and Maggie from the Story Guild asked me for a blurb about what I'm doing. I am thinking that through here. I'm liking the title above for the whole thing. The blurb could go like this..

Mitch Nelson wants to scare you. Oddly, he is afraid of scaring people. Over the years he's mastered putting people at ease about his disability with kindness and humor. Now he's facing his fear by telling a handful of spooky stories. It's so out of his nature to TRY scaring people that it might actually be funny to watch.

7pm.. literary rug

practice.. 2023 Sep 18 Mon.. weird day

morning.. breakfast
That's it.. just breakfast with Ken and it wasn't even breakfast food.. It's national cheeseburger day so we ended up at Burger King where we got a free burger if we ordered $1 of other stuff. The guys there added another free burger to my order, then they thought they made a mistake and gave me yet another burger. I've been stuffed the rest of the day.. haha!

afternoon.. watch stuff
After the harmonica acted up last week and I opened it up, I started thinking about how to clean them. I watched some videos about that and then I wandered off topic to some street performance videos featuring harmonicas and ended up watching movies I stayed awake for.. this is new this week. I've been sleeping through movies lately and really enjoying it.. haha! I worry about movies and stories. They are often a way for me to feel the feelings of doing the things the characters do and I don't have to try anything. So I'm writing and I paused for some harmonica playing. I'll keep working on all that. I'm finishing the evening watching the open mic from Olympia over the live stream from Rhythms Coffee. woot!

practice.. 2023 Sep 17 Sun.. physical activity mission!

morning.. bleh..
I think it may be apparent and I'm going to call it out.. I've been depressed. I'm meta depressed, too.. depressed about being depressed and anxious. I spent another morning and almost the whole day watching movies. In the back of my head, I thought I would see about finding this swing dance class in Lander at 3:30 pm. I left it up to chance and didn't set any reminders. I did peek at the clock with barely enough time to get there from here. I got myself out the door and got to town just in time.. then had to drive across town. I was late. I didn't even bother trying to find people. I just went to my gym.

3:33pm.. physical activity mission!
It was actually pretty good. I weighed in and I'm still right there at 213 pounds. I feel like I've been eating poorly and too much, so that was a bit of a relief. I did the rowing machine for 10 minutes and then stretched and pedaled another 10 minutes or so. I went to the casino and purposely parked far from the food place and after lunch I purposely walked a little bit between games.. at first, but still.. It was a good day.

evening.. easy practice..
I didn't play much or for very long. I did get the harmonica out and played a little. I found a playlist of B-flat songs to warm in the new harmonica. It felt like a saved day by the end.

practice.. 2023 Sep 16 Sat.. jam session

10am.. jam session
I follow along. I'm not ready to try any songs I've come across on my own. It is rewarding and it is fun enough. I'm learning and getting better at a lot of things. I'm okay following along.. for now. It's not like I can have now had something prepared so I could write something exciting about a new song I'm trying. I followed along. Today I will always have followed along at jam session this morning.

11pm.. watching
I sit in the dark watching another movie about people making connections and trying things that scare them. It is enough for my mirror neurons. I'm glad. I don't have to do the scary things I think up to try. I can just keep following along.

practice.. 2023 Sep 15 Fri.. ideas?

11am.. thinking
I'm missing some structure. I've been happy with the days of freedom to do anything. It doesn't help me find and follow up on new projects. I used to write 1000 words per day to consider all my options and things that have come up. It took up whole days at times and the work was enough to leave me feeling well accomplished for that day and I would often do nothing else that day. I'm feeling the same lately with these daily blog entries. I'm not feeling intentional about what I'm writing and working on. I'm just summarizing the days after. I don't know if it needs to change. I'm just noticing and thinking today.

One of the things I'm working on outside the blog is what I'm calling a song book. It's based on how I feel I learned how to play the piano as a teenager. I would simply head to church early with my dad who had meetings before the services started each Sunday morning. I would basically thumb through the hymnal and play each song I had learned so far. I would naturally be drawn to learn new songs and at the same time, I would be reviewing and practicing the ones I knew already. This blog was and still is a place to just post myself practicing stories and songs and jokes as I learn them and get ready for various events I'm attending. It's just part of a bigger system that includes the actual song book.. a database I'm building around the hymnal analogy. I'm including all my material. It's turning into something where I write like this each day.

This is the real thinking part. I'm up writing after thinking about how to write out all the thoughts of a couple days now. Each time I go to a jam session I feel like I could be doing more. I then don't do any more during the days between. It's fine. I'm just thinking about what a more intentional daily practice might look like. I can play with stuff and ideas. I'm thinking I can write more here about what I might intend to do and maybe still summarize at the end of the day how things went.

practice.. 2023 Sep 14 Thu.. renew

all day..
hmm.. How do I describe the perfect nap day. There was no guilt. There was no nagging voice in the back of my head. Every time I woke up it was like being in a fog and I went right back to sleep. Somehow, the peeing slowed down and I even slept long hours on the living room couch. It hit me when Ken got home and we went to the casino.. I was stiff and sore from lying there all day. I still say it felt worth it.

Also, the new B-flat harmonica came in the mail and it sounds really nice. I'm still wondering what to do about the Seydel low-D that has the broken reed. It dawns on me that I can order reed plates instead of a whole new harmonica. I may go that route after some homework.

practice.. 2023 Sep 13 Wed.. jam session

9am.. alignment
Breakfast at Burger King.. The car is doing pretty good. I was wiped out. I stayed up playing and watching tv until Ken got home and yeah.. It was a long morning that ended with a lovely nap.

3pm.. remember the broken harmonica
I took apart my Low D harmonica because the third octave root note.. blow 7.. was flat. I got into fixing it and soon enough it was already time for the jam session tonight. I got it all the way apart and it looks like I have my first broken reed. It happens, I guess. haha!

7pm.. jam session
I was late, and I didn't have dinner, so I had a bowl of chili and skipped the fries they had there for dinner tonight. We were just about done when someone asked me to do one of my stories. I told the one about the guy that was just a head and tried getting married. They liked it! They requested a story! woot!

practice.. 2023 Sep 12 Tue.. literary rug

7pm.. literary rug
Rambled about Tracey and friends being allowed to make fun of me..

practice.. 2023 Sep 11 Mon.. explore Denver

all day..
We had a pretty good time looking for stuff to see and do! Eating is all I remember.. haha! Breakfast at Cracker Barrel and rolled ice cream then at the end of the day, McD's for dinner before the long drive home.

practice.. 2023 Sep 10 Sun.. connect and explore

all day..
Hung out with Ken.. We took Henry to Thai Chef in Riverton and then Henry and I started out on our trip to Denver. We passed out at the last rest area before Denver.

practice.. 2023 Sep 9 Sat.. jam session

10am.. jam session
This was a fun session. I played pretty well and felt good about the stuff I was trying. The low D harmonica has a flat note in the third octave root note. I'll get to open it up and check that out this week.

afternoon.. connect
I picked up Henry and we hung out for a bit, wandering through Walmart and then brought stuff into the house. Along with the groceries, we played around with the amplifier I picked up in Olympia on the last trip. It was quite fun seeing some of the possibilities for speaking, singing and harmonica noises. I liked it! After a while, we found Ken, who was helping mow his friend Greg's lawn. We all met up at More Burgers in Riverton and had a nice fun chat after out front on their patio set. I got Henry back home and all was good. We are likely heading to Colorado in the next couple days.

evening.. portfolio!
I played around more with this app that I found the other day. It's getting more and more useful as I add stuff to it. So far, adding stuff to it has been easy and things are working like I expect. I don't feel like I'm working around stupid ways things work in their system. I'll keep playing with it and I think I'll try to make do some of the same tricks either as a backup or to see how the phone works with both of the systems. The people want me to pay for the access to the app and other stuff. It's only $12 a month and I think I'll end up trying it out.

practice.. 2023 Sep 8 Fri.. portfolio

all day..
As I was reading on the phone sometime today, I came across this new note app called which seems to combine a lot of elements from and that I like into this system of organizing the events I attend and the material I'm producing and working on. I'm still a little invested in since they'll let me do some good stuff on the phone. I also get the best formatting options from good old Google Docs, so there's that. Recently, though, I found out it's hard to attach stuff and link back and forth between Google Docs and Calendar. I don't know. Each time I go at this little songbook idea, my needs seem to have changed slightly. I'll keep adjusting and trying new tools that come along.

practice.. 2023 Sep 7 Thu.. jam session

6pm.. jam session
yep.. and that's about it today. It was good and fun. I tried the vampire butt story and they laughed though no one talked with me about it after.

practice.. 2023 Sep 6 Wed.. sustain

noon.. breakfast? car issue
It not that that's all I did today. I'm still in recovery mode from the trip so there were some movies and last night there was a half gallon of ice cream issue. I was heading to the Literary Rug thing and the check engine light came on so I had the oil changed at Walmart and this morning the light was still on so I took it to O'Reilly's and I think it's just a thermostat. I got the mic charged up for jam session and remembered they moved it to tomorrow night this week. I caught up all the reports.. the little blog entries.. and that's enough today.

practice.. 2023 Sep 5 Tue.. literary rug

7pm.. writing prompt..
what is your fear afraid of?

I love flying in my dreams.. now. It will often start with me just running and leaping off a parking lot curb like I did when I ran cross country many years ago in high school. It felt like flying then and in the dreams I just keep floating after launch. Soon I don't even need that initial jump and I just float to wherever I want.

This is new and glorious. When I first flew in my dreams, I was not in charge like that. I would always be enveloped by a brown cloud and held silently above everyone. I would scream for help and no one could hear me even if a whisper came out of me. One time, I finally did get the attention of my sister and the brown cloud never took me again.

Instead, the fear of the brown cloud became a man made of tv static. He would sneak up behind me and I knew he was the one trying to get me into the brown cloud again.. maybe got the last time ever.

I've day, I woke up particularly frightened and was old enough to think about the situation. I decided the next time I felt the static man was behind me, I would just turn and look.

That's what he was afraid of. He never returned. The lesson has been with me ever since. Fear is afraid of its own nothingness. When I'm afraid and put off doing a thing then finally try it, the problems I was afraid of never are the things that go wrong. Why would it? It's not me anymore.

practice.. 2023 Sep 4 Mon.. explore and renew

all day..
It was amazing getting to see things on Yellowstone from the other direction. Last trip, I came home through southern Idaho and have thus only seen Yellowstone south to north. There is plenty more to explore. Once again, there was just enough rain to keep me from getting out at Old Faithful. No biking, either. I got home and passed out through several movies on the couch.

practice.. 2023 Sep 3 Sun..

all day..
I ended up sleeping most of the night at a couple different rest areas in Washington. One ended up creeping me out and then I was awake so I just drove to the next one. I found breakfast in Coeur d' Alene, though the Breakfast Nook place was closed on Sunday, so it was Jack in the Box instead. There was no rush today to get anywhere. It rained. so there weren't any bike rides. I did stop at a Planet Fitness and put in some pedaling and stretching instead. After several stops and naps I'm passing out at the last rest area before Yellowstone.. I want to see it in the daytime.

practice.. 2023 Sep 2 Sat.. travel and wedding

all day..
I forget how thin the Idaho panhandle is. I found a place, an exit in Montana to pull over and ride almost a mile. Mr front tire was a little flat so it felt like more of a workout than it maybe had to be. Then I found breakfast and a little park in Coeur d' Alene to ride around in a little more.

I got almost to Luke's wedding and stopped at a rest area to put on my long pants over my shorts. It didn't work. No worries.. I was the third one there with shorts on! I didn't stay through the whole reception. I maybe should have or could have tried harder to dance and have fun. I got antsy instead and headed for home. bleh.. but a fun day.

practice.. 2023 Sep 1 Fri.. wander and sustain

all day.. travel
I headed out today. I'm moving slowly and watching stuff. I found a place to park inside the Grand Teton National Park and rode the bike around a big parking lot for 15 minutes. That's Wyoming. I'll try for all the states I go through.