Tag Archives: Michael Jarmer

Radio Silence (An Interview)


It’s been quiet around here on the Michael Jarmer blog. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Don’t think I haven’t wondered what had become of that guy who was wont to be so prolific with his blogging. Don’t think I haven’t worried about him just a bit. Well, me and this Michael Jarmer guy happen to be friends–more than just Facebook friends, and we were able to catch up recently, face to face, so to speak, and he gave me the whole scoop about why the radio has been so silent of late. He asked me to fill you in. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. To make it easy, I’ll just record verbatim the interview that transpired when I sat down with Michael in his natural habitat down there in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, in a house surrounded by a grove of oak.

Me: Even though you wrote about how you were endeavoring to beat the post writer’s camp blah blah blahs, we have not heard from you.  What’s up with that?

Michael: I talked a good talk, but I was, in actual practice, unable to beat the post writer’s camp blah blah blahs. I was, in fact, mired in the blah blah blahs, unable to write more in the new novel, uninspired for blog topics, even I found the poetry muse absent, out on some other business  junket, no doubt. Things went from blahzy to blahziest in short order.  I guess that this was just not a writing summer. But don’t worry. It’s not like I was sitting on my thumbs.  I had some stuff going on.

Me: What kind of stuff did you have going on?

Michael: I was mostly preparing for the release of my band’s new album.

Me: Tell us about that.

Michael: I play drums and sing in a band called Here Comes Everybody, and we’ve been working on this record for about six years now, a pop rock record that takes it’s lyrics from three plays by William Shakespeare.  The album is called “Play: Songs from Shakespeare.”

Me: That took up all your time this summer?

Michael: No, that wouldn’t be fair.  We were rehearsing once or twice a week, doing a promotional stunt here and there, trying to get a crowd for the cd release party on September 4, and now trying to get another crowd together for the vinyl release party on October 24.  But, you know, I’ve had this experience before.  I have found that the writing slows way down when I get busy with music–as the music slows way down when I’m busy with writing, and I tend to get busy with writing when musically I’m in between projects, or not gigging as much, or in between bass players–it’s kind of a teeter-totter effect.  There’s only so much creative fuel to go around, and when the teeter-totter falls on the music side, even if there’s plenty of time in the day, especially on a summer’s day, that doesn’t seem to make a difference.  I don’t get the writing done.  I feel bad about it.  But then I remind myself of all the good stuff that’s going on with my musical life, or in my family life, and then I don’t feel so bad.  But it’s a discipline.  Mostly I feel bad about not writing.  And then there was some teaching this summer, which is unusual, and now, of course, the school year proper has just kicked in and I’ve got two new courses I’ve not taught in a long time and that takes up some mental and creative energy.  This is all very boring stuff.  I’ve got lots of excuses (explanations) for not writing. Some of them are pretty good, as excuses go.  They don’t always help; tugging at a writer constantly while going through a dry spell is a fear that the well has run dry, that your best ideas are behind you.  All that’s stinking thinking, because the thing is, the new novel beckons, I want to write more poetry, and I want to write about teaching.  So, I’m not making any promises at this point, but I’m going to make a concerted effort to get back to the blog. I think it’s important for the health of the creature they call Michael Jarmer.

Me: Well, good luck with the return of the writing, and good luck with the new record.

Michael: Thanks.

Me: Hey Michael Jarmer, thanks for spending some time with me today.

Michael: Yeah, no problem; it was a pleasure.




Filed under Music, Writing and Reading

Hey, That’s My Bike


I could not remember the title (Reality Bites); all  I could remember was that some character in a film I saw a long time ago had a band called Hey, That’s My Bike, and one, I thought that was the coolest band name in the world, and two, I couldn’t stop thinking about this phrase as I tossed and turned all night in one of those states you sleep in when you’ve got a head cold and your brain is in a fog but at the same time you’re obsessing over some damn thing you’re excited about, namely, a new bicycle.

My new Edgerunner from Xtracycle arrived yesterday and Eric, from his shop The Bike Commuter, posted a picture of it on the Mighty Social Network website the kids call Facebook.  Christmas came early, and today, Friday, after the last day of work before the holiday break, I planned to get a ride to the bike store so I could ride my new baby home.  But the weather outside is frightful, downright shitty, and I’ve got a cold all up in my head and nose, also shitty. So you’d think I’d wait a couple of days, until things dried out in the weather and inside my head.

One of my chief personal weaknesses is my inability to wait very much longer than a couple of minutes for something I want.  It’s embarrassing, and it’s not a trait that I am particularly proud of, but delayed gratification and I–we don’t get along well.  So I weathered the weather and the stuffed-up head and the tickle in the throat that wants to become a cough, and I asked my wife and son to drive me to the bike shop. They dropped me off and I rode my new bike home for a half hour in the rain.  I had my gear on, so I was protected pretty much, except for the new white bike, which was getting muddy, and my cheeks, which were freezing off.  But I kept saying, hey, that’s my bike, and I smiled all the way home–and now, for the time being anyway, I am none the worse for wear–and gratified.

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Filed under Bicycling, Self Reflection