Mount Eerie Top 5 of 2014
1. Finding Dollars in Coal Seams
I made a decent amount off of hydraulic fracturing this year. “Fracking” (I hate that term, for the record) leaves a bad taste in the mouth of some bleeding heart types (boo hoo) but all I taste is cheddar. And it’s not like I’m on the ground in Williston literally tapping into the Brakken formation. Hell, I spent maybe 11 weeks total in Anacortes with my wife this year—do you honestly think the rest was in coveralls extracting hydrocarbons? Get real, son. I can barely find my dingus most days, let alone a wellbore filled with black gold. But when your portfolio is stacked with ETFs like Market Vectors and EOG, the bills get thick. Now who’s the idiot?
2. Learning to Dance
I turned down a tour with the band “fun.” this year but still got to write a song with them for the Hunger Games soundtrack. It didn’t even get picked up but Eerie’s cut of the advance was bananas. My wife and I went to Botswana on safari (if you’re curious, it was fairly underwhelming except for seeing a gorilla take a dump inside of an old Peugeot chassis) and after six days in the bush she flew back to the States. I stayed on and went to Angola on this very, very ill-advised attempt to sell a gun. (I really shouldn’t offer many more details about this, and if you need to edit out even the mention of it, I get that completely. This was a huge life-mistake on my part and, without a doubt, was the most scared I’ve ever, ever been.) Anyway, the upshot is that while there I got really into Kizomba. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for movement (my mom used to call me “Booger Butt”) and even though I never got too serious with it, I’ve had my moments. In 10th grade I actually got kicked out of a hockey banquet for wet-grinding Tracy Keenan, and my first year out of college (Oklahoma State) I sank a bunch of money into this developing (and eventually shelved) musical based on MC Hammer called “Oakland: Rhythm & Street.”
3. Losing Weight, Gaining Insight
I’ve never been good with confrontation. People know they can walk all over me and it’s not uncommon for me to shower friends and, honestly, people I barely know with lavish favors and, often, literally blank checks. Case in point: I was at a Jaguars game in October and afterwards somehow ended up in LaVilla with what felt like half the stadium (drinks on me, of course). I usually don’t mind in the heat of the moment but the morning after is rough. I’m trying not to party quite as much since I found out that beer makes me insanely hungry and food is another vice it’s hard to sidestep. Long story short, I found myself weighing in at just north of two bills this year. It’s not like me to get hung up on how I look (have you seen what I wear in concert?) but the added girth was making things—how do I word this—a little bit difficult “in the bedroom.” I’ve never been comfortable with doggy style, which doesn’t leave many other options and, well, for the sake of keeping this “G Rated” I’ll just say that s-e-x was o-u-t; obviously, when you’re consistently as horny as I am, taking relations out of the daily equation ain’t tenable. Recently I’ve started working with an intimacy therapist named Chellae (I am not allowed to print her last name) and a personal trainer named Scott DeMarcus; C has opened up my mind to APNs (“alternative penetration nodes”) and Scott…well Scotty has totally kicked my ass into next week. :-) We’ve dabbled a little bit into the anabolic game but mostly keep it mean and clean.
4. Where There’s a Will There’s a Way
I turned the big 4-0 this year, which put things into all sorts of new perspective(s). My main concern, obviously (aside from making it into JC’s big happy hour upstairs), is protecting the golden egg for my family. I know it, you know it, and your readers know it: I’ve done alright. Estate planning never really entered into my consciousness until I was lucky enough to go to an extremely helpful seminar over the summer. I was actually there for a talk on time-shares in Alta, UT (done and done) but the estate thing was two conference rooms over. I’m still figuring out executor stuff and getting my fiduciary ducks in a row, but I did (spoiler alert!) get an amazing deal on this kick ass mausoleum statuary of two ninjas killing a komodo dragon.
5. Keeping it Simple, Keeping it Real
I downsized like crazy this year. I sold my Acura NSX, I sold my Infiniti QX4, I sold my Rossignols, I sold the Ricoh PJ WX4130Ni that I specifically dropped 3K on to project Halo. I even sold my Hellboy figures (don’t judge). Basically, I sold an assload of stuff, including my apartment in Titusville, FL (a vacation home might sound gauche but please keep in mind that when The Glow Pt. 2 came out people actually bought CDs and, in my case, a lot of them) and most of the camo plating that I used to detail my hunting trucks with. Look, I’m just trying to get a grip on what I need and what I can do without, and that’s not always a clear path. We all stumble, we all fall, but no one said walking with Him is easy. Baby steps.
Phil Elverum is the band Mount Eerie and operates P.W. Elverum & Sun. In 2014, he released his second book of photos, Dust. His new album Sauna releases on February 3, 2015.