2013 10 Jun

The Muffin Junkee episode 7 podcast.

The concept for the “Guittard Tapes” came over ten years after many of the songs were recorded. Some of the songs were actual early demos for songs for my “California Daze” album. Originally, the “Guittard Tapes” album was released in June 2012 and contained only sixteen songs. Since then I have uncovered many more songs that I consider as part of the Guittard Tapes period (1993-2003).

The cassette tapes that made up the Guittard Tapes were lost for ten years. In 2006, I had put all my belongings in several storage places in preparation to go to Bulgaria for the Peace Corps. In 2008, I returned to the States and was flopping on couches at various family members and I could not locate the tapes. I wasn’t sure where they were. I had my things in four different locations! In the spring of 2012, I was ecstatic when my dad called me to say that he had some of my stuff in his storage unit which he needed to downsize. My wife and I went to Dallas and sure enough there were the Guittard Tapes in one of my storage boxes.

It was in 1993 that my songwriting and recording began on the newly bought Tascam 4-Track machine I acquired. Instead of playing video games and zonking out on pizza, I began recording and being creative. During my college days at Western State College of Colorado, I recorded a lot of cover songs. I consider these as part of the Guittard Tapes as well but have chosen to release them separately and unofficially because they are cover songs.

In Gunnison, I began recording Tom Petty, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, and Nirvana. The Guittard Tapes are a look at my early writing. One of the earliest songs I wrote is called “But Not Right Now.”

It was about living in the college dorm and having to put up with rude behavior of potluck roommates. There are also some songs that I did with friends of mine where a guy named Clayton Coates who is a pastor now did the singing: A-Listen, Clayton Blues, and Gotta Get Out of this Place.


The songs were recorded in Dallas, Wichita Falls, and Huntsville, Texas, Gunnison, Colorado, and Hollywood, California. Looking back on it, I wanted to call it the Guittard Tapes because it is a nod at the infamous “Nixon Tapes.” I was born during the Nixon Administration and believe that Nixon was a gadget guy. He liked to document everything in his life and it turned out that the tapes became his downfall but in my case the tapes, to me, are my upswing. I believe the Guittard Tapes represent the initial seed of my dream. It even began before 1993 with my dad’s dictation machine and in 2013 the music holds up in its lo-fi honest way. Nixon would be proud!

I still hope to release more Guittard Tapes. The time period is significant in that the tragedy of September 11th occurred at that time. It was so innocent and optimistic before 9-11 and after became more cynical and pessimistic. However, the tapes are a slice of time and the music is available for everyone to listen and download. The process of extracting the music from the tapes to MP3 format was quite complicating.

Transferring process:
What I had to do was record each track separately from the old tapes on the old Tascam 4-Track machine to my new digital 4-track machine by lining in a guitar cord from the old tape 4-Track to the new one. Each track was done one at a time. The tricky part is the starting point for the individual tracks in a song may not always line up to the other tracks of the song. Also, the second track on the cassette 4track machine didn’t sound. So I had to flip the tape over and then the second track could be heard but backwards in the 3rd track spot.

After transferring all the tracks of a song to the digital another challenge is that the speed of the old 4-Track is at a different speed than the digital. So basically what you hear on the digital sounds like chipmunks. To fix this, I had to dump the tracks from the digital 4-Track to my laptop which has Adobe Audition 3. There, I was able to fix the second track. I would reverse it back to how it should be. And then I had to slow down the digital tracks so that it would sound “normal” speed.

Some of the tracks are still a bit out of rhythm because I was doing it mainly by ear when mixing it on the laptop. Some of the songs had a count off for a guide but many of the songs did not. Many times the count off sound bled into the other tracks and that helped me to make sure everything was lined up as good as possible.

It was quite a process. I even did some math to figure out how much time to cut. I looked for a certain lyric I sang in the song and marked the timing notation of the editing software and lined things up with that number. It was not exact but that’s what I did. I’m sure there would be more exact ways.

Bob and Jim Guittard UT Austin – May 2001

Bob's Graduation 2001 Austin Texas

Gotta Get Out of Here
Waiting Around this hard ol’ town.                                                                                                                                                                                                Gotta get outta here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The freaks and the bums all being dumb.
Gotta get outta here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hearing the sound in the corner lounge.                                                                                                                                                                                           Gotta get outta here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Seeing an Elvis walk on by.
Gotta get outta here.
Saw a girl walk on by.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think I’ll stay for a while.
Repeat all 1X

Story behind:
In 2001, I wrote the lyrics for this one while sitting in the lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The hotel is known for being the place where the first Academy Awards took place in 1929. It was just down the street from where I lived while I was attending the Musicians Institute.

At that time, I was getting a bit weary of the Hollywood scene. The music school had turned out to be disappointing and Hollyweird was taking its toll on me. I wanted to move to a different location because of a home invasion robbery and because it seemed that freaks and tourists were everywhere along Hollywood Blvd.

One time while waiting at Hollywood and Highland, a complete stranger asked me if I wanted some hash. I noticed quickly that there was a guy dressed up as Elvis standing close by and told the drug pusher pointing to Elvis that I didn’t want any hash but that Elvis might. The “Elvis” impersonator quickly told the drug pusher that he didn’t feel called to smoke hash. For this song, my writing method was to sit and observe. In the song, I make reference to this “Elvis” that I had seen around. There was a lounge at the Hollywood Roosevelt named the Cinegrill. It was where Gene Clark (the Byrds’ tambourine man) last performed in April 1991 before his death about a month later. (When I first got to Hollywood, my mother took a photo of me under the Cinegrill sign. I hadn’t learned about Gene Clark performing there yet.)

Recording: It was recorded after the move to a new apartment in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles on a Tascam 4-Track machine. I played a 12-String acoustic guitar with and without a capo, drums, and did the singing.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (Cinegrill) 1999 – Hollywood Boulevard

Jim Cine Grill

Tired (Acoustic/Psychedelic Version)
Tired of being sad
Tired of being mad
I do the right thing
But I can’t feel my wings and fly.

Tired of being sad
Tired of being mad
I do the right thing
But I can’t feel my wings and fly.

Chorus
When will I do what You want?
When will I stop having to pretend?
I hate feeling bad.
I want to feel the way I did
As a kid.

Tired of feeling bad
Tired of feeling mad

Story behind:
Both of the versions were recorded in 2001 about the same time in Los Angeles on my 4-Track Tascam machine. At the time, I often experimented with sounds by using my BOSS Digital Delay pedal as a tool to create or inspire me. The Psychedelic Version of Tired is pretty experimental. I hooked up the pedal to an electric keyboard and got some interesting sounds. I had been turned onto Roland’s Vintage Space Echo machine. I was trying to get that kind of sound with my digital delay pedal.

The tune had a kind of weary feel to it. I was just tired of “twisting in the wind.” The phrase came to me as my brother called me once to get a status update on my goings on in California after he had returned to Texas earlier that year. I was digging my heels firmly trying to prove that I could make it in California. I was waiting on the right thing to happen but was getting mad that it wasn’t happening. The song was also a kind of prayer.

Recording:
Psychedelic Version – Acoustic guitar, keyboards, and singing.
Acoustic Version – Acoustic guitar and Singing.

Getting There Is Not Easy
Just wanna be right.
Just wanna be fine.
Something’ll come in time.
Getting there is not easy.
Getting there is not easy

Just wanna move weight.
Just wanna stand straight.
Something’ll give to flight.
Getting there is not easy.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna break through.
Just wanna be free.
Something’ll give to might.
Getting there is not so easy.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna be real.
Just wanna have sight.
Something will show real bright.
Getting there is not so easy.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna be right.
Just wanna be fine.
Something’ll come in time.
Getting there is not so easy.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna move weight.
Just wanna stand straight.
Something will give to flight.
Getting there is not so easy.

Story behind:
It was recorded in January 2002 with a Byrds influence. The song is similar in spirit with “Gotta Get Out of Here.” It speaks about my love-hate relationship with Los Angeles and the disillusionment about the current situation but the lyrics are still hopeful. I still felt as if I was “twisting in the wind” and was hoping that I could make it in California financially. I had worked at a rental car company to make ends meet and was not seeing the fruit of my labor but I felt I was “paying my dues.” I was in it for the long run and not hoping for a quick fix. A heavy burden was on my shoulders that I succeed and prove different family members that I could do it. I remember having different dreams at night about being in a fog, clouds, or basically just trying to find my way. It was as if I was Moses trying to find my way out of the desert.

Recording:
I played the acoustic 12-string guitar and sang.

Jingle Jangle Instrumental

Story behind:
Jingle Jangle Instrumental is one that I’m particularly proud from the Guittard Tapes. It was recorded in my Hollywood apartment in 2000 on my Tascam 4-Track machine. I was heavily listening to the Byrds in that period. The song that I was going for was “Here Without You” on the Byrds’ Mr. Tambourine album.

My recording is quite lo-fi, a bit jazzy. I used a phaser pedal to get the psychedelic effect.

Recording:

I played the drums, Rickenbacker, acoustic guitar, and bass.

Walkie-Talkie Experiment

Story behind:
This tune was recorded probably in 2000 in Hollywood. I was into gadgets at the time having just purchased a couple of walkie-talkies that Roger McGuinn had recommended on his website. Henry McGuinn and I were listening to the Byrds’ song called “2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song)” off the 5D album.

It contained a bit of gadget sounds. The sound effects inspired us and in the recording of Walkie-Talkie Experiment I was trying to emulate the experimentalism I was hearing in the Byrds. Henry and I had talked about using gadgets as part of our music and so I gave it a shot.

For the song, the lyrics were completely improvised. I set up one microphone in front of one of the walkie-talkies and then I hit the record button on the 4-track machine.

The bass line was me trying to do a lively Beachwood Sparks type thing. During those days, I tried not to miss any of the Beachwood Sparks shows if they were playing in Los Angeles.

Recording:
I played the 12-String Rickenbacker, bass guitar, drums, and sang or talked.

Ordinary Guy
I’m just an ordinary guy.
Why don’t you give me a try?
Waiting for you to come around.

Chorus
Just come to me now.
I’m just an hour away.
Just come on down to me.
I’m just an hour away.

Verse
As the sun comes up.
As the sun goes down.
I can feel you getting closer to me.
You know I want ya baby. You know it.

Chorus
Just come on down to me now.
I’m just an hour away.
Get on down here, man, babe.
You can see that I’m waiting here.

Verse
I’m just an ordinary guy.
Why don’t you give me a try?
With your cute little smile
On your cute little face.
I’d love to see ya now, babe.

Chorus
Just come on down to me now.
I’m just an hour away.
Just come on down to me.
I’ll be waiting for you.
I’m just an ordinary guy.

Story behind:
I wrote Ordinary Guy in early 2000 while sitting at the Stir Crazy Coffee Shop on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. I had been waiting there to meet a musical acquaintance but she didn’t show up and so I was blowing off steam with writing the lyrics. Ordinary Guy was one of my first songs to write lyrics. For nine months, I had been hanging around Hollywood and nothing was panning out. I just wanted a chance and that was the sentiment in the song. It was humble I guess.

I started a duo with Henry McGuinn called the Ragas shortly thereafter. I brought my song “Ordinary Guy” out as a possible tune that the Ragas could play but Henry passed on it. It wasn’t the high quality lyrics that we needed. Henry was into songs about the beach and more groovy nature type songs. My song “Ordinary Guy” was my attempt at being real. The Ragas recorded “Ordinary Guy” but as an instrumental.

Recording:
I played the Fender Telecaster B-Bender, 12 String acoustic, sang the lead and background vocals. Vladimir Maskoff played the electric bass. It was recorded on my 4 Track Tascam machine by Brian McKay in North Hollywood.

Tremolo Instrumental
Story behind:
I recorded this on probably in late 2001 or sometime in 2002. It was my attempt at possibly shoegaze. I might have been listening to the Brian Jonestown Massacre Methodrone album.

I used a tremolo pedal. Not much else to say about it. It’s cool.

Recording:
I played drums and electric guitar.

The track in the lost interview is an experimental track called Loony also from the Guittard Tapes.

Here’s where you can find additional podcasts for the Muffin Junkee Show
Jim Guittard
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Fort Worth, Texas June 2013

Published under Musicsend this post
2010 13 Nov

Flat People

Published under Musicsend this post
2010 14 Aug


Recorded Beck’s song off his 1998 Mutations album back in 1999. I played the 12-string acoustic guitar, sitar, and did the lead and background vocals. This was one of the songs I sent as demo when I applied to go to the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. I attended there for about nine months or so.

The song is lo-fi and made from a Tascam 4-track recorder. Pic was taken in around October 1999 when I first arrived to Hollywood.

Back in 1997, at the Battle of the Bands event at Highland Park High School in Dallas I performed in my brother Bob Guittard’s band as a sitar player. I betcha no one has ever played a sitar there before or after me there at HPHS!!

At the gig, I came out dressed in Indian gear with sandals and sat on a cushion.

Kids in the audience screamed, “What is that!?!”

My brother sang lead vocal and played acoustic guitar. I sang back up and the played the sitar. Another guy named Graham Cathey played the percussion. It was a trip.

My brother’s band didn’t win. Oh well….

Published under Musicsend this post
2010 10 May

Here are a couple of albums recorded by JIM GUITTARD, currently living in Portland, Oregon, USA.
His music is an interesting mixture of folk/folkrock and country rock with some psychedelic undertone. As one of his influences he mentions THE BYRDS, and I think that one can clearly hear that (e.g. Beach).

If you like the genre, his albums are well worth checking out!
Enjoy!

Jim also worked with Henry McGuinn, the son of BYRDS co-founder Roger McGuinn in a project called THE RAGAS (to be posted later), while living in California.

Q: Where exactly are you from?
A: I am originally from Dallas, Texas. But have lived in various places, thus soaking up the vibes of wherever I have lived. I went to college in a small town called Gunnison in Colorado. After that I worked the corporate world of insurance and got fed up and struck out for Hollywood to attend a music school. After 3 years in Hollywood I traveled back to Texas and became a caretaker for my grandparents. After two years of that, I applied for the Peace Corps and was accepted to teach English in Bulgaria. I was there for almost three years and came back to the States and to Portland, Oregon.

Q: Do you want your real name mentioned? If so: What is your real name?
A: Jim Guittard is my real name and what all my solo music is under.

Q: How recorded?
A: I have been recording myself really since 1994 when I got my first 4-track machine. It was a Tascam. In the early days, I recorded myself mostly doing Beatles, Tom Petty, or other classic rock music. – My favorite guitar to use is a 6-string 330 Rickenbacker. I also have a 12-String 330 Rickenbacker. For some songs I used a Dr. Groove drum machine and make shift shakers (beer can filled with rice taped up). On my earliest album 96/98 I had a friend, (Jim Seagroves) play pots and pans drums. He was a drummer but didn’t have any drums so this is what we did. – In California, I had a lot of gear that was stolen that I used. – I had a Telecaster B-Bender guitar, 12-String Acoustic Guild, and a Fender Jazz Bass. Hope the thugs that stole it are making some good music. – While in Bulgaria, I used a 12 String acoustic guitar.

Q: When recorded?
A: “Busted in Bulgaria” was recorded between July 2006 to July 2008 on my dell laptop using Adobe Audition 3. – “The Notorious G.I.D.D.” was recorded in 2004-2005. It was when I lived at my grandparents and I used the Tascam 6-track recorder and Cool Edit Pro for editing and mixing. I used some kind of keyboard for a few of the tracks. Can’t remember what kind. – “California Daze” was recorded in 2001 to 2002 and on the 6-track Tascam recorder. Brian McKay engineered some of the songs like “Beach (Acoustic)”. But otherwise I recorded it myself. – 96//98 was recorded during the years 1996 – 1998 on my Tascam 4-track recorder.

Q: Who involved? Who played what?
A: “Busted In Bulgaria”: I played all acoustic guitars, all percussion or drum machine, all lead and back up singing. There are various background noises that I got from various real news events like: on “Survival Mode” the Andrew Meyer Taser scandal at University of Florida John Kerry Rally. – On “Gangster” I used some of my students for background talking. – On “8A Class”, you can hear me “trying” to instruct my students over the loud classroom noise.
– “The Notorious G.I.D.D.” is all me with acoustic and electric guitars and lead and background singing.
– “California Daze”: “Beach” is co-written by Dominic Campanella of the neo-..psychedelic band the Quarter After. I wrote the first verse of the lyrics and he wrote the other verses and chorus. I put the song to music. – On “Beach – Acoustic” Vladimir Maskoff played the jazz fender bass. – On “Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs” Vladimir Maskoff played the jazz fender bass. – The songs “Swing Tune” and “Jazz Tune” were instrumentals songs I wrote while attending the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. The recordings of these songs were an actually playing test that I did. I came into class with charts for the musicians that I had written out and they sight-read the 2 songs. The back up electric guitar is a Brazilian guy named Reginaldo. He was a friend of mine. I do not know the name of the drummer. The teacher you can hear in the background is Lupo Groinig who gives a critique.
– On 96/98 I played the acoustic guitars, electric guitar, sitar, tambourine, sang lead vocals unless noted otherwise. My brother Bob Guittard played bass on Chapatis, and electric guitar on “Once Around the Moon.” – Warren Barry played keyboards and drums on “Once Around the Moon.” I played bass on “Once Around the Moon.” – Jim Seagroves played pots and pans drum on many of the tracks as well as sang or talked some backgrounds.

Q: Any more releases? Any “official” releases?
A: No other official releases but I am constantly working on new material.

Q: Since when does this band/project exist (are you into music)?
A: I have been fascinated by the tape recorder and sounds since a small child. I think the first song I learned on the guitar was George Harrison’s “Don’t Bother Me.” I guess I related to George the most because he was the quiet Beatle and often overlooked.

Q: Any previous bands worth mentioning?
A: While in California, I had a duo with Henry McGuinn called the Ragas. We recorded a bit and had a few shows. The music can be found here:
http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/The_Ragas It is pretty raw. – He is the son of Roger McGuinn co-founded the Byrds. – Here’s a little piece I wrote on the Ragas:
http://jimguittard.com/?p=6

Q: How’d you “label” your music?
A: I don’t like labeling myself because my music may be heard differently to everybody and labeling is rather meaningless sometimes. To me, my music is honest optimistic, psychedelic, folk-rock, country-rock, “figure it out as you go” hopeful music or experimental. A kind of travel life diary music or who knows it may be just crap music.

Q: Influences?
A: I was a child of the 1980’s and I was not into Motley Crue or Def Leppard at the time. I was the guy with sideburns since I was 16 and looked up to Elvis and the Beatles. I got turned onto the Byrds while in California and Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is probably who I am influenced the most by. It is really his philosophy of life that has influenced me. The rebelliousness of Johnny Cash has also influenced me quite a bit. In that he does his own thing and does not need to please anyone. – And lastly Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre has heavily influenced me in the music and again mostly for his philosophy of life to keep at it and never give up no matter what jokers are attacking.

Q: Website, myspace?
A: Main website:
http://jimguittard.com/
Myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/guittard

Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/jgidd
To download the albums for free:
http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/Jim_Guittard

Q: Anything that you think is interesting, that you’d like to inform the blog readers about…
A: Only thing I have to say is that every one should find their own voice through art, music, writing or whatever. The world needs more idealists to express feelings to bring about change. We have been told what to think for so long and we don’t need to be told. As George Harrison said, “Think For Yourself.” Experience things for yourself. Be open-minded and get out of your back yard and experience things that may be out of your comfort zone. – I had a live interview just months before coming back to the States on Tangra Mega Rock Radio Station in Bulgaria: http://jimguittard.com/?p=241
(J. G. via email)



link to interview at Homemade Lo-fi Psych blog

Published under Musicsend this post
2010 31 Mar

(While in Bulgaria, I wrote a lot about my life and so here is an insert about me getting with the guitar that I hope you find interesting. It was really a life-saver for me and still is.)

After Jerry (my guitar teacher) left, I laid low on guitar lessons. I now had a lot of Beatles music and others that I listened to and could play along with. Before I ever got a four-track tape recorder I used my two tape deck player to back me up. I recorded a rhythm part on one tape and then played that rhythm tape while playing solo guitar and having the second side of the tape deck record.

I spent hours in my room alone. Often, my little brother would be banging on the door, trying to come in and I believe he must’ve thought his name was “get out.” My mother often told me to “join the family.” Sometimes my friends came over and we would make up songs. My best friend was a drummer but he never had drums. So he would use some of my mother’s pots and pans for percussion instruments. Often the pans were dented. We hung them from the ceiling and played until well into the wee hours of the morning. One time we set up the living room as a recording studio and hung heavy bed blankets to block out the sound while my mother and brother were trying to sleep. Our favorite artist was Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. I found a music book of his and we’d sing and play his songs. We also loved to do the Doors music. But when we did the songs, we put our own words in. Our “stoop lang” as we called it.

In my later years of high school I became more and more into the guitar and it was my stress reliever and I remember particularly in my English class and during a Chemistry test I could not concentrate because I had these Beatle guitar solos going off in my head. School to me had become a drag. I didn’t see what the point of Algebra 2 was or Chemistry. It was about he time of the first Gulf War and I remember thinking it would be cool to sign up for the Army or something. I guess I felt out of place at school.

By 16, I had grown shaggy sideburns and wore keen zip up boots I bought at my church garage sale for two dollars. I thought they were cool. After all, Peter Brady wore them. I was into the Brady Bunch and thought Greg Brady looked so cool with his “side boards”, as Paul McCartney would say. My hair came over my ears and eyebrows. I became infatuated with the Beatles and how they looked I wanted to be. These people had never let me down.

My dad had told me about the Doors and I remember hearing his Diner soundtrack in the car that I really liked. There was one great song where the singer sang like a frog. It was “Ain’t Got No Home” by Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry. Another record I listened to was dad’s “American Graffiti.” My dad rented the musical “Beatlemania” for us. The weird psychedelic scenes scared me and creeped me out. The house electricity went out during when I was watching it and that freaked me out. We all got in dad’s bed. That was when I was probably nine.

In 1990, I heard Paul McCartney was playing Texas Stadium. I asked my mother to see if she could get tickets. She found some guy in the newspaper want ads that came to our house and sold her three tickets. The long-haired man came to the house and scalped her. But anyway, we all went and I was nervous and shaking. It was my first concert and he was one of three surviving Beatles.

The first song they played was “Figure Of Eight.” It was one of their new ones. I wasn’t too big on the new songs but the old was awesome. Paul, George, John, and Ringo were the tops to me. My father was born in 1942, the same year that Paul was born. I sometimes questioned my dad about being the 5th Beatle. He said that in 1964 he saw the Beatles over at Fair Park or something like that. He said it was mostly screaming girls. Earlier he turned down going to see Elvis. I think he later regretted that.

More later.

The Boogie Brigade – Highlander Stadium – Dallas, Texas 1990

Published under Lifesend this post
2010 22 Feb

1    Introduction – 02:16
2    Commentary On Beach – 01:30
3    Beach – 03:55
4    Commentary on BJM-Like Song – 01:45
5    BJM-Like Song – 03:04
6    Commentary On Confusion Lies Guns and Drugs – 02:08
7    Confusion, Lies, Guns, And Drugs – 02:34
8    Commentary on Can’t Be Down That Very Long – 00:58
9    Can’t Be Down That Very Long – 02:29
10    Commentary on 3 of Clubs – 00:53
11    3 of Clubs – 03:46
12    Commentary On Swing Tune – 00:50
13    Swing Tune – 01:28
14    Commentary on Jazz Tune – 00:43
15    Jazz Tune – 02:23
16    Commentary On Beach Acoustic – 01:24
17    Beach (Acoustic) – 05:24
18    Outro Influence of West Coast Scene – 02:27

Download for free here:

http://www.archive.org/details/CaliforniaDazeAlbumCommentary

Published under Good Musicsend this post
2009 10 Sep

I arrived to Portland via Bulgaria, a rather long route but in my observations it seems to be a really swell and friendly town. Quite amazing really.

Compared to Bulgaria or Texas the public transport was pleasant. The riders did not have their heads down. They were actually talking to each other. And the bus driver said, “have a nice day” to nearly every person that exited the bus. It was almost comical.

One lady who exited apparently was carrying bread in a sack. The bus driver yelled through the door to the outside to see where lady bought her bread. And she did not hear him and so he kept asking.

What is the deal with Texas?!? I have lived there most of my life and have never had this pleasant experience. People in general keep to themselves.

Another kid on the Portland bus was talking about being kicked out of house in Texas and running away, etc. And he kept saying he just wants to be himself. Is it so difficult for parents or family to understand this?? Texas to me seems so rigid and opinionated. Hey, post some comments. Let’s get it out there.

I’m tired of facing the same crap every single time I go back to Texas.

Here:

Flippity Flop

Flippity Flop
I can’t stop.
I got lyrics in my head
That’s got to be said.

I may be a hoodlum type.
But I’m ripe.
Ready to blow up big
Eat a fig.

People say, “They won’t take one like you.”
Well maybe I’ll sue.
Lock ’em all up in the zoo.

I’m not through.
I’m one of the few,
Elite H.P. Crew.

Hillcrest is the drag
To get your Jack’s bag
Scarf and hopefully not gag.

Wade in the fountain at S.M.U.
That’s the bomb when you’re blue.

I’m no criminal.
I’ve been to shrinks
To make me think.
Only makes me want to puke in the sink.

What’s wrong with a different path?
I’m not a business man, lawyer or M.D.
I’m just me.

What else can I be?
A faker stuck in a tree
After another shopping spree?

The World hurts as we sit by
Listen to them cry and we only lie.
“It doesn’t matter, I’ve got things to buy.”

“Get it together man.
Have you got a plan?
You’ll be stuck in a van,
Getting a tan.”
While others say. “what a shame.
He had such a good name.”

I’ve got places to see.
I’m a rambler just like
Woody Guthrie who said

“Ramblin’ around your city.
Ramblin’ around your town.
I never see a friend I know.
As I go ramblin’ ’round boys.
As I go ramblin’ ’round boys.”

Please see related bus blog article:
Man Almost Decapitated by Bus Door

Published under Uncategorizedsend this post
2009 24 Apr
06:54 AM CDT on Monday, April 20, 2009
By MARK NORRIS / The Dallas Morning News
norrism@dallasnews.com

Applications are up for the Peace Corps, Teach for America and AmeriCorps as Texans turn to service organizations in increasing numbers during the economic downturn.

The state numbers mirror national figures that show year-to-year increases beginning in 2007. Initial numbers of applicants this year are far outpacing those for any previous year.

Jim Guittard, who returned in late 2008 from a two-year mission for the Peace Corps, isn’t surprised.

“With the economy the way it is, people are looking for other things,” said Guittard, who lives in northeast Dallas. “They’re searching for a more satisfying or fulfilling life.”

Officials with the Peace Corps are still tallying the number of applications received in February, but according to the Dallas office’s Shannon Borders, it will probably be a record for one month.

AmeriCorps tripled the amount of applications it received in February this year compared with last.

Kerci Marcello Stroud, Teach for America’s regional communications director, said more people mentioned the economy during the just-completed application period than in years past. Some applicants told her the economic downturn made them re-evaluate what was important to them.

“There’s a growing interest among young people to engage in public service,” Stroud said.

The vast majority of applicants for AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps and Teach for America are recent college graduates.

Of the 35,000 applications Teach for America received this year, 25,000 were from graduating seniors. The remainder was split between graduate students and young professionals less than five years removed from graduation.

Sandy Nunez volunteered for Teach for America after graduating in spring 2007 from the University of Texas at Austin. She thought about joining the Peace Corps or other service organizations before deciding she could be most effective teaching children in underperforming schools.

“It seemed like a very appealing way to get involved,” said Nunez, who is about to complete her two-year commitment in the San Benito schools.

She recently decided to stay on for a third year, saying the state of the economy was a small part of her decision.

Borders said the Peace Corps targets recent college graduates. The median age of its volunteers in 25. There is no age limit, however, and 5 percent of the volunteer force is over 50. The oldest current volunteer is 84.

Guittard joined the Peace Corps 10 years after graduating from college. He had worked at an insurance company among other jobs and decided he wanted to take his life in a different direction.

“In college, I had considered the Peace Corps,” he said. “I didn’t want to have regrets in my life, so I decided to go apply.”

Guittard wound up teaching English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years and taking away an appreciation of how tight-knit families were and how tough his students’ lives were.

He said people who apply need to have the maturity to handle being the situation they are entering.

That vetting is part of the application process, said Borders. She said the biggest surprise is people finding out it can take six to12 months to complete.

But it’s worth it, according to Guittard, who said, “I learned a lot and I’m more appreciative of what I have.”

jim-guittard-dmn-juan-garciaJUAN GARCIA/DMN
Jim Guittard taught English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years.

Published under Bulgaria, Lifesend this post
2009 11 Apr

Transitions are hard especially at this day in age of “crisis”. There is so much noise to sift through. Alot of screamers, talking heads, know-it-alls with advice.

So the title of the post is in reference to “What Would Jim Guittard Do?” I actually saw these letters on two separate occasions on car license plates. The original idea was WWJD? – What would Jesus do?

I am working now but want to get into something more significant. For a few weeks, I have been going down to Waco. Waco? Yeah, been trying to get in line with my family roots. There’s a street down there named after my great grandfather.

guittard-avenue

Honestly, this family history is eating at me. Great grandfather was history professor and his son my grandfather was chief justice of court in Dallas for a long time and then there is me. It feels like a lot to live up to, at least to me but I chose the more random rambling sorta life of music and art and things. I am back in Texas and wanted to find out about the original Guittard in Texas and why he came here.

He came to east Texas from Ohio at age 19 and basically made it by himself. He attended Baylor University and eventually was head of History Department there for almost 50 years. I studied history in college. However, I never wanted to be a teacher. I recently taught English. Now I’m in transition and am wondering WWJGD. Not what my family would do. So I may go spend some time just where it all began in Waco.

Anybody have any suggestions:

Look here for related post:

Guittard Destiny And Shadows

Published under Familysend this post
2009 28 Feb

America is rather silly right now. More and more news is negative about the crisis at hand. Where are the positive stories about good news. All we hear is bad and slanted toward going deeper and deeper down. Let’s write some positive stuff. It is funny that my having spent two years abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria isn’t worth mentioning. Many papers that I have contacted have turned down the story.

Seems that greed and money is the only thing that is important to write about these days. There are a lot of hardworking, sacrificing people out there that need notice. And I am writing to toot my own horn maybe. I taught in rough school in Pernik, Bulgaria for two years getting paid less than $400 a month. I returned to America just last November and like everybody else I am also looking for a job. I have seen how the world views America and it is not so positive. We need to do our part and get back to hard work in whatever it is.

I think America is obsessed with money and careers. You know what? It doesn’t matter so much the career that one takes if there is passion and purpose behind it. If you want to be a street sweeper then go for it. There is respect in working hard and not just collecting hand out and doing nothing.

Jim Guittard
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Bulgaria
Dallas, Texas

Published under Lifesend this post
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