glitch25: (Default)
Definitely spring.

Between the warm spells, the rain, and the fact that so many things seem to be in motion, I'm struck by how different it feels to not be nesting.

We've started an herb garden that we're tending indoors for the time being. We'll turn them into deckboxes once the temps stop dipping.Lots of fresh stuff that we normally buy. It will be nice to have them on hand in a fresh capacity. I'm also looking forward to finding ways to preserve any leftovers we may have either by drying, oil packing, or freezing. It's been a fun venture so far, and it is very satisfying to see work towards that end pay out in obvious and notable growth. Literally. :-)

Music is coming around again. Not in piano form, oddly. I've had to remember to sit down at the actual piano and keep up with some of the things I've been working on. Instead, I've been learning the bass in little bits. I don't recall if I mentioned in previous posts (and am obviously too lazy to go back and look) but I finally gave in and picked up a Kala U-Bass. It is essentially an acoustic bass ukulele that is modeled and plays very much like a traditional bass guitar using special polymer strings that enable a deep tone with such a small scale. It's been fun to play with and I'm learning a lot. As with other instruments, I continue to find my musical theory lacking, but I'm happy that both my ear and my general feel for music and what I'm realizing has been a love of good bass lines for so long are paying out for me. Along those lines, I've been dipping my toes in participation and collaboration for an online group I'm part of that creates covers of music based on weekly themes. It's been fun to do it, and it has been helpful as both an outlet, and as incentive to learn something new with the instrument.

I've also been struggling through my propmastery stuff in building things for the latest iteration of the Rites of Eleusis as performed by Eleusyve Productions. Nothing like standing at the glue/adhesive aisle of several stores and shaking my head. :-) Also, I think by the time I'm done, I'm going to have so many spare maille scales that I'll have to open a side business making jewelry. :-D

Still blowing through chunks of Skyrim. I just picked up Fallout 3 and New Las Vegas too. Waiting to finish up Skyrim before I go down that hole. But I'm happy to have them. Skyrim continues to be challenging in some ways, and not in others. I remember leveling up in prior iterations of Elder Scrolls games and finding that most of all the usual challenges never really leveled up with me. Which is to say God mode was kinda inevitable. In this game, I keep getting my ass handed to me no matter what level I am, and I'm finding that I really have to stay on my toes to survive in some cases. It's good. :-)

Lots of other side projects and things. Always looking for new concert/show stuffs.. and movies.. OH.. speaking of movies and things of the like, I'm working on building out my media server with stuffs. I set up an old laptop on a shelf near my collection, and its dedicated role is to rip movies and upload them to the media server. It's been working so well that I've gotten to the point that I need to look into the next storage solution :/ Guess that's kinda the nature. I'm not compressing the media for Reasons, so I knew this was inevitable. I need to create a dedicated storage box and migrate the collection to it. And then I plan to repurpose the original server as a database for some things I've been wanting to do. Also working out options to set up a site-to-site VPN using more of the same router I just set up for myself recently (a Ubiquity Edgerouter Lite) to do some media sharing, remote backups, and access to the aforementioned database applications. Should be a fun time.

So, busy busy. :-)

We recently had an employee sale here at SanMar, and I was reminded of the piles of tshirts I already have waiting to be chopped up into strips to use as material for my T-Shirt Latch-hook Rug. I should work on that one. It's a bit rough on the hands though. But the spots I've done feel so damn lush. So good on the toesies. Once we get the seedlings outside, the table will be free up, and I can break out my cutting mat and pick up a rotary tool to make quick work of those tshirts.

And then there is the cleaning, reorganizing, and so much other related stuffs.

Not enough hours in the day. But I'm working harder to maximize time I can. Not always successful, but I'm learning not to beat myself up about it. That's helpful. :-)

How are things for you?
glitch25: (Default)
Three keyboards... a motherboard... an optical drive... several top covers....

Most of that was under warranty.. But lately, the keyboard has been sticking again and my upper left quadrant has been giving me grief enough to cause problems entering passwords!

It's realistically time to replace things, but the internals of this laptop have always been great. I can game the way I want to, and I have no other major problems.

I priced out replacement laptops with modest upgrades, and figured out what I'd need to save up for. And I realized given my other savings goals, if I could fix what I needed to fix with parts and time, I could save a lot of money and keep this old thing running a good while longer.

So I ordered a keyboard replacement and a spare. and I finally got time to install it. I've been inside this laptop several times before, so I knew what I was facing, but even with that, I ran into challenges.

In the process of getting the cover off, I noticed one of the screw posts on the frame snapped off. Several of the plastic snaps also sheared likely from the repeated disassembly and reassembly. And one of the connectors for my wireless card antennas popped off the board. Thankfully, they almost always have two antennas, and the auxiliary one is working fine for now, but it occurred to me that I could take the opportunity to pick up a replacement card that is faster and compatible with my newer access point. The laptop is older, so the parts are pretty cheap.

I got the post glued back in with super glue, and it's holding fine. The keyboard went in with no fuss and is also working great now. It also gave me an opportunity to get new conductive thermal paste on the proc and video card heatsinks.

Once I get my replacement wireless card, she should be as good as new!

All in all, about 50 bux in parts vs over 10 times that for a new laptop.

She's not perfect, but she's very serviceable. I'm hoping it will last me another couple years.
glitch25: (Default)
I was reading a blog I follow occasionally called ZenHabits by Leo Babauta. In it, he talks about various mental life-hacks that help him through his day-to-day routine and ways of changing and sometimes improving the way we go about things. I don't always agree with everything he posts, but I find a fair bit of good material there and appreciate what he says a lot of the time.

One of the things he recently commented on was improving his reviews. He writes up year-end reviews of the year, and he realized that without doing monthly reviews, it can be difficult to keep track of everything and that it can be a daunting task to do. So he's decided recently to start with Monthly reviews of things in his life.

The sentiment behind the review at all is to physically document accomplishments and things we want to remember. Goals of things to improve, moments for which to be grateful and thankful, lists of progress on other goals, etc.

I know some of you do similar things, and I wanted to be able to be more aware of myself and the things I do and don't do, and find a way to document my time. I find it distressing at times when time seems to have passed and I don't really remember what filled it. It is easy to suggest that important things didn't fill it because I would otherwise remember if they were important, but I think that's a silly perspective. Life is a thing and it lets us wander in lots of directions and lots of things continually happen and both distract and motivate us, so it is unrealistic in a lot of cases to say that "important" things are memorable. Probably better to say "difficult" or "taxing" things are memorable since we know we spend a lot of time on them in one way or another. And I think it is habit to give greater weight to negative things than positive ones. So the whole point of a review is to really look into what did happen and figure out what is what, and give it a realistic view and review, and to take from it, and go forth.

So... January... hehe.

This will be interesting since I didn't make an effort to keep much in mind, so I'm having to do my own shuffle and dig. :-) Maybe it will get easier with habit?

Music ended December and started and ended January. We got to see the Bobs perform at The Triple Door for their usual after Christmas performance. They had a few extra folks with them this time around, and it was a fun show. We also got to see Pearl Django perform in is what their typical early January show at Jazz Alley. My sweetie got us tickets as a holiday gift, and it was a wonderful show! And Conflikt ended the month, and I got to perform with Vixy and Tony as Cade's backup band. I provided a little brush-on-snare action and had fun with that. I'm reminded that I probably should have stuck to my guns as a kid when I suggested that I wanted to play drums. Realistically, I'm not sure that it would have made a huge difference, but I find that I have a workable instinct to drumming that I haven't found yet for piano, and I've had a lot less time officially playing drums than I have piano. I think part of it is that my brain lives in rhythms, and it is difficult for me to not get caught up in them. Definitely a telling sign. Along those lines, I've decided I will likely take up bass soon as well since it is also a foundation instrument, and I've had a fascination with how bass fits in both rhythmically and musically. I've decided that I want to pick up a Kala U-Bass (which is a special bass ukulele with custom strings and pick-ups that tends to make it sound like an upright bass). We'll see how all that goes. :-) January was the start of recording time for Eleusyve Production's next musical called the Rite of Jupiter. I will be participating vocally for the soundtrack and am looking forward to that as well as helping transcribe parts for the performance rehearsals. Should be interesting!

Health wise, I was just getting over one chest cold only to end up in the midst of a new one. Not sure why it's a struggle this year, but I think it may have to do with new allergies. I found that up to the previous cold and after it, I never seemed to get rid of the gunk much. I've been getting more sinus-related headaches lately, and congestion just seems to be a thing now where it hadn't been ever before. I suspect I may have to research options to figure out what works best. Not looking for suggestions at this point, btw. *smoooch* Just a thing I'm working on. Beyond that, I had also been finding my body being less than cooperative physically than it has in past, and I'm realizing it has a lot to do with the fact that I haven't been as physically active as I should. Also beginning to work on this process and figure a way to get going that won't injure otherwise very cranky and underused parts of my bod. Time and process, I'd imagine.

Speaking of health, what is with all the people dying? Celebs and others. Seems like 2016 took a big bite to start the year off. I realized that I was enjoying my holiday media by incorporating Die Hard into my Christmas movies because of course Alan Rickman. And just a few weeks later, he was gone. :/ Lots of others. I think we all got a good reminder of our mortality and short time. Good to remember as we continue to make decisions and oversee our paths that things don't always go to plan and we shouldn't reserve our happiness and fulfillment for a one perfect moment. No better time to start than today since we don't know if we'll get a tomorrow. I think planning is fine and all well and good, but it has to be tempered with the today. As for me, it also means working on putting aside fears and doubts and just doing more of the thing.

So go do the thing!! :-)
glitch25: (Default)
More stuff shuffling around on the to-do lists these days.

The biggest of course is working to get things squared away in the apartment. Always feels like there is more to do.. And part of doing it is time management.

I tend to get home and want to flop on the couch and do nothing constructive. Or.. sometimes I get caught up in daily chores/cleaning, and then don't want to do some of the leftover things I need to do. Or.. sometimes I want to work on the leftover things, and ignore chores. It's a battle almost every day to decide how to do things and what gets priority. And I've found that it is easy to get overwhelmed.. which of course leads to more couch flopping with a 1000mg dose of Fukitol.

What I've been working on over the last few months is trying to find ways to organize tasks so that I can make headway even if I can only apply a limited amount of time to the projects. It's a bit of a thing to do. But as I get better at it, more and more gets done. Granted, HUGE things don't always get done at once, but the point is to strip the "huge" things into bite-sized bits, and make time to do the bits and plan them out. Eventually, the big thing gets done.

It is weird to view progress through the lens of bits. Seems like there is a prevailing thought that things must be done all at once and in a dedicated determined manner for them to be valid accomplishments worth value. Anything else seems like it's "barely getting by" or "not really good enough". Not sure why that is. But I find that learning to change the lens makes the heart lighter. I can see my progress if I really look, and though that old voice of "but it isn't all done yet" sometimes creeps in, I'm learning to tell it, "it doesn't have to be all done for my work on it to be valid" and "It's ok that it isn't all done yet."

I think that last one is the most difficult. Life seems to be a yardstick to which we hold ourselves against, and if we haven't grown to those familiar hash marks, we're just not valid.

Fuck that. I'm valid for the work I do and for the accomplishments I make. Ultimately, I'm the one that decides what that yardstick looks like. I'm the one that gets to decide my value. We all have our struggles, and I bet we all look sideways at that yardstick and wonder. I haven't beat it totally out of me yet, but I'm making progress. On my timeline.
glitch25: (no spoon)

I get the feeling that now is the apparent time to be reminded of our mortality. As of today, losing 3 pretty heavy hitters in the last couple weeks. And I am to understand there have been some more personal losses as well. Big C. Fuck it.

That said, and speaking of mortality and what we stand to leave behind, what's on your list?

Do you have dreams that you will someday bring to fruition? What thing or skill or place or status or evolution is there waiting in the wings? What of it will be left unfinished or unachieved when you meet your time?

Are there things you keep meaning to say to someone? Situations you mean to sort out? Interests in people you want to pursue? Relationships or people that you need to sort out?

What is on your list?

Today I'm thinking about the things on mine.
glitch25: (piano)
So something that has been on my mind lately... something silly. I'm assuming you guys know about misheard lyrics. Things people sing along to songs that are totally not the lyrics to the song. Some songs are ripe for those opportunities, and others are just far reaches.

I've been noticing opportunities for misheard lyrics that could only exist in the last decade or two.

For example, in Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar Over Me, the line, "Livin' like a lover with a radar phone," which almost itself sounds like a misheard lyric, kinda sounds like "Livin' like a lover with a red iPhone".

Another I noticed recently was Earth, Wind, and Fire's Shining Star with the line, "Shining star come into view," which sounds like "Chinese laptop interview".

Have you noticed any potentials that could only exist in the now that wouldn't have existed 20 years ago?
glitch25: (Default)
All the music posts (and I forgot to move some of them over), but I realized I haven't made a real post. :-)

Holidays have been pretty good. Mellow, which I think was required this year. Got to spend it with a lot of family. Including a bit of unexpected family. G introduced me to a bit of hers which involved a bit of coming out, and it went pretty well!

I spent Eve with C's family and that was remarkably good as well. And after having a polycule brunch on Friday, G and I spent the evening with S's family. I guess you could say I had LOTS of family time.

Otherwise, it's been reasonably restful and generally uneventful.

Health has been mixed. I feel like I may be flirting with the next cold. Or the first one didn't totally leave. Or maybe I have some sort of allergies that are keeping me congested and the head pounding periodically. Not sure. Also, either related or otherwise, I'm not sure I've had an uninterrupted night of sleep for... well... it's been a fairly long while now. I've had varying amounts of sleep, and on some weekend days I've slept longer to make up for the fact that I'll wake up and be awake for a bit. So I dunno. Not an issue of bed or pillow either. At least not specifically. Nor caffeine. Nor bright screen toys. At least no more than usual.

I have noticed on the whole that I've been sore and otherwise continuing to be out of shape. In the plans to see if I can at least break even somewhere on that. Less concerned about weight and more about pulling funny muscles doing things that shouldn't pull muscles. Working on that might help with the sleep thing too. :-)

New Year's looks to be mellow as well. I'm all for that.

How were things for you?
glitch25: (Default)
I've been a fan of Gaia Consort and now Bone Poets from the moment I heard their music some 10 years ago. And not just because my sweetie is in the band.

Chris has an amazing musical sense, and Sue and the band pull together so beautifully to bring his visions alive. He truly has a genius. :-)

I also appreciate his sense of humor and his ability to get to the point in the matters he brings to tune.

If you've been looking for a present for your momma, this one is on the CD Baby site. Better yet, hit up the band website,, and adopt a song for the new album. The genius continues, and Chris, Sue, and the band have more to share!

In the meantime, enjoy a little Christmas in the Southland.

glitch25: (Default)
I've been following Karrin Allyson for quite some time now. I think I fell in love from some cuts I heard on KPLU many years ago, and when I noticed she was stopping at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, I would do what I could to stop by and see her.

She's an amazing artist who has a deep passion for music. Watching her perform is epic and magical.

She's a consummate pianist, and when she isn't sitting behind the keyboard, she surrounds herself with amazing and soulful talent. You can see the depth of the connection she holds with her fellow musicians on stage, and it is beautiful to watch them create music.

I highly recommend seeing her if you can. I make it a point to do that as often as I possibly can.

Here she is with Rod Fleeman on guitar, and Todd Strait on drums.

glitch25: (Default)
My first association to Väsen was unbeknownst as Sunnie and Betsy put together a duet called Josephine's Waltz based on a fiddle/cello cover by Alisdair Fraser and Natalie Haas. Stumbling around Youtube, I did find the original by Väsen written by their guitar player Roger Tolroth.

Not too terribly long after that, Sunnie and I had the luck and pleasure to see Väsen perform at Wintergrass Bluegrass Festival in Bellevue, and they graced us with a performance of Josefin’s Dopvals with guests Chris Thile and Mike Marshall on mandolin.

We've been big fans ever since, and have had the pleasure of seeing them live a few times now. :)

Here they are performing a holiday tune.

glitch25: (Default)
I have been aware of the music of Django Reinhardt for some time. He spawned what these days is either referred to as Gypsy Jazz or more commonly Hot Club. Sunnie and I have gotten rather enamored with the scene, and here in the Seattle area, we are blessed to have a group called Pearl Django that keeps up the tradition. I strongly encourage you to head out to see them if you can. They are fantastic!

One of the things I appreciate about Django's music, and of those that follow in his footsteps, is that it really moves me. Literally. I can't stop shuffling and tapping and dancing when I am listening to it. I enjoy letting it take me over. :)

This is a tune by the original and not with Stephane Grappelli, Django's usual partner in crime, but with a brilliant violin prodigy named Michel Warlop and his band.

glitch25: (Default)
One of my favorite Christmas albums as a kid was an LP of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, narrated by Zero Mostel. Scary and brilliant and lovely, as it is. For those of you who may have also had that LP, you may remember that the B side of it was a collection of Christmas songs called Christmas Songs From Many Lands by Alan Mills. These were various carols that had origins from all over the globe.

One that I liked a lot is called Bring A Torch. Lots of people have covered it over the years, but this is the one from that LP.

glitch25: (Default)
I want to say it was Tony Fabris that helped me down the Leo Moracchioli rabbit hole with Leo's awesome metal cover of Stayin' Alive. As is often the case, I took a deep dive, and am now a big Leo fan.

Beyond being a killer metal rocker and putting together some brilliant metal covers, Leo runs a music studio in Norway called FrogLeap Studios.

His videos are fun, his covers are insightful, and he really has a passion for what he does.
Find him here with this Christmas classic:

glitch25: (Default)
I realize I've been updating Facebook with my daily holiday music picks, but it might be nice to post them here as well.

That does mean I'm catching up with 8 of them today. So.. um.. well.. :-D

Danny Fong does nifty multitrack vocal videos of himself and his brother and sometimes his other gig mates. I got blown away by the version of Scarborough Fair he did that you can find with a little digging.
But since it's that time of year, I'm planning on posting nifty versions of holiday songs I find. Or ones that might be sentimental.
Here's Danny doing a time-split classic.

I'll hide the rest in here... )
glitch25: (reality check)
Grr. :-)

I'm realizing that my desire to bake holiday goodies is not high enough to overcome the challenges of both time and situation that I would have to face to accomplish that in a timely way this year. Not to say that holiday treats can't come later..

But it is a reminder that there are several proverbial ducks that I need to get in a row that would facilitate a lot more than than just holiday treats.

So I think while holiday treats by in large will get moved off the carousel for this year, accomplishing the other bits will be a focus instead. Not as tasty, but definitely more rewarding in the long run.

I think it's age that is reminding me that I'm less interested in pulling out my hair trying to manage the 3-ring circus than I might have been when I was younger. Some are worth it. Some are not. Wisdom is learning which those are. :-)

"And tequila to help me know the difference." :-D

Mmmm... Tequila.....
glitch25: (Default)
Holidays cometh!

Need to get my butt in gear and get some of the decorations up, and get started on the baking.

Got up my official Charlie Brown tree at work. Added these cute little LED lights to it this time. I like it.

Work is mostly hurry up and wait. We're on hold during our busy season so as not to disturb things while our sales force completes its busiest season to date. That also means January will be crazy busy. Should be fun!

Managing to hammer out holiday details, and I finally decided to treat myself to a few extra days off this year. I accumulate a lot of PTO and always forget I should use it.. So this year I am. :-D

Pretty good year overall. I have a lot to be grateful for, and I have a great family. :-)

How is your December shaping up? Are you a holiday person or not so much? What are you looking forward to in the coming month or even in the coming year?
glitch25: (Default)
I don't know if it's been with the coming of the holidays in particular, or just a combination of things I've been taking note of lately, but I've really been working through feelings with the idea of appreciating the things that mean something and have positive connotation in relation to my parents.

While things got to a point where I no longer want my parents in my life these days, I did grow up with them, and they did have positive influences in addition to the negative things. Not everything was bad. I have some good memories and some appreciation for influences and some encouragements.

I think what makes it difficult for me is that unlike if I had lost my parents to death, they are both very much alive. It is difficult to balance the desire to be grateful with the idea that I ultimately don't feel an obligation to share that thankfulness with them.

It's been part of the mourning process that I've gone through in the past few years, and I battle with the feelings of navigating things like this.

Reaching out to them is not really a useful option in either case for a variety of reasons. But I do still feel a desire to honor the memory of that good time.

Part of that is coming to grips that there are layers and levels of feelings and that I can feel good about parts of my past and relationship to my parents and still hold to the reasons for my recent decisions.

I think the impulse is to say, "Burn it all!!" But that isn't very realistic. No matter what came of things these days, they were still a strong influence on my life which includes good things and trying to either deny that or push that into a corner or a mental box is more taxing than accepting it.

In some ways, I've been rediscovering my childhood and making peace with parts of it. It's been good. And it has felt better to be able to look at how some of those early influences helped point me in directions that brought good things to my life, and to find the willingness and humility to give credit to my parents for those things.

Still a work in progress as so many things are, but this thinky work has gone a long way to bring me some peace and good perspective.
glitch25: (Default)
I've been seeing pictures from my last visit to the hospital lately in Facebook. Been happy I haven't had to visit the fine folks at Overlake in a good little while.

Due to a fiscally sound decision, I picked up an early Christmas present for myself. I finally joined the console gamers with an Xbox 360. Yes, not the latest and greatest, but it plays my current favorite games that I play on PC, and I'm behind on so many others that as long as I can find used titles and ones online, I'll be busy for a long time. This stemmed from a choice I made related to the need to replace my laptop. After pricing out what I'd need to continue to play the games I like, I realized it would be cheaper to pick up this console (even brand new, 360's are dirt cheap right now), and a chromebook. Both will fit the bill for what I want and need, and cost at least $200 less than what I could find combining them. Kinda sad. But cool all the same.

We've made some big strides in getting more organizing done at the house. Never fails how much of a struggle it is to get things in place. I don't mean as much the day to day, but the bigger things that include the continuation of unpacking and paring down of things. And spring cleaning (still). And I think I get issues of depression related to it not being the way I'd want it to be. So I've been taking small steps. Little things several times a week. Even while I've been sick. It is overwhelming if I look at the whole thing, but if I think of it in terms of little things, I am able to focus on small bits. Move a thing. Unpack one box. Hang a piece of art. Organize one small thing. As time goes on, things continue to improve, and I feel less bad about it.

More artistic stuff going as I battle with prop ideas for our new Rite. If you're interested in supporting our latest efforts, I'd encourage you to donate what you can at We'd really appreciate it, and what we ultimately do with this one will be up to donors, so cast your vote and help us get the word out to others who might also be interested!

What else.... I've been reading these collected thematic works called Apocalypse Triptych about and around the apocalypse. I've read the first one, The End is Nigh, and I am currently working on The End is Now. For those of you that enjoy Seanan McGuire's stuff, or Hugh Howey, for that matter, there are stories in these collections from each as well as lots of other nifty authors and stories. I've also started digging into a Phillip K Dick collection which I started in response to watching the TV series Minority Report. I never did read the story, but I've enjoyed other of his works and decided I should get on board with some of the rest. Good stuffs.

Speaking of reading, I'm continuing to find myself frustrated at the fact that I just can't seem to win when it comes to getting an e-ink reader that will read books in the formats I like, support non-DRM books, and also sync book marks and collections via either Google or Dropbox. I recently picked up a Nook Touch in hopes of rooting it and using one of my preferred Android book readers, but because it is running such an old version of Android, the latest and greatest won't work on it, which means syncing is also broken across devices. I like being able to read on my phone at times, and I want it synced to my e-reader at home so when I'm in bed, I can pick up where I left off without staring at a sleep-reducing screen. The battle continues. I think ultimately, I just need to find a 7 inch e-ink Android tablet running at least 4.4.

Music continues to be interesting. I've begun work on a collaborative effort to cover a tune from a video game called Guild Wars 2. It is called Fear Not This Night. Beautiful song, and I'm looking forward to pulling this one out in the future. Continuing to look into new instruments as well. I just became fascinated by the UBass by Kala. It is essentially a bass Ukulele that, with the help of special strings and its construction, emulates a basic four string bass. Nifty, versatile, and not too expensive. Still looking forward to working out a new piano soon. Still managing to pay down other bills and expenses will hopefully continue to be stable. Money has been interesting since battling medical bills. I'm very happy and very fortunate to have a job that allows me to catch up some and still manage to squeeze out a little entertainment here and there.

So aside from my cold, yeah. :-)

As for my cold, coming up on week 4. Doc doesn't seem overly concerned, and it is improving slowly. Hopefully I won't have to endure too much more.

How are you doing?
glitch25: (piano)
As a growing musician and performer, one of the things I've been learning to take to heart is the idea (one shared by lots and lots and lots of performers) that there really is no substitute for hard work and long hours at the craft.

Being that music is not how I sustain my financial well-being, I take that to mean that my long hours of practice and study are not consecutive. But all the same, I have been making a regular effort to put in time into my musical studies. Even if it is 20 minutes here or there.

I think one of my frustrations that I'm learning to overcome is the fact that I feel so far behind. I have the privilege to spend time with LOTS of very talented and incredible musicians of various flavors, and I get to regularly witness the fruits of their labors and I sometimes take certain things out of context and get frustrated with myself that I feel like I have so little to offer and so much work to do to be even a quarter of the musician that these people are.

It's stupid, really. Most of my musician friends have been playing their instruments and performing since they were young kids. Presumably non-stop or at least in and around it to some degree. They have put in their time (and still are). It is useless to compare myself even trivially since I have not had all that time put in. My dedication is relatively new, and even though I came to the latest table with some skills (guess those years of piano lessons weren't a total waste!), I still have lots of time to put in. But I still have to remind myself that it doesn't make me less. It doesn't mean that what I have to offer is valueless.

Beyond that though, the comparisons at all are still useless. I am on my own musical journey. It is a path unique to me as are the paths of those friends of mine. As with most things, the goal is less about how fast I traverse the path and more about how much I absorb along the way. And I feel fortunate that I've been regularly given a lot of nifty things to absorb, and that my journey of late has been pretty damn awesome. :-)

Along the lines of hard work, I recently reminded myself that it is useful to not get too focused on any one thing for too long within the greater whole. By this I mean that I have been working on a piece I started some 20 years ago. I've talked before about the fact that by in large, I had learned most of the piece except for about 16 bars of a middle section that for some reason, I never made the time prior to learn. Up until recently, when I would start to play it, I would just stop when I got to that point. But over the last year or so, I decided that with the availability of a keyboard and space to sit down every day, I was going to knock out those 16 bars and finally finish something that I started so long ago. And little by little, I have worked out that little section, and can mostly play it reliably. Unfortunately, what I realized the other day is that I had stopped putting in time to play the REST of the piece, and when I tried to play it end-to-end, I struggled with the rest of it. XD

It isn't all gone or lost. But I definitely need to put in time to play the whole thing now that I've come closer to mastering the missing middle bit. And that aside, there are a few other little spots that need polishing up.

When I chose Gershwin's Prelude #2 so many years ago, it was because I really enjoyed Gershwin, and of the three, the second seemed the least technically challenging. I would say today that I still agree with that assessment, and it has been fun getting to finally pull it all together. It also means that I've actually willfully decided that I'm up for more challenge and want to tackle one of the other two.

That, and there's this Rachmaninoff piece I've been really wanting to put to bed. And maybe a little Chopin. And definitely more Beethoven.

To say nothing of Brubeck, Corea, Hancock, and then all the other little things I want to pull together.

And that's just piano. There will be more drum stuff too. And guitar. And mandolin. And definitely violin.

Like any other impassioned musician, I'll be putting in time until I'm dead. Good thing the genes say I should be around for a long long time. :-) I'm gonna want it!
glitch25: (Default)
Well.. they tell me today is the end of the long summer. Long relatively speaking since I know summer back home lasts into October. Honestly, summer HERE sometimes lasts into October, so while the sun-worshipers are lamenting the changing weather, I'll accept that it still is likely to get hot again before it stays cold for a while.

On the flip side, I'm not arguing the change today. I was up early and refreshed. Out of bed and moving much earlier than I usually do. And got to work at an unusually earlier hour for me. This change, for however long it lasts, is definitely a good thing for me.

Timing-wise, it seems like a lot of other little things are due to transition too. Little things with the organization of the house and how we're doing things. I recently picked up a new entryway bench that will make better use of some space where we've otherwise stacked junk. Things in the kitchen have been shuffled a little, and we're making progress continuing down the path to make things a home.

It is kinda frustrating feeling like I've lived where I am over a year now, and we're still having to re-arrange and unpack.. and pare down. I guess it feels like there should be a better routine about how things get done and how the business of getting settled in works, but I forget that that sort of thing takes years... sometimes years and years. Maybe I'm impatient to do other household things. The carousel is itching to turn, and some things have spent too long packed away.

Along those lines, I finished up my new art project (new to me, anyways), and will have some time to devote to other things I want to do. I think I want to get back into book binding for a bit. I need to perfect some of my techniques, and I want to get better at it. I have a few projects in particular in mind, and it should keep me busy for a while. :-)

There are also several games calling my name, and while my laptop seems to be struggling on it's last leg, I'm not ready to toss it, so we'll see if I can get it behaving again. I had a funny realization the other day. I was doing some stress-relief gaming (computer mode Jedi Knight 2 in capture the flag mode with 7 compy players), and I realized that my 15 inch laptop screen, in my lap, is about the same visual field as our flatscreen (for which I briefly considered hooking up to). Make me chuckle. :-) Resolution of the TV is slightly better, but it really wouldn't offer a lot at this point. Maybe when we pony up for a sound bar soon. I need to get back into Skyrim. And Fallout and it's cousins are calling to me.

Speaking of gaming, I wandered into Godus on Android. I've been a fan of Molyneux's early works with Lionhead, and Godus kinda sounded like it had a similar vibe. I hadn't dug into the controversy about the PC version and what looks like the melt-down that happened since trying to get that game out the door. But the Android version seems interesting enough, and I'm enjoying it in bits so far. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. And the PC Beta. Not sure I want to pay into that one yet. Maybe some day if the company Molyneux left behind finishes it off. Either way, it will be interesting to see if Molyneux can work his way out of his self-dug hole and get back to the business of making interesting games.

As a tangent to gaming, I have been focused lately on appreciating movie and gaming soundtracks and have fallen in love again with Jeremy Soule. I had the pleasure of alpha testing Total Annihilation back in the day when I worked for Humongous Entertainment, and his score there has always moved me. So it was no surprise that when I got into the Elder Scrolls games, starting with Morrowind, that after loving the music, I discovered that Soule was the one scoring those. His scores are so evocative.

I've been looking at a piece from Guild Wars 2 (a game I'd also like to get into) that I'd like to gather some troops to cover. Here is one take on it. It is a beautiful piece. :-)

More music is definitely in the list. I'm researching drums and keyboards and other fun things to add to the musical section of the carousel. I need to devote time to continuing to practice and to learning new things. and i should make a dent in that list of covers I've been meaning to do. :-)

Now with summer slipping away, it means I can use the oven again. Baking will be coming back. Along with good cooler weather comfort foods like stews and the like. I'm excited!

Time to shift gears and launch into the next little bit. Coming along for the ride?

July 2017

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