Thursday, August 28, 2008

school days for all

School is in full swing and I think I should be able to keep up with it. I just keep thinking that at any moment now the baby may decide it's time to come, then we will experience what it's like for the kids to outnumber the adults 2:1 in this household. The kids may revolt and take over! I'm not really worried about that actually. Every afternoon we have the boys do homework at the table, sometimes there are struggles but it always gets done. I do most of my homework later in the night and some in-between classes at school. I've only gone to school for 4 days of course but I'm already making habits.

The boys on the first day of school
Sally fingerpainting
I now have my drums set up reasonably well with improved hi-hats. I don't play them with a baby inside though.
If you want more interesting blog stuff to read you can see the Only Anything Imaginary Band group blog that I have made some contributions to recently, it has been growing with lots of historical content from my teenage years. Oh nostalgia!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

getting down to the rudiments


On craigslist I met a Mr. Smith who lives in Maricopa and needed to sell his drums because his dog cries and complains every time he tries to play them. He doesn't like strangers coming into his house so he met me in the parking lot of a school and we did the transaction. I went to shake his hand upon greeting him and he pulled away putting his hands together in praying position and did a little bow while saying "please don't take offense". None was taken but Mr. Smith was turning out to be a real character. He sold me his drums for an extremely cheap price, that's the only way I'd be getting drums. I don't go on craigslist often but I'd been looking specifically for drums this summer and as soon as this ad was posted I jumped on it because I knew it wouldn't last 24 hours. The drums are of decent quality, Premier brand but the cymbals it came with are indistinguishable from scrap metal. Marisa had no problem with me bringing these into the house, we are hoping one of our kids will want to learn eventually and we can have a family band. For now, I'm the one who plays them and I'll get some tension out between school assignments by banging on them a bit.
Soon I will record them and add some drums to a song I'm working on. The song is called "Lonely Eyes" and it's turning out really well. Tonight I just recorded an electric guitar solo for the song and I think it's one of my best solos yet. The main part of the song is very moody and minimalistic, when the guitar comes in it's a very strong and dynamic moment.
I haven't recorded the vocals yet but a funny thing happened when I was recording just a rough vocal take to get make sure everything was fitting together. Marisa was watching TV at the time and some of the sound from it was getting picked up by the microphone, just as the last note is playing you can distinctly hear the phrase "nobody wants to die Bobby" loud and clear. I don't even know what show it was from but it sounds really cool and I think I'm going to leave it in the mix. Something for you all to look forward to!

Monday, August 18, 2008

bienvenidos bandits

Jon Stone may be making some progress with me, if this ever sees the light of day, and I suppose it will, rss will see to that. There will be no twittering or tweeting and minimal texting; texting will be a last resort, will be sounding alarms, will be getting out the fine china. The world and its trends aside, this could be a great value if only for the sake of record keeping. So may this be the time it sticks, and with good fortune this blog will not be found among the company of my previous abandoned blogs. For this blog I have no expectations and it will have no theme except for my life, anything about my life is fair game. I will let it change as I change and I hope this will be its saving grace.
Soon Marisa and I will have child #4, I will start my second year at ASU and I will stop working as an all-night airport taxi van driver. All these things should happen in the next month. The boys are already back to school, 5th and 3rd grade. Next year Shule will be in middle school, an undeniable example of just how much life really does change.
That crazy job I've been doing this summer has had ups and downs, I can't imagine taking that job as a long term career but people do it. I work from 5pm to 5am four or five shifts a week. Too much wasted time. The good days aren't quite good enough to make up for the bad days. You may remember Chris Farley from SNL "living in a van down by the river!", well I've been spending my summer "living in a van down by the airport!". That's what it feels like. I'm nervous about getting lost in the technical studies again because that takes a lot of focus and a lot of time too but I'm thinking it's better than living in a van down by the airport for the rest of my life.
I did get to see the whole Phoenix metro area which was interesting; I know my way around pretty well now.
Modern Differential Equations, Circuits I, Computer Assembly Language, Physics II electricity and magnetism
That is my course schedule, it's only 4 classes but it's going to be a lot for me, the novice electrical engineer. There are some significant labs in there. I will probably be tutoring College Algebra again for about 5 hours a week. I want to tune pianos on Saturdays and I'm really getting the urge to play some music in a band setting again. The memory of Radiohead on stage at Grant Park has the opposite effect of discouraging these urges. Thanks to a gift from Kelby, the Line 6 Toneport, I have new home recording capabilities. I've started a few songs but it will be weeks before I finish because I only work on it one or two hours a week. I got a very good deal on a drumset and learning to play it is a long term goal, separate post on drums coming soon.