Thursday, October 29, 2015

Four days if one or two gigs per day

And most of them pay well.  It is so rare that you hear that in the small time, unknown, original music scene.  But some sets will be covers.  I think we do two hours of original then two hours of covers and spanish songs.  The spanish ones are my favorites.  At least some of them.

I have had little time to practice or even listen on my own. We did some at practice. The viola player likes to call it rehearsal, with practice being whatever you do on your own.  I'm sure I'm meant to have a doctorate in some odd branch of psychology.  Perfect subjects for my doctorate continually drop into my life.   I realize that I am no different, but I prefer not to dwell on that.

What makes it so fun, beside the fact that I like the songs, is that they all are so enthusiastic about my playing.  It always surprises me.  Last night I sat in with Chris and Emily and Richard resonator.  If you do not know who they are, they are the people with whom I sat in last night at Lakeside VFW.  It was on my way home from the house of dignitaries.

Country is actually very hard for me.  It will go along like I expect, then it either goes up when I go down or vice versa.  Country and blues have much in common, but there is that point where one goes one way, and one, the other.  It just takes doing it and before long it all makes sense.  It is still not first nature for the most part.  But I like playing with those guys.  Richard plays a mean Dobro, although his is some other make.  The generic term is "resonator".  

There were very few people at that VFW last night.  Apparently that is unusual. I suspect it was due to the debates. That clientele is the demographic that is interested and involved in some way; posters, bumper stickers, clipboards full of paper looking for signatures.  Even so, it was a good time.

I often feel guilty because all the bending and overblowing (causing the pitch to rise, as opposed to standard bends) that great players have always done seems secondary, at best, to me.  I don't really think about it. I just think the sound or something.  All my life I really focused mostly on single note play.  Now I do chords like crazy.  Lots of split chords. On harmonica that is when you block one or more holes in the middles and play some number of holes on either side. A real variety of sounds can result.  You can sort of imply a note you don't exactly have.  Somehow the chord works instead.

Depends on the texture of the thing whether you want to bend or not.

Still, compared to what lots of people can do, I am surprised at the ones who choose me on purpose. I think only some other harp players like my playing.  There is a harmonica culture to some extent, and little, or even large, cliques with impose these standards. Nothing official, just peer pressure I think.

I have seen forums with comments from people boasting of their ability to bend certain notes and how anyone who can't is a piker, blablabla.  I always feel bad because I rarely make any effort or even think I can do whatever it was they mentioned.  I must enjoy playing. I think it is because I like interacting with people.  I mean, I play a thing that is really not that much fun to play without people either playing, too, or encouraging enough that I take it back. I rarely like the solo thing, playing for a small crowd.  Much rather be jamming.

No Ninja Door Jam Repair

Some months ago, I didn't think I could rely on myself to get the work done that needs doing over at the resort house.  My friend, Jim, is sure I am employed as a lawn jockey there.  No too far off.

Back then, I brought a drummer on board.  Not to play drums, but he allegedly had skills.  I was having the aquagenic pruritus phenomenon visit me daily; any time I exerted at all.  So it seemed.

He turned out to be a complete lunatic, and I do not mean that lightly.  I may have outlined the disaster many months ago.  I don't recall.

This guy had some fantasy that he was living the life of a samurai warrior, or some other Asian offshoot.  "The true warrior lives as if he has already died; thus they can focus only on being of service to others--like I do."  Grasshopper, give me a friggin break!

Besides the fact that I had to re-do much of his work, he owes me $100.  He went to Arizona so we do not cross paths.  But he has re-written history enough that I hear he is planning on passing through.  Several people would be happen if he did not bother to stop.  Maybe if he bec omes convinced that a real ninja would just stay the hell out of Dodge, he will vanish into the night before we mortals even know the mystic warrior has tread among us.

Due to the hyroxyurea, and my sensitivity to it, the attacks almost ceased for awhile.  I got him out of there, and have gradually been doing more myself.  Lately the AP has returned, despite my improved lab numbers.  But now I have plans and strategies for mitigating the issue.  Plus I decided to do everything I can to vanquish the dangerous blues that want to swallow me.  Fighting to get things done helps.  It is not so easy though.

Today I finished the double door, out-behind-the-house equipment room door jam.  It was half rotted from a prior water heater leak.  It was long ago.  It was a little spray leak in a line, so it went up high.

Be that as it may. Originally I thought the new MFWIC was going to hire Rico (whom we are sure is a cleaner for the CIA) to do the job.  After the secret service visited, I asked if he wanted me to try or was he going to call Rico.  He asked me to go ahead.  Seriously, I am not really a handy man.  I am just a guy who figures out some way to do a thing, and the people who hire me are usually pleased.

This was a bear of a task.  And it definitely showed me that I really may have some physical issues going on, that I can still mange to get things done, I can operate a portable table saw without losing fingers, and I can push on even when dizzy or whatever.  It feels so good when you know the little roadblocks which are on top of the usual difficulties of retro fit, remodel, and working in tight spaces.

I think I pushed about as far as I could without seriously being dangerous.  Right to that edge, plus just a little bit.  Just enough left to put everything away clean up the site, and somehow lose my travel mug.  It was dark pretty quick.  Lighting there is horrible. Seriously the worst outdoor night time lighting ever.  They paid a designer to do that.  Sick.

It occurred to me that the ex employee ninja psycho claimed that the problem was that the whole thing was interior door stuff.  He was wrong, of course.  His vision included solid wood doors with dents made by a router to look like louvres. The present door has real vent capabilities, not just pretend.   Anyway, I am convinced that this guy could not do the job.  Even so, I had visions of him sneaking up on the project in a ninja suit, shouting fake Japanese.  The vision did not go beyond that.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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