Saturday, February 27, 2010

It’s all in the groove…


ben :: bleachers, bristol, ct :: january 31, 2010

My friend, Mikey, posted this entry about music and it got me thinking.

I can’t imagine my life without music. In any way, shape, or form. I really prefer live music and the indie scene (especially when I know the people in the bands (duh!)), but I’ll take whatever I can get my hands on.

...a perfect circle of acquaintances and friends… (R.E.M. - Perfect Circle)

I had a really odd conversation in the bar last night after instrument’s show. It left me feeling kind of hurt and confused, but then I talked to someone else who reminded me who the source was, to brush it off, and that I WAS welcome to hang out with them no matter what. It felt good to talk to him - we traded crazy family stories and bonded. Again. We don’t hang out a lot, but we seem to be starting to. Must be our mutual love of that non-sport. *grin*

...I remember hockey games played right here in my state… (The Zambonis - Bob Marley and the Hartford Whalers)

Maybe it seems odd that I travel all over creation to see instrument. Maybe it seems odd that I head to Hartford every time All Crazy’s in town. Maybe it’s even odder still that I want to road trip up to Albany to see Black Mountain Symphony again. I don’t really care what anyone thinks. It’s what makes me happy.

...and I don’t know why I am smiling, but I’ll have you know it feels so good… (Black Mountain Symphony - Winter Nights)

I spend a lot of time in my car. Too much. In fact, I’ve put more miles on the Forester in two years than I put on the Jetta I drove for five years. That’s a lot of driving. I mean, who puts close to 50,000 miles on a car in a little over two years? Yeah. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Seeing these bands means everything to me.

...pedal to the floor, speeding down the highway… (All Crazy - Not Over)

The soundtrack to my life has always been R.E.M. and while I don’t see that changing any time soon, I am happy that I’m discovering new indie music and even branching out to commercial artists I would have written off earlier. I’m blaming mashups and iTunes. 99 cents for a song is just awesome, especially when I don’t want to commit to a whole album. Honestly, I can’t ever imagine wanting an entire Justin Timberlake album, but I am all about bringing “SexyBack” (and porchmonkey, but that’s completely different).

...I’ll let you whip me if I misbehave. It’s just that no one makes me feel this way… (Justin Timberlake - SexyBack)

I grew up surrounded by music. My dad liked Anne Murray, Fleetwood Mac, The Kingston Trio and Abba. When my mother got drunk, it was “The Battle of The Green Berets” on repeat. I had access to their 45s and LPs. I must have worn out a dozen albums - I was in a HUGE Beatles phase back then (before Manson forever ruined the White Album for me. *sigh*) and my mother had every.single. one. I had my own collection, of course - most of them Hall and Oates. I think I will always crush on Daryl Hall - no matter how old either of us gets. And don’t get me started on visiting my aunt. Her house was like winning the musical lottery. Mott the Hoople, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Bowie, the Stones, The Who and if they weren’t blasting an album, WCCC was always on in the background. I don’t know how many hours I spent in front of their stereo system, patiently recording the LPs on to cassettes. Even now, listening to the pop and hiss on my worn out copy of Led Zep 3…

... I get the tingles in a silly place. It starts in my toes, and I crinkle my nose… (Colbie Caillat - Bubbly)

There’s a lot of music that’s really important to me. Reminders of moments, of people, that I don’t want to forget. When I hear that particular song - or album - I’m right back in that moment. I can remember it crystal clear. Music can evoke emotions I thought I wasn’t capable of reliving. That I didn’t want to relive. I can say without a doubt, though, that the one album in my collection that I will never be able to part with is my copy of The Pogues’ “Rum Sodomy and the Lash”. Pelkey had given it to me because he thought I’d love it. I did. I think he only meant to loan it to me, but I never gave it back to him. (I’m such a terrible friend!) Whenever I listen to it, I can vividly picture him in the hallway of Belden, cake on his freshly shaven head, joking that he ruined Christmas. God, I miss him. He was one of the sweetest people I have ever crossed paths with. the gravesite of Cuchulainn, we’ll kneel around and pray… (The Pogues - The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn)

If I had the choice of going blind or losing my hearing, I’d rather go blind. Not being able to hear music ever again would probably make me suicidal. It’s that important to me. I’ve learned a lot about myself through the music I listen to. It sounds funny, but it’s true, and I never want to give that up. (Yes, I’m completely aware of the irony that I’m ruining my hearing by going to live shows whenever I can. Shush, you!)

...but when I hear the music, all my troubles just fade away… (Poison - Let it Play)

Yet, I married my complete opposite when it comes to music. He’s not a huge music fan. I like to annoy him by playing “Name That Tune”. Normally, I can name a song, album and artist (and in some cases, the year) within the first few notes. He has a hard time recognizing Dylan, Pink Floyd and Zeppelin. I’ve noticed, though, that his iPod is slowly getting filled with some of my more favorite music. Some of my CDs have disappeared in his car, never to be seen again. I’m willing to cut him a certain amount of slack for not being as into music music as I am, since he gives me the freedom I need to go travel to show after show, but not too much. *grin* I mean, the man has trouble naming classic tunes and can’t tell one band from another! *sigh*

It’s a good thing he’s cute.

...I count your eyelashes secretly. With every one, whisper I love you… (R.E.M. - At My Most Beautiful)

Posted by Matty on 02/27 at 05:10 PM

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Holy freaking crap, Batman!


dave :: jillian’s, albany, ny :: january 23 2010


My new job is kicking my ass.

Like my last job, I knew that I was walking into. Unlike my last job, people actually want to work with me to fix what’s wrong rather than fight me every. single. step. of the way. That’s not the only difference, but it’s the most important one.

The only problem with the new job (if you want to call it that), is that there’s some very concrete time limits as to when things need to be done. And they were all due YESTERDAY. This is due to a lot of internal problems that had *just* come to light the Friday before I started…That timing is totally coincidental and really freaks me out, but I’m cool with it. I actually like being in a real office again, where people talk to each other like grown-ups are supposed to. We all definitely have our potty mouths, some louder than others (not mine for a change), but at least it’s not all day every day, at ridiculously loud volumes and in wicked aggressive conversations.

What I’m struggling with - kind of - is the fact that I’m living in the office right now. 7 AM - 7 PM. Every day. Plus, I worked last Saturday and will be in the office again this weekend. I’m taking off “early” tomorrow night and Saturday night, so that I can have a little fun. Right now it’s definitely all work and no play makes Tam very happy and VERY stressed out. I’m enjoying the non-stop working because it kind of reminds me of being in school and it’s helping me become more disciplined. I’ve been sorely lacking in the discipline department since I finished school.

The most interesting change is how disconnected I’ve become. I’m hardly ever online any more - no Twitter, no Facebook, no email and no blogging. It’s been weird. Very weird. But at the same time, it’s become an important change. I didn’t realize how much I “needed” to be online until I had to go cold turkey. It’s the little things. I’ve stopped bringing the laptop up to the bedroom, I’m reading a little on those rare nights when I’m not ready to fall asleep, and I’m actually starting to wake up earlier. There’s a few more changes I want to make in my life, but I’m cool with making slow progress. It’s weird to think a job can change my life so drastically, but in a lot of little ways. Does that make sense? Is that even English?

Any hoo, I’m off to bed. (Yes. At 9PM.) Play nice, kids. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get the day job under control quickly so I can have some semblance of my old life back.

Posted by Matty on 02/18 at 09:52 PM

Friday, February 05, 2010

So. Where the heck was I?


aaron :: jillian’s, albany, ny :: january 23 2010

I’ve kind of managed to lose all track of time.


The only way I can figure out what happened in January is to look at my Google calendar.  It shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone that basically, I spent most of January in my freaking car.

It also didn’t help that my beloved MacBookPro died as soon as we got back from vacation. Spending a week on my old TiBook hurt. It was so slow that doing anything - even basic web stuff - took FOREVER. I can’t remember the last time I was that far off the grid. It was painful. Honestly, if I didn’t have internet access on my iPhone, I’d be writing this from the funny farm. It didn’t help that I was unemployed for the majority of that week and could have really used the distraction.

Yeah, that whole unemployed thing—after a really bad day at work, where I told the owner point blank, “If that’s how it’s going to be, I don’t think I can work here anymore,” I emailed a CPA I used to work with. His client had an opening and after what I’ve started calling a whirlwind romance, I was offered the job. When I let my former employer know, there was some major ugliness, and I decided not to fulfill my two weeks notice. (A conversation with an attorney made me feel good about making that choice. Probably still wouldn’t have gone in, but at least I could take comfort in the fact that the law was on my side.)

The new job is definitely not perfect… I’m kind of walking into a major shitstorm, but it was discussed at the interview, so I knew what I was getting into. The specifics were made clear today during a meeting with the majority owner and the CPA - it’s about 2 years worth of ugly to clean up, but I know we can get through it. My co-workers are great. I even got hug tackled when I went in to do my paperwork on Wednesday. (That threw me for a loop - the hug tackle is MY signature greeting!) All things considered, my gut says I made the right choice. This job plays to a lot of my strengths and the perks are great.

Besides all the job turmoil, I spent a lot of time at instrument shows. (HUGE surprise, right?) I’m trying even harder to push my photography skills. I’m starting to play with black and white, different ways to crop, whatever. I’m not sure what the guys think - due to the dead computer, they haven’t gotten to see them yet - but I’m liking the results. A lot. (This picture of Aaron is one of my more successful experiments, IMHO.)

There was also The Great Snowboarding Experiment… I think it was successful. At least, I think I want to try it again. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance this winter, but it’s on someday/maybe again.  Skiing kills my knees, even after physical therapy and braces, and snowboarding didn’t. However, snowboarding hurt EVERYTHING else, but I suppose it could have been much worse. I do think the next time I go, I will be wearing a helmet. Even though the fall that did me in was an epic face plant (about a 10 on the combined Tam/Richter Scale), I think a helmet would have been awesome for a few of the backwards falls I took.

I am The Cranky tonight, though. I received a rather aggressive phone call last night, from the New England Regional President of Soyuz Ukrainok who was highly annoyed that I don’t speak Ukie. I completely understand that the annual package is due Feb. 15th. BUT, we may not have a branch this year and we can’t really do anything until the vote occurs. It’s not like I took over the presidency with the idea that I was going to kill the branch, but from the outside looking in, the branch can’t survive the way it has been. It. Just. Can’t. Any members who think they’ll change, won’t. I’ve seen it happen before. Letting the branch dissolve isn’t the best solution to the problem, but if no one is willing to step up, it becomes the only option. Instead of cussing at me (yes, I do know some Ukie!), you could have been a cheerleader. This is a difficult time for us and as the Regional President, you need to support us, not rip the co-president a new hole.

Oh well. Two more days before it’s back to the grind… I better unplug so I can get some sleep and fully enjoy the freedom!

Posted by Matty on 02/05 at 11:23 PM