Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Auctioneer (another engine)

And just like that, I sold the Telecaster. Money in the bank and less space occupied. Hopefully, some more of the items for sale will go as quickly. Got the price I was asking for with no haggling--the musician who purchased the guitar was a very nice man and I think a good deal was made in the bargain for both.

Things with "...Arlington Line" are moving fast. The front and back cover art are done, just like that. I can almost taste the pleasure at doing this album. I just need to find a suitable typeface and then it's all down to selecting the right songs. I also already received the permission from the photgrapher to use the photos (free of charge! How awesome and generous is that?). My hope is that once this album is completed, I won't feel any sense of loss or disappointment; that this one will be the one.

Not a bad way to start a year off. Back to the gym tomorrow night!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekend rewind (crossing off lists)

Aside from getting my thing (whatever that really means or entails) together musically again, yesterday, I went and signed us up for a year (me, "passport"/Liz "gold" and two years) membership with NYSC again, so we're totally back in the game again. Was at the gym this morning and aside from having a moment of deja-vu, it felt great and not without its' minor pains (how long has it been since I exercised properly? Don't ask.). Worked with the weights as well and managed to put in a full regimen as I used to. I guess that eliminates the last of the "to-do" items on the list for this year. As I've stressed so many times, it's never about a "resolution"--there's nothing to resolve. This is something I wanted and needed to do and now it's done. What else is left on the short list? Paying down the credit card, which leads to...

I've gotten a slew of e-mails for the guitars for sale and I do believe I have a taker for the Tele, which means a nice bit of cash to go into the bank. I hear the sound of chopping in the background as per the credit card. It isn't ludicrously high; it's just too high to me. People constantly scoff and say "oh, that balance is nothing, in comparison to mine" and they're usually right, but it's the principle of not having debt. The car payment is enough. I have all the toys and ecoutrements I could possibly want and I want nor need anything else or extraneous. It's about paring down and eliminating clutter and if I can do it and make some money in the process, hey, great.

Would love to now sell off the last of those CD's, just to create that extra bit of space!

All that aside, it's been a great suburban couple weekend and all the chores, etc. have been taken care of quickly and without aggro. Watched "Ratatouille" and loved it; everyone should see it. It's cute, funny and smart.

Now back to prepping the track I'm working on for this charity record.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Close another door

As I'd said in a previous post, I'm looking to sell a few of my guitars and some of the excess equipment I have. There is no rhyme nor reason to keep these items as I never use them; never think about them and all they do is take up space.

It's nice to be able to say there are no emotional connections to these pieces of the past; I don't see any need to analyze it beyond it's high time to free up some space and make some extra cash in the process. I also want to unload things like my old 4 track; I do have the digital 8 track, which is a world of difference in sound, etc. and surely there must be someone who is either a cassette-recording aficionado or just starting and wanting the most minimal equipment to learn from.

I'm also unloading one of my road cases for pedals. I see no need for such a thing; I'm not planning on having my rig go out "on the road" (and you can detect the wry sarcasm in that statement since I put it in quotation marks!) and I have a bag that can safely hold the pedals. Should the time come when I'd need to play live and have my equipment, then okay--I'd find something apt if putting the pedals flat on the ground in front of me isn't a good configuration, but I don't need this item anymore. Just a tad too excessive and pseudo-"rock star" (translation: "I'm an asshole who thinks I'm a rockstar") for me.

While I wait (and hope!) for sales, I've revisited the website to give some more cohesiveness to the photos and have removed a few while adding others. It's a great feeling to be able to shape things to receiving e-mails saying "I love the new stuff" or "the old photos are so cool". That's all I strive for with the site.

Now it's back to checking on whether or not I have customers!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weekend unwind

I have to admit, I was thinking the week was going to be tough, but I'm happy to say it was less strenuous than imagined. The first four days completed at my new job and I'm cautiously optimistic. I work with (seemingly) warm, embracing, intelligent people who understand that this is a new position (for me) and that there's a learning curve and adjustments to be made. The same thing applies to me being used to my father living in an assisted living home. He seems to be making the most of it, albeit after only one week and as of yesterday, the stress of closing up his apartment is over and done. The carting company came at exactly 10 a.m. and were gone by 12:45; quick, professional and pleasant to deal with. So closes that chapter.

I'm disappointed how my last position ended; I left under best circumstances--I gave my two weeks' notice and there was much unpleasantness directed at me, along with unnecessary pettiness and ill-feelings. I think under the manners in which management handled themselves, I left with my head held high, true to my word and proudly, with the respect of my colleagues for not playing the rude games of management. So that door is now firmly closed. The unfair way in which I was treated, which is well-documented and now known to my colleagues, friends and family, is something not to be forgotten, but forward I go and another lesson learned.

This has been a musical weekend, with "Take It Or Leave It" being given its' first airing in demo form. I think this may be the leadoff track for "Last Stop..." but time will tell. Nice to get back into that groove of recording and knowing you have some good material to work with and the spirit is right.

Most notably, check this dude supreme out. I'm so there on February 2. His music is great; his site is great and his love of history is something I appreciate and respect to no end. He walks quality street.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

With a little more ease

A fast-paced weekend has made things less stressful than they were a week ago and for that, I'm glad.

We moved my dad to the assisted-living facility on Friday morning; he was great about it and I'm hopeful he'll get settled and adjusted to new routines, stability and stimuli in his life. I don't have to worry about him being hurt by being alone; not taking his medication or eating properly. He's 10 minutes from the apartment and we can see him anytime we want. We bought him new clothes and things he'll need for general comfort and we'll stop down there again today.

Had lunch with my cousin and her husband and finally got to meet their baby, who is one of the most adorable (and edible!) babies I've ever met. Was great to see her; it's been four years and I've missed her. A wonderful conversation and valuable time spent with the 5 of us.

Bought one of these yesterday; get one--they're terrific. Do not be alarmed; by no means have I abandoned my love and preference for Apple! It's just that we needed a new computer; I'd said that we were going to have to get a new iMac, but with Liz learning proper Microsoft programs, this made the most sense, so we now have the best of both worlds.

Also began upgrading the Synchronic East set up; awaiting the arrival of this little gem. Makes life with music (past into present) so much more convenient. At the same time, I'm waiting for the cable to be delivered for the Delphi XM home system to connect the iPod; a one-minute patch job and that baby will kick. This makes the whole studio concept more "modern" and will make whatever I do easier; I'd also like to begin recording other folks--demos, of course--to broaden my scope again.

At the same time, I'm thinking of divesting myself of some of my axes. It's not for need of money; just why do I need to keep so many guitars at this stage of my life? I've got to look them over and see which ones I'd be willing to part with. No emotional attachments; just which ones do I never use at all? I'd also like to sell off some of the extraneous equipment I have. No one needs so many cases, etc.!

Finally, heard a warm and familiar voice I hadn't in a while. Just got off the phone with one of my dearest, favorite friends, who is still a constant source of inspiration and admiration for me. Our lives have been running parallel and it's good to be able to share thoughts with him.

Opposite of last weekend, thankfully.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The birthday see-saw

It's evident that I'm writing at 3:30 a.m.; the morning of my birthday and I've had no sleep. So many things that I've been thinking about have kept me awake. It's not quite anxiety but just so many changes coming up rapidly (understatement?) and I don't want anything to be left undone/done incorrectly/at loose ends. At (now) 43, I feel my age to a great degree.

The change of jobs happens next week; I have some work to tie up and while I'm doing everything I can and am supposed to do, being at the mercy of vendors, etc., may prove to make this transition a little more difficult than I expect. Nonetheless, I'll keep doing what I do with the same professionalism and calm that I have throughout my tenure.

Liz is vigilant and strident in her desire to find a new job and I can't be any more proud of her than I already am. She's taking courses to strengthen and broaden her computer knowledge; she's taking interview-skills classes and she looks/applies for jobs daily. I'm also very happy to see her throwing herself into her writing. She has a natural talent and I see how it makes her feel. I know I needn't worry so much about her as she has focus and drive.

My father is due to move into the assisted living facility this Friday; he doesn't want to go and I (to a great degree) don't want to move him just yet. I want him to be able to also tie up the details of his apartment where Liz and I can pack his things and throw out the non-essentials; to settle his accounts with utilities and let his landlord know that he will be leaving. I want him to do this in comfort; not through the "you have to go into this facility; you have no say in your life anymore". My plan is to call the facility tomorrow and ask if he can move there in March, after his next doctor's appointment. We'll see how that turns out. If they can assure me they will have room for him, I'd prefer this.

There are two too many grand scale changes that would occur this coming weekend and not enough time for adjustments.

It's all been preying on my mind and now it's kept me up all night.


I went on MySpace for the first time in God-only-knows how long. A dear friend of mine posted a new blog on his page, which was about his old band. It was a two word statement: "eternal disappointment". It really summed up everything for me (vis-a-vis my experiences) as well.

I will say, as a semi-rebuttal: while to him, the band was a disappointment, for me, it was (and still represents) everything I ever found right with being in a band. The music, the lyrics, the message, the style, the hope. He and his colleagues were my sole (soul?) inspiration, so they did something right. They touched a lot of people, none more than myself. And for that I'm still (and will always be) grateful.


Usually I don't find myself making a fuss over my birthday, but this year I feel more detached from the idea than ever. I don't know if it's age, time (or the lack thereof), distraction or what. I just don't have any feelings on the subject. I don't think I'm getting into one of those "introspective" moods that come with the holidays or the end of the year; I've never been self-absorbed enough to subject anyone to my thoughts, etc. and since my birthday falls in the first week of the year, I don't believe this is the peak moment. I'm just trying to untangle the web of concern, change and uncertainty that this new year has already brought. I don't think that's a negative viewpoint; it just means I need to work through these situations with clarity and reason to have the end result be positive on all levels.

It would also be nice to be unencumbered to the point of being able to confidently say "okay, time to record some more".

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ring out the old...

A happy and healthy New Year to everyone; a very calm, quiet night spent at home with Liz in a traditional fashion--fruit, cheese, bread, wine and the gogglebox. No dramas, no inebriation, just peace and quiet. Took a walk to the nearby yoga center this rainy a.m. and am about to do laundry. A good way to start the year off.

So ending '07 in high(er) style than I've been able to do in many a year, I handed in my resignation yesterday afternoon from my job as I've been hired by a larger firm, which will unquestionably help things for us. The obvious aside, it's really a moment of pride to have someone recommend you and then to have the process go quickly and have the positive outcome. As much as I love my current position and feel very mixed emotions about leaving, I know this is the right thing; the smart thing to do. You don't get these kinds of opportunities often in life (certainly not in modern industry) and you have to take them.

And at the same time, we've been going through a lot of papers, items and the like again, and we've been tossing things out. You would think that between the regular purges and our move, there wouldn't be anything still lingering, but no! Always the files and magazines, etc. to consider and decide on. And as it's well known, I hate clutter, packrats and general slobs who keep an unclean/unhealthy house, so I never want anything even slightly cramped in our apartment. Good flow all around.

This, of course, creates more room to move around the "studio" and record without fear of smacking a guitar on the edge of the table, etc.!

And now it's time to find an empty washing machine downstairs...