Archive for March, 2012

In Which the Author of a Nominally Religious Blog Mentions Religion for Once

Posted by on Tuesday, 27 March, 2012

I was thinking about how I was in a dark place before I ever started going to church, and how I was in a dark place while attending church, and now not having been to church in many years,  I am in a dark place. There is an angry, bitter part of me that desperately wants to blame religion and the church for at least part of my current woes. Yet if I am being intellectually honest, I have to admit that as far as my mental/emotional/spiritual well-being is concerned, the church is really quite irrelevant.

Of course, then I want to say that the church’s entire purpose is to be relevant, and thus blame it for not fulfilling that purpose, but that feels petty.

An Aside

Posted by on Saturday, 24 March, 2012

Remember when I was talking about sycamore trees and just assumed that you knew what I meant? Did you?

I found a YT channel this week that is shared by several Korean musicians performing in various combinations. (And no, when I go back to think about it, I never understand how I discover this stuff either.) This video was posted a couple of weeks after my post. Was it inspired by my blog? (By the way, though less relevant to my blog, if sycamore trees are not your thing, her Viva La Vida cover is much better than that one.)

The Other Side of Music

Posted by on Sunday, 18 March, 2012

I complain a lot about the state of music these days. This is not about that.

Good news! The crappy band I was in a few years ago is back together! Only, instead of “alternative jazz” or whatever that was, this time the band leader wanted to do country! Greaaat…

We fortunately veered away from that after playing together a few times as country simply is not our thing. The latest idea was “alternative rock.” Wait, what? Now you’re finally speaking MY language! Unfortunately two of the bands specifically mentioned were King of Leon and the Black Keys. I remember thinking a couple of years ago that Kings of Leon were pretty good, until I suddenly realized while that they were better than everything else on the radio around that time (which was garbage), they themselves were not actually that good. Like, at all. Also, mere days before the particular band meeting where this was discussed, I happened to here The Black Keys on the radio and wondered if it was the kind of thing that I would like if I had been born ten to fifteen years later. Because, to be clear, I don’t like it, but I think it appeals to people kind of like me in the younger generation.

Although I think that our front-man is an enormously talented songwriter, I do think it is sad that our he is far more interested in doing whatever style he thinks will sell rather than what comes naturally. But then, one could make a similar observation about my reasons for being in this particular band at all.

On another note, I pulled the old Scarecaster out of the closet a couple of days ago. I actually was not interested in the guitar at all, I just wanted to check something about the case it was in. But once I had it out… For some reason I was under the impression that it was not currently functional. Sure, there is a design flaw that has made it impossible to set the action correctly since day 1, and the not-so-great finish has done strange things since it last saw the light of day. Yet when I tuned it up and plugged it in, it made noise, and is that not what really matters?

I have the desire to build and modify guitars. I even went to school for that purpose once. (At least, I think that was me? It does not seem like something that I would do when I really think about it.) Every once in a while I catch myself wondering, why am I not building guitars again? I actually found the answer one day when working in the bathroom. I was looking back at my recent progress and was dismayed that I had spent two days to do something that looked like it should have only taken a matter of hours. That is why I gave up on guitar building, because I work so damn slowly; because I come to a dead stop every time there is any kind of decision to be made, and I can not get past it; because building guitars is challenging, frustrating, maddenening, and once I was done with the school, I did not want to do it again.

Even so, I considered buying some parts and busting out the router to really get that guitar into playable condition this weekend. But I could not do that of course, because I have that bathroom to finish. Which I also did not work on.


Posted by on Monday, 12 March, 2012

I had more to say in my last post. I started to write it, then I got distracted, then (perhaps ironically) I had to go to work, and two days later I decided to just post what I had written so far.

I inherited some money and investments a few years ago. Without going into detail, one of those investments has failed and I am no longer getting checks every month for not doing anything. Ultimately this is good, because it really is not to anyone’s benefit that I was able to do that for as long as I did. As that was my major source of income for the last couple of years, I obviously need to find something else now.

The thing is, I still have a fair amount in the bank, it is just getting smaller a whole lot faster now. There is part of me that insists, “Don’t I owe it to my family who provided me this opportunity to pursue my dreams until every penny is gone?”

Well, perhaps… Yet the fact is that I gave myself a year to see what I could accomplish. I did not accomplish much in that year. I did not accomplish much in the year after that. I was in the process of organizing and equipping my garage workspace in order to be more productive, then my bathroom exploded. Fixing that became my top priority, but as I was reluctant to do it, and I could not in good conscious bring myself to start a different project while that was incomplete, I ended up procrastinating for the better part of another year. When my financial situation changed, I finally became motivated to finish this, and as I said, I was starting to feel like I was almost finished and once again began to get excited about all the projects I had put on hold. Then I again reached a point where I did not know how to proceed, and I have accomplished almost nothing in the last month. This bathroom is my white whale.

However, even if it was finished, when it comes to my other projects, the only thing that I have managed to prove in the last few years is that I am completely lacking the self discipline to actually do anything. I was given the amazing opportunity that most people will never have to work on whatever I wanted for YEARS without having to worry about money. I completely wasted it. While technically I still could (and keep telling myself that I should) be working on anything I want, now I am worried about money. Whereas I have always been reluctant to spend money, in the past it was more of a procrastination issue. I did not want to buy something until I was sure I would use it, because it is annoying when I do occasionally buy stuff for some project that I never end up doing. Yet now I am afraid to spend money on a project knowing that it could very well mean a day in the future when I do not get to eat.

Case in point: I came very close to buying a vintage guitar on eBay today. I have been talking about investing in guitars for some time now, and I there are several models that I routinely search for, but they always are way more than I would want to pay. I finally came across one that I thought was very reasonably priced, and I even went so far as to transfer the money from my savings to my primary account so I could cover the cost, but then I panicked when I saw the new balance in my savings account. For the fact is, I do not have a job, at least not one that comes anything close to paying the bills, and I really do not even play guitar anymore. I would be buying that guitar just to have it, and I could survive for at least a month on what I would be spending. Then there is the whole thing about can I trust the seller, and was it TOO reasonably priced that I should be suspicious…

So I did not buy it. I am not sure I made the right decision. No matter how logical and justified it may be, I always seem to go with the option that means not doing anything. Even if it was a mistake, just breaking that pattern may have been worth it. There was an apropos webcomic just last week. To quote:

Woman: You look like you’re going to spend your life having one epiphany after another, always thinking you’ve finally figured out what’s holding you back, and how you can finally be productive and creative and turn your life around. But nothing will ever change. That cycle of mediocrity isn’t due to some obstacle. It’s who you *are*. The thing standing in the way of your dreams is that the person having them is *you*.

Man: I think I need to go home and think about my life.
Woman: It won’t help.

It does not matter what I think, or what I realize, or what I blog about, because none of that ever leads to any change. It pisses me off to even be writing about this. Am I actually whining about not having to work for a living for the last three years while everyone else has been struggling to make ends meet? SHUT THE F*** UP!


Posted by on Sunday, 4 March, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I naively thought that I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this project that has been hanging over my head for a year now. I began to think about what my NEXT project would be once this was finally completed.

Then I remembered, my next “project” is to admit that none of my silly ideas and dreams are ever going to be a reality and to get a real job, like an adult.