Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shameful truth

I just had a little deja vu moment with my work email. Thought I'd seen this same issue arise last week. It got me thinking: what if I did wake up one day & find myself back in time by a week? I wouldn't remember anything that had happened! I would be useless in a preventing-bad-things-from-happening way. I couldn't go back & stop some terrorist attack or anything. I don't pay attention. I don't know what's happened. It's actually pretty sad. I could tell you this: The Lakers are going to lose games 1 & 4 to New Orleans in the first round of playoffs. There ya go. That's my contribution from my vision of the future. & maybe I could stop my wife from losing her phone. Put sunscreen on the baby! Okay, so there may be a few things...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time to move on.

I'm trying not to make this about anybody else, or to drag anyone into it, but I need to get it out, & I feel really funny talking to myself. This has so far been a safe depository for my thoughts & ideas, so here goes...
I think I have realized (been helped to realize) that I am wasting time & money trying to put together a band to play live gigs. It's what I want to do as much as anything else in life, but there are other things which will make me at least as happy, so I'll content myself with those. I'm starting to think it might make it easier to move forward with some other endeavors if I stop thinking about how things will translate into a live show.
I'm not saying I will give up music. That would be stupid. Stupid to say, stupid to do. It means far too much to me. But I can concentrate on writing & recording, & maybe I can become a composer of music for other people to play. I don't know. But if I don't worry about if I'll be able to pull it off on stage with just one guitar and bass & drums, I can 'unlimit' myself, & go with what sounds good rather than what I can recreate in a live setting.
I'm 40 years old. I've heard it said that it's pathetic for a 30-year-old to try to make it with his band. I've ignored the signs & I've kept trying. Sadly, a live band trying to be popular is just about the only place in music where youth & good looks are especially important. That & music videos. But in recording, writing, composing, etc. you can do it at any age. I have the wisdom of my years behind me, & I've never had the image to make a mark on the entertainment world anyway, so I don't think I'm in a bad position.
I would be willing to play live shows if I was a hired gun in someone else's band. That doesn't feel like it would be a problem. I would even come out of my semi-retirement to play as my own band if I was asked, but so far nobody has ever asked. It's always been me trying to force myself on gigs. I can let go of that ball of tension in my gut. Just forget it. I'm bad at it, I don't know how to be a frontman or a spokesperson, & I can't get a bunch of guys together who compensate for all that I am lacking.
For the record, this was not a decision made rashly. It was suggested to me that the band thing may not be for me at this stage in my life, and by one of the people in my band. When the other person in my band basically agreed with him, it really got me thinking. I don't have what it takes to make a band work. I think I could be a member of a band, & maybe they would even consider using or adapting some of my compositions, & that would make me happy. I'm going to start by trying to play for my church, & I'll see who I meet there & what might happen. That's the First United Methodist Church of Whittier, FYI.
Thanks for not coming here & reading this & bugging me about it. The Orange Cones have been run over & killed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Money, it's a hit

"But if you ask for a rise it's no surprise that they're giving none away."
I've taken on a whole new aspect to my job. I'm semi-officially part of the IT Department in that I have a login to the company Help Desk inbox. Yes, I'm assisting various project managers as PMAs with tasks to fix their little changes and glitches in The System. They're usually pretty good about giving me the acknowledgment and compensation for my additional and well-performed duties, & hopefully there's something in this taking-on of more responsibility and lightening the load of the specialists with their deeper understanding of programming & the like. I get to do more mundane maintenance tasks so they can focus on the overwhelming number of other things I don't understand. By mundane I don't mean to imply that it's boring or that I don't like it. It's really just that these things are a time-suckage to people who are in demand for their extensive skills, & my shallow comprehension of the way computers work generally is enough that I can perform some of the simpler tasks which keep the company moving smoothly. I actually like it quite a bit. I not only get to feel smarter because I'm learning new things, doing things for people which they are not able to do for themselves, but also I am doing exactly what they were hoping this opportunity would do for me, which is broaden my horizons and expand my usefulness in the company. It's just the kind of thing anyone would hope for in their job, & I'm lucky enough to get it and be able to do it! It's pretty exciting. Even so, it would be nice to get a decent salary bump for it. All the advancement in any workplace is really about the money, isn't it? Well, no, not really. There are two goals when moving up in a job: more money & easier work. Funny how that works out. By the time you're making the truly big bucks you're doing almost no work at all. I'm safely tucked away in the middle. So lucky.