Tuesday, February 17, 2009

inspirational posters on the walls of hell

that isn't the light at the end of the tunnel, that is the light of the oncoming train.

if life gives you lemons, kick life in the nuts.

i don't suffer from depression, insanity, or alcoholism: i enjoy every fucking second!

teamwork: so you won't be the only fucker going down when the shit hits the fan.

we give 110% all the time. no fucking wonder we are in an economic bind.

i am hoping kissed bruises, hours spent putting together lego playsets, rumpled hair, and the occasional note reminding my kids i am proud of them will go a long way for erasing the shit i have pulled in the past.

darth sardonic

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

'Cause I'm the most boring sons-a-bitch you've ever seen

i know i know.

it's been forever. i know. and furthermore, i haven't read any of you, the beloved non-existant reader's, and pal of mine's blogs in even longer. if this makes me a prick, i am truly sorry.

but the truth is, my life boils down to work, school, eat, sleep, fight urge to kill kids.

mini-blogs with a side of sarcasm to catch you up on the highlights of my life since i last posted:

Will be Steven's last night in town...

s the guitarist shows up around three, and promptly stops off in the kitchen after a shouted hello from the hallway and poors himself a gin n tonic.

this was the beginning of what was to be our last chance to jam together for what will be at least a year.

we shoot the shit over a drink or two (s is downing them fast, i still have some things to do before i can really tuck in), discussing what s' vision is for the songs he had written, recorded, and sent to me via email while in training for his new job. how did he want the bassline to go on this song? how i really dig the feel and lyrics on that one.

then s the drummer shows up, stick bag and drum throne in hand.

within minutes, we all have drinks in hand, and are tuning up and settling in, and cranking out s the guitarist's tunes in short order.

i've never played music with any group of fellas that could take something and turn it into a rocking song in such a short period of time in my life before. to say that s the drummer and i are going to miss s the guitarist is one helluva understatement.

we blaze through a round of the songs, with breaks to renew our drinks. i make the mistake, early on, of having s the guitarist fix my gnt's. he's quite gin-soaked, and it doesn't take long with him overpouring before i am too.

and as sloppily as we are playing, we are still tearing down the house, m and b and j and sundry others popping in to listen to us beat the living hell out of our songs and our instruments.

here's to many more when s returns.

with some two-string, one-string, no-string guitars...

so i have been wanting a 5 string bass for some time. we recently found ourselves (despite the recession) in a situation where we can afford to get me the one i had been eyeballing for awhile.

it's not the most expensive, not the cheapest, and definitely got good reviews. when it showed up on my front porch as scheduled, in an oversized box, i was like a little kid at christmas time.

black on black, with silver hardware, the thing just looks mean. a quick adjustment, fiddle with the knobs, and the thing sounds fucking mean as well.

a little before i ordered this monfuckingstrosity of bassness, i had finally decided i would retire my broke-necked gibson ripper. i pulled off all the hardware and electronics, until it was just the body and neck. i put this in the garage to toss out with the trash, and kept forgetting.

well, actually, forgetting is probably the wrong word. i would go in, and stare at it. the beat, battered and tough looking bass body that i loved so much, and that had only betrayed me due to a broken piece of thin metal rod that had turned out to be so quintessential to having proper action and intonation...

slowly, surely, like a tiny seed unfurling itself to push away the soil and seek the warmth of the sun and the cleanse of the rain, an idea formulated in my head. i did casual research online. i looked at pics. i browsed websites for the purveyor of quality parts for guitar and bass.

and one day i sprang it on my wife:

"i think i can fix the truss rod in the ripper."


she knew how much i had agonized over the decision to scale this thing down to scrap. she knew how often i would look at ripper basses online, and that the cheapest ones i had seen were going for 600 bones, and the most expensive were in the range of double that. she knew how much i loved this fat chunk of maple with its patina, its dark stains in all the right places where someone who had loved it dearly had played it regularly and to the point where his or her sweat had changed the color of the wood. she knew i loved every scratch, every ding.

"yeah. i cut out a piece of the fretboard, remove it, cut off the other end, slide the broken rod out. replacement rods are ten bucks on stewmac, slip it in there, screw it into the anchor, cap it, glue the fretboard back in, and viola!"

and thus set in motion a luthier project the likes of which i have never tackled before.

fast forward to today, with said bass laying in the garage waiting for a final coat of lacquer and a sanding and polish.

before i had even glued the fretboard pieces back in, i put the tuners, bridge, and strings back on, and adjusted the truss rod. and nearly cried at how low the action was, and at how well it intonated on my cheap little acoustic tuner.

i have never played this bass with the strings that close to the frets, and the neck as straight and strong as it is today.

and i think there might be a lesson to learn here. when you look at something and finally let it go; finally say, "fuck it, it's junk. it's trash." you find yourself in the odd position of having a multitude of options in front of you: what's the worst that could happen? i completely fuck it up, and i am out ten bucks and a body and neck i had already slated for the recycle bin, and gain valuable experience in the process (i.e. i aint as good at this shit as i like to imagine). the best thing? i get my bass back, only better.

well, she aint gonna win any beauty contests, but she takes what i can give her, and keeps coming back for more...

Won't you believe it. It's Just my luck.
No recess...

college is going well. autocad is coming together to the point where i don't even think about half the commands i am using to create something that a moment before i had looked at and thought: "oh shit, this is gonna be hard."

and the computer class i thought was gonna give me troubles had its first tests this week. i am pulling a solid 90% as we speak.

'You're a hyperactve child
You're disruptive, you're too wild...'

no. 1 is on a new adhd medication. and the transformation was immediate. better handwriting, and he pays better attention in school and calms down faster and is easier to talk to.

so there is the light at the end of that tunnel. which means, o my beloved non-existant readers, my droogs and only friends, another big long dark fucking tunnel is just around the bend...

still no news on The Unfinished Work. i know, i know, it's not my fault though. and no, i am no further on The Island of Misfit Toys than i was last time i talked about it. but i haven't forgetten...

i will do my best to be a little more regular and interesting with my posting.

darth sardonic

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