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The Long Dance Good-night

the better to bore you with, my dear

Busy. Busy busy busybusybusy.
And yet, having trouble motivating myself to really tackle anything this afternoon. Even with my mental to-do list looking/feeling remarkably shorter and more orderly than usual. According to the 2011-2012 set of materials deadlines I need to be ready to start pre-clearing copyright permissions on Wednesday. Not saying that that's going to be a problem, but I could be doing a lot more today to prepare for that than I necessarily am.

Outside of the day job it's the regular jumble I'm growing to expect and enjoy: freelance work I need to finish, prospective freelance work I need to follow up on, band merch we're hoping to have by the CD release show on July 9th, schoolwork getting put off longer than it should be yet not nearly as long as it was nine or ten years ago.

I was almost tempted to label this past weekend as "just as unproductive as today," but lately I find myself beginning to ascribe noticeably more value to time not spent "getting shit done". Sure, maybe I didn't bury myself in finally building my portfolio website and come out of Sunday night with a finished product as I'd considered doing, maybe I didn't even finish the outline for the informative speech I have to give in Public Speaking on Wednesday night. What I did do was meet Anne for her lunch break both Saturday and Sunday, help her get some of her pre-packing organization done, catch (and be completely blown away by) both Super 8 and the Game of Thrones season finale, and spend a few hours out-of-doors with coffee and Discworld.

And sleep. Not last night so much, but Saturday and Sunday, my god did I ever get some sleep.

Still, to make myself look a *little* better (and give this entry a nice thumbnail image for when it ports over to Facebook), here's a photo I snapped last week of my first paying freelance job, still hanging in Littlejohn's on the Corner:

with all due thanks to Jdavyd for needing a ride to Ragged Mountain Running Shop that day

So yeah, okay, fine, maybe I needed a weekend of rest. I just damn well better not catch me doing that two weekends in a row, is all I'm saying.

Ugh, let's go edit this post already and add a bloody title...
Just got back from a meeting that had nothing to do with my own department, on account of my boss having let me farm myself out to do some web design work a few weeks ago. Apparently the folks I did it for rather like it: pretty soon the default for faculty personal web pages will be a WordPress theme built by yours truly. Double-whammy-bonus: I've parlayed this into some freelance design work for a faculty member looking to build his own site. Why yes I would like to offset some of my moving costs, thank you.

Moving. Exactly eight weeks to go and counting. God damn but we're excited. I'll be calling the management office today to see if the current tenants maybe decided they didn't need that two-month lease extension after all, and wouldn't they like to let us in a mite early? For the curious, here's a picture I took last weekend when we decided to test the walk to and from downtown:

We get an attic and a basement to go with that porch. Swag.

Feels weird trying to get back into the swing of blogging with any regularity. Whole lot of shit going on these days, trying to decide what's post-worthy is a task in itself. But I do miss doing this, to the extent that forcing myself feels worthwhile and *should* only be temporary. With any luck, the sense that the minutiae of my day is actually worth reporting will return naturally.

For now, I think I'll take another crack at crossing off some more mess from this long-form List Of Projects that I wrote back in April or whatever. This is my summer, if it doesn't get used wisely I'll punch myself.

nine months later
Someone was supposed to show up today at noon to clean the carpets in my department: now it's noon-thirty and we're all sitting around with our computer towers on our desks and our cables taped to the bottoms of said desks, looking damn silly. Anne should be here any minute now with my lunch and a few minutes of thoroughly enjoyable company.

Assuming I can avoid getting inextricably immersed in WordPress theme building (again) later today, it seems like a good day to resurrect the LiveJournal (or rather the Facebook Notes-journal, for those [99%] of you reading this there). Which wasn't "killed" so much as "died from neglect once its caretaker went and got himself the busiest and most productive he has ever been in his life."

I suppose I *could* try to recount everything that's happened in the last nine months, but then that's led to enough false-blogging-starts already. When last I posted, I was staring down the barrel of a community college course of study that was only as "daunting" as my own need for gravitas was making it feel. Which is to say, pretty daunting. As I recall, the foremost of my stressors was the complete inability to predict an outcome. And given how much has happened, I'd say I called that one rather well.

It started out shaky. My Fundamentals of Design course, the only traditional pencil-to-paper "art" class I needed, brought along a workload that was frankly a nightmare. But after one semester that I can barely remember for the sleepless chaos of it all, the semester I just polished off was a relative walk in the park. Now I'm thirteen credits in (and halfway through the program, rather I will be after the summer, more on that later) with a 4.0 and the check from Baby's First Paid Freelancing Gig already in the bank. I've done an album cover:

And another album cover:

And some identity design:

And even some worthwhile schoolwork projects:

It's an oddly cyclical development. Almost ten years ago I'd more or less abandoned a stagnant interest in visual art when I started "doing" music. And now almost ten years later it's unbelievable how much of the same excitement and enthusiasm and delight is just as present, just as vivid. It's Brand New Toy Syndrome, factored out to a somewhat larger scale.

The shift in creative output has had its casualties, for sure: I haven't written or worked on a piece of music in almost a year. Hell, I've been moved over to a laptop setup since January and none of my DAW software is even installed on this thing yet. I still use my office area, and the Kurzweil is still set up next to my desk, but there's more dust on the keys than I'd like. Bella Morte does keep that part of the brain somewhat active I suppose, in the sense that we practice all of once each time we have a show where I then stand up and play one note at a time. But really, at this point right now, if I'm to be honest with myself, I am not a person who makes music.

And I go back and forth with how I feel about all that. But, on the whole, I'm more amazed by how little I actually miss it so far. I suppose it makes sense though, when I still get to go out and do shows often enough but don't have to live with the creative frustration that had been plaguing me for so long. So I plan to let the drive to make music return organically. I've no doubt that my brain will eventually have enough new sounds in it to compel me to get them out. And that when I do, it'll actually feel like a worthwhile endeavor once again.

In the meantime, I'm pleased as punch to be cranking out the visuals while learning how to crank out more and different visuals. And, when not doing that, spending my days with this beautiful woman that I've somehow managed to con into being my girlfriend for over a year now. Putting off mention of her until now was intentional, a nice neat little coda that emphasizes the part of my life that has made these past nine months as grand as they've been. I mean, let's be honest, I've felt this accomplished before. When was the last time I felt this happy?

Ten weeks ex-act-ly until we're sharing one roof. It's going to be a long-ass seventy days.

In which I outline the circumstances behind and the dramatic significance of my return to school.
deep thoughts
I'm set up in the lobby of Darden's Abbott Auditorium, passing two hours while second year MBA students drift in to pick up the first week's worth of their courses' non-textbook materials. And of course there's no wifi reception down here and I don't have an ethernet cable, so I'm stuck hammering this out in WordPad, with whatever music Alicia left on this here laptop before I inherited it (all this classic Country and Western might make it a bit too surreal down here, much as I myself would thoroughly enjoy that). Thinking about stopping in at Greenberry's after this for a cuppa, then it's back home to start teaching myself all the Bella Morte new-album tracks I'm supposed to have nailed down by now. Gotta get a head start before the semester starts rolling.

I fear that the dramatic effect intended by tossing off a mention of school in my last post might have been lost on those of you who haven't known me as long. Entirely understandable, since such a thing might not normally be the big screaming deal I'm making it out to be for myself. But the love/hate/miss/resent/regret relationship I have with higher education bears further exposition:

further expositionCollapse )

Words, sans violence, break the silence.
I tell you what, I may normally favor Kroger's store brand out of practicality and good frugal sense, but their instant oatmeal sure as hell doesn't stack up against Quaker. Thanks for having it on sale, guys.

...and here's the real entry.Collapse )

Starting June 13th I'm not going anywhere else and YOU CAN'T MAKE ME
My super-comfortable, more-expensive-than-flip-flops-have-any-right-to-be flip-flops came in from Zappos last week, which means I've spent the week taking every opportunity to drive and walk around barefoot. Yes, including the office. I've missed this.

Anyway. The days of sleep deprivation and workplace ennui are conspiring to keep me from concentrating on this long enough to cover everything I want to cover; thankfully this post has been in draft form pretty much all week. And it's been fuck-all hectic week, no more accurate way to put it. Annie-lady and I have been at her old apartment every night getting the last of her worldly possessions consolidated, packed, and shifted. Arduous, but the relief felt when this is all done will be astronomical. Unfortunately, I'm headed to Chesapeake late tomorrow for a family get-together on Sunday which we were planning to attend together, but now she has to work. Which means that after I get back from that, I only have her for three days.

Because then: Bhak-tour! We leave Thursday night. Dates, for the curious:

It's going to be Jdavyd, Arcadia, Patrick, and myself, piled into my very own Batwagon. Only two days ago did we finally attempt negotiating the most worrisome pieces of equipment into the back of it, and were met with a success that prompted much loud exhalation. Just a few more loose ends to tie down, and then it's on the road under circumstances that couldn't be more different than the tour just polished off.

Oh right, and as for the tour just polished off: crazy good fun, and over before I knew it. Which makes sense seeing as how it was a show every night and third the length of the previous one (and a fraction of the driving distances). I almost feel a twinge of guilt or disjoint at not having much else to say, worried that that might be misconstrued as a lack of appreciation for how very lucky I am to get to do these kinds of things. But then again, there was so little happening this go-round outside of performances, it really wasn't the same. But still: crazy good fun.

The highlight of course was a certain someone making the drive to Philadelphia for Dracula's Ball, where I spent the evening alternating between repeat mentions of how completely abnormal this kind of VIP treatment was and how completely ecstatic I was to see her. Young as this relationship is, it was the first prolonged period of time we'd spent apart, and while of course we handled it well, handling it well also involved missing each other like crazy.

Which now we get to do again, come next Thursday. For longer. Kind of crap.


...I sure do talk a lot about just one person lately, don't I?

Running a humidifier and a dehumidifier in the same room.
Not anticipating much sleep before the van leaves for Providence some time around 1 or 2 in the morning. Still so much left to do: laundry, pack, paint my nails, shave up my neck hairline in the back (yep), figure out what music is coming with me on Beeeatrice The Netbook, whatever else there is that I'm hoping I will eventually remember. I also expect to be headed to Anne's to help with some of the rushed, last-minute packing from which I've been distracting her of late. If I'm very very lucky she'll be staying over tonight to see me off in the wee hours.

Last night we talked about how much we'll miss each other this coming week, and of course once again started in on how bewildered we both are that we've even gotten to the point of missing each other so profoundly. I mean, come on, it's been less than a month. But then there's the intensity of these past few weeks to consider, and the degree of absolute compatibility, and that we make each other so shit-eating-grinningly happy. And the NRE of course. Whatever it is, it's enough for her to have bought a ticket and booked a hotel for Philly, one more in a bullet list made of win. And yet somehow I'm still surprised when circumstances conspire to make me fall behind on LOST or not check my email for an entire weekend.

So this is my apology to anyone that either of us may have unintentionally snubbed over the past week or two. Worst instance of that: Synthetic Division vying to perform at H&M's Fashion Against AIDS NYC launch party and barely a peep about it from me. Unfuckingforgivable. But other than that one, I'm afraid we (or "I" at least) may have trouble actually regretting any of it. We are committed to trying our best to keep the giddiness to a minimum in the public sphere, though. Trying.

On top of all that, having her around has also helped me approach this tour with a much more even head. After all, it is shorter than the last one, and marks my third week-or-more excursion of this kind. I think I can honestly say that I'm stressing a fraction of what I once did, merely excited to get into it again. Six nights, no nights off, and back home. And while there will of course be aspects of this coming week worth mentioning, I don't expect to devote nearly as much energy to travelogue-ing as I did last time. The amount of dumb bullshit that gets funneled to Facbook in status and picture form shall of course remain consistent.

See you all when I get back.

In holy Matressmoney.
Quick note from my Mama's couch in Chesapeake, since I've got an hour or so before needing to head into Norfolk. Hitting Macarthur Center in the hopes of a new dress shirt before walking down to the Pagoda to watch my high school girlfriend get married. Folks, I don't know what pagan gods you've been sacrificing to over the past month, but the eternal damnation of your souls is so totally worth this weather.

Excited about the prospect of people I haven't seen in years, nearing in on a decade in some cases I'm sure. And, let's be frank, I'm kind of a pathetic softy when it comes to stuff like this.

And then Anne gets here tomorrow, and then on Sunday I get to record one sister and have dinner with both...

It's going to be a good weekend.

(day job not included)
strong sad
Today - band practice; 1-hour nap? (ha!); Umlaut
Tomorrow - li'l sis comes to town(!); drop her and her friend at JPJ; gym, tea-and-a-journal, get a mattress inflated; pick 'em up and take 'em back to my place to crash
Thursday - on the road to Chesapeake, directly from work? (ha!)
Friday - payday(!), be in front of a computer the second tickets go on sale; head out for a wedding present finally; head downtown; hit H&M for a new dress shirt; change into said new dress shirt; wedding.
Saturday - sleep off expected post-reception hangover; Anne gets into Chesapeake(!); meeting with an old friend whose new independent film I'm scoring; Sandbridge after dark
Sunday - on the road to Richmond; stop in at middle-sis's house to record li'l sis's bangin' new ukelele jam(!); dinner @ Sticky Rice if Fortuna is smiling; back home.

Oh, and apparently we leave for tour in two weeks?

Where's me gonna be?
So, I'm in some bands. Some of them tour. Here's some touring I'll be doing with some bands soon.

Bella Morte - Spring Tour 2010:
Tue May 11 – Club Hell – Providence, RI
Wed May 12 – Arlington Center for the Arts – Arlington, MA
Thu May 13 – The Haunt – Ithaca, NY
Fri May 14 – Garfield Artworks – Pittsburgh, PA
Sat May 15 – Shampoo Nightclub – Philadelphia, PA (Dracula’s Ball, bitchaz!)
Sun May 16 – The Loop Lounge – Passaic, NJ
(Sat May 22 - The Southern - back home)

Jdavyd Williams and the Basement Bhaktis - Summer Bhakti Tour:
Fri June 4 - Integral Yoga Institute - New York City, NY
Sat June 5 Kitchari & Kirtan - Cambridge, MA
Sun June 6 - TBA - Providence, RI
Tue June 8 - Ahimsa Yoga - Ithaca, NY
Wed June 9 - Shakti Yoga - Buffalo, NY
(Fri June 11 - Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar - back home)

New England's so nice, I'll see it twice.

Doing Jdavyd's tour (on keyboards, in case you were curious) is something that's been on the table for a while but I've only just finally committed. Pretty damn excited, considering how unconventional it's going to be versus the little "touring" to which I've become accustomed. Trading in dirty rock clubs and Taco Bell for yoga studios and fresh vegan food. Can't say I'll begrudge that.

Not to disparage getting back out there with Bella. Not at all. We had our first practice this week in forfuckingever, just getting familiar with some new material, and it was pretty rad. I've dropped some fatass overdrive bass using the SYB-3 into a few places and actually had it meet with approval. We'll hopefully bring some of this new shit out on the road. Or not, whatever, just get me back on the damn road again.

...And there's just so much else going on outside of that. I've really been wanting to write more about the present and the near and less-near future, honest. Priorities that were just sort of floating in the colloid of my subconscious are actually getting nailed down in a concrete order, and not necessarily in an order I expected to find so satisfying.

Oh, and I been hanging out with someone.

Devil's in the Chemicals
So, it' been a while since I wrote at length, hasn't it?

Different reasons for that, depending on the week. For every instance of joyful frantic action or being called outside by the blessings of warmer days, there have been equal instances of some serious frustration and hopelessness and tossing about without direction in a slush pile of uncertainties and possibilities.

I'm not sleeping well. Getting to bed late is nothing new for me, but out of nowhere I'm dealing with being unable to sleep through an entire night for the first time in my life. Even if I spend a day functioning on less than four hours of sleep, passing out any time before 10 has an even chance of meaning that I'll be waking up in three or four hours, unable to get back to sleep until 2am or so. So now I'm never in bed before midnight as a rule as much as it used to be just as a habit, which is about as counterintuitive as it gets. It's frustrating, it's infuriating, it's made me inexcusably late for work an inexcusable number of times. And as nonsensical as it seems to logical-me's understanding of it, I have no choice but to acknowledge that this started with the Adderall.

So even with as beneficial as the stuff has proved, one of my worst fears about it is still threatening to be confirmed. Take something for the brain, then take something to get to sleep at night, and then what? This isn't yet the slippery slope, but it's totteringly close. And yet, this (and the very odd headaches when I'm both tired and forget to take it) isn't enough to convince me to even consider going off of it. Benefits are still too great. So I'm looking into kava root on a recommendation, which could well be a silver bullet just by being a relief for nighttime anxiety. That mess predates the brainpills, anyway.

But enough of that.

There's still an astounding amount of good happening, though I'm including "scary and untested" in with that. This year continues to be The Year Of New Shit and more is piling on. Not quite ready to talk about a lot of it, sorry, but it'll all come up soon enough, especially now that I've got this entry out of the way and don't feel guilty about getting into new shit with the old shit still waiting to be dished out. And I really can't overemphasize the importance of the chill leaving the air. It was starting to get to me, seriously. Far too much mope in this camp.

And who the hell would I be to mope when Glee is starting up again tomorrow?

(Subject line adapted from the quite fantastic new Ego Likeness album, which I received an advance copy of in the interest of the glowing review I never wrote in time. Consider this my first public endorsement thereof, at the least.)

63° = 180°
Half the fun of having Netflix is slowly working through the queue of over 50 items I furiously compiled when I first set this up, to the point that the next thing delivered is often a pleasant surprise. That said, I really need to sit down with Synecdoche, NY and Touch of Evil (referred to as the real Welles masterpiece by at least one reputable source) and get them sent back already; I just realized the next two movies in my queue are Tideland and The Forbidden Zone and I've been wanting to see both for the longest time. I'm sure I can find the hours for it this week if I try ever so hard. But there's a remix being done on a deadline for a compilation, vocals to record once my voice claws its way back up from under this pile of sick, keyboard lines to run through at least once more for security's sake before Thursday, and a used "pre-owned" copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that's gradually sucking me into longer and longer bouts of play as more of its possibilities become available (seriously guys, turf wars FTW. Well done on that one). Not to mention the cache of Bella Morte proto-material that, believe it or not, awaits my input.

But with spring comes a renewed sense of purpose and dedication to the tasks at hand. And spring is most definitely here. Any evidence to the contrary is merely holdover and not here for long (gam zeh ya'avor). Well into the 60s for most of this week and I've driven around with the heat off and the windows cracked at least twice now. For the time being I'll forgo attempts to voice how grateful I am for this, as digging back into my malaise of the past few weeks might damage my present capacity for simple reveling.

(I'm also, coincidentally, coasting on the momentum of Q4 course books being less-or-more "done," a few stragglers aside.)

Plenty more that I'm sure I'm forgetting to dredge up on this fine day, considering the coffee and my generally good humour already have their hands full keeping me powered on 2 hours of sleep (again: the turf war concept is inspired!). Off to Umlaut tonight after 2 weeks missed on account of assorted flavors of fatigue. Will probably nap through LOST but that's why God gave us tomorrow.

...and it looks like I won't be recapping the Muse show either. Which is okay seeing as how it, and its fulfillment of every expectation and every bit of (justly or unjustly) prescribed gravity, transcended description. Observe:

(photo by Dea, who it was very lovely to meet that night by the way)

It made me want rum and wine and cigarettes.
Getting my Monday started with NPR's exclusive live stream of the new Gorillaz (so far it ain't too bad, even if I'm not that big on Snoop Dogg. But this Mos Def track positively kills). This may be one of the few times I've come in after a weekend and been disappointed at how little email I had waiting for me. Ah well, I suppose it's just a matter of recognizing when matters are out of my hands. It's just that I've done so surprisingly well this quarter, and could be doing even better if it weren't for faculty that have more pressing priorities, apparently.

Pretty productive day yesterday: out of bed before noon, even made it to the gym before going heading over to jdavyd and luckavery's house for Basement Bhakti practice ahead of the March 11th show. Oh right, looks like I'll be filling in for Patrick on keys at the next Tea House kirtan. I also had the good fortune of taking in 35 Rhums as my first Offscreen attendance of this season, which I thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed. Maybe it's all the Lynch I've seen, but it's nice to have a director who leaves out key elements that one actually stands a chance of divining on one's own. And for something so slow and deliberate, I found it oddly riveting. Brainpills FTW once again?

And tonight: MUSE! I've gone off to people before about my love/hate relationship with their live show. While most live performances I take in have me leaving with a newfound sense of urgency to get home and create, the HAARP DVD made me want to throw my hands up and call it quits. Damn them for making it that much more evident that there are some levels I'll never hope to reach. But I'll watch 'em do it.

Bella has a show in DC on Thursday, our first with Ego Likeness since tour. Which, along with the awesome that is getting to see Ego again, means I'll be getting my corporeal copy of Breedless. More on that later; I've a lot of praise to heap on it and not enough attention to devote at present.

Second or third semi-distracted post in a row I think. Need to settle down with Beeeatrice someplace comfortable and really dig in, soon. Even chance that it'll turn out I have something closer to worthwhile to say. Or not.

Seeing February out the door
Working until 7:30 had me less than enthusiastic about going to the gym, so finding I'd forgotten my running shoes more or less sealed it. Instead I've eaten more than enough dinner for one night and am half-paying attention to this entry while watching Christopher Nolan's Following. Somewhat disappointed in myself, since I got an uncharacteristically full night's sleep last night after pussing out on Umlaut. But Patrick's birthday dinner was much fun; night wasn't a total waste.

Con Nooga was... fun, in a final analysis. Whatever unpleasant bits there were, they aren't the sort I'm of the mind to go into here. Rather enjoyed myself all-around, met some rad people and saw some other rad people I hadn't seen since the much larger nerd summit in Atlanta. Have to be honest that I'm pretty excited about what's to become of the music video. If nothing else, I can at least now claim to have been directed by Lloyd Kaufman ("You're scared! Bigger eyes! BIGGER EYES!"). And we've been invited back next year. Word.

Up next: DC show with Ego a week from tomorrow, then I think we're in down time until the two weeks being put together some time in May/June. Well, not "down time" exactly: I've been given a batch of song sketches to tool around with. Not just basslines, looks like I'll be doing live renders of some of the piano lines of the kind that they normally sequence. Glad that suggestion was agreed to.

Oh and I picked up one of these puppies the other day. Anyone with experience working around its finicky tracking issues, drop me a line.

Keep having to back the movie up as I apparently keep shifting my attention for the same crucial few seconds, so I'll end here. Tomorrow: one day closer to my involvement in the academic year reaching its blessed close.

quick mid-Con note
Just got back from lunch at the mall and picking up an extension cord at Target; half an hour or so in the hotel room before sound check and I think Andy is killing an excremental demon in the bathroom. We're getting out of sound check just in time for a "Doctor Who: The Russel T. Davies Years" which should be fun. Shot the non-live stuff for Troma's Bella Morte video last night, including getting chased around by Toxie.

In other words: having a ball. I definitely sold this con short in my expectations and I'm getting proven wrong. The programming is good (even without much in the way of celebrity guests), there's some decent vendors and the costumes are remarkably up to D*C par (I'm basically never doing a Tenth Doctor costume by this point). Plus we're getting out early enough Sunday that I'll be able to get work on Monday, easy.

Or maybe I'm just in a good mood on account of remembering the Adderall after two days off?

A Week Happens:
Monday: Gym, Laundry
Tuesday: LOST, Umlaut
Wednesday: More Laundry, Packing
Thursday: Gym, Nap(?), Chattanooga-ward around 11pm
Friday: Nerdz

It doesn't seem like much, until one takes into account that I'm trying to stay as close to 40 hours as possible in a span of 4 days. I suppose getting to work before 9 (or hell, even by 9) would make that easier.

But the Con does look fun; more fun than my comparative dearth of excitement in this week or two before would make it seem. Maybe there's just a lot on my mind, and I haven't had much time to think about it. Or maybe only taking a weekend (and sure, a day on either side of it) makes it seem less like a big deal. But this is the first I've looked at that there schedule; should be able to find a thing or two to do with myself.

Awp! There's ten hours; time to go.

Saint Valentine was a drunk and an online predator pass it on
strong sad
Mudhouse is an odd population today. On the one hand, there's the considerably sketch looking guy at the table next to me, playing Second Life on a huge external monitor and working his way through a box of Girl Scout cookies, alternately mumbling and blurting things incoherently to himself. On the other hand, there's the very well dressed man with the bouquet of flowers, clearly waiting for someone that may very well squeal when they get here. Me, I'm just getting this down before digging back into Middlesex, which I picked up at Blue Whale Books yesterday after soundcheck.

Right, the show: actually better attended than I expected considering we had played a much bigger venue a few blocks down just over a month ago, but still comparatively thin. The Southern, while not nearly as inviting and comfortable looking as Gravity, makes for an excellent little rock club in a good location. I've no doubt that a good long run of activity (and/or maybe some other color of paint) will do much for making the place feel a bit more lived-in and hospitable. And they want us back; I think we'll be happy to oblige.

About halfway through the set, sweaty and hopping about per usual, I came to a realization of "wow, I and my muscles are exhausted, I can barely keep up right now, what's going on?" which reminded me that I'd consumed naught that day but an Odwalla Superfood and a Clif bar. Thanks again, Adderall. It's going to be an interesting lifestyle switch, having to remind myself to eat despite my lack of appetite, and not the inverse. So I've skipped a day today, which maybe made it a little more difficult to finally get out of the house. Or maybe that was just the looming food coma after a tofu scramble that awesome.

Haven't really given much thought to how I'll pitter away the rest of the day. I've been listening to rough outlines of new Bella material today while driving around, idly running through in my head whatever I might have to contribute. All in all there's plenty of productivity to be had, plus Kung Fu Hustle came in the other day from Netflix.

No matter what ends up going down today, I'm making the pledge to stay off of OkCupid. I mean let's not be too pitiful.

I'm dreaming of a white desert
Soderbergh's Solaris while doing my laundry tonight, which I thoroughly enjoyed regardless of it being a protracted episode of any number of Star Trek iterations. Good science fiction can accomplish a number of things, not the least of which being a way to ask existential questions not as easily framed in our current reality. But you knew that already.

I've been working, and coming home from work, and playing instruments and watching things and reading and spending way too long each night trying to get to sleep. Snow to the point of inhibiting activity is bad enough, but it's coming at the worst time of year for me. The time when my general distaste for winter blossoms into a petulant, impatient loathing. Everything is buried under a whitewash and it's getting difficult to remember what it's like to drive barefoot and sleep with a window open. Just fucking be over already.

But there's a light, as there always is. Over the past week or two I've been watching as potential activity slowly begins to fill my spring and early summer, with little of my own prompting or control. If it's to the point that it exceeds what I can hold in my random access memory and I have to start keeping a calendar to avoid double-booking, that counts as notable. In the short term there's Bella Morte things happening these next two weekends: The Southern on Saturday, and then we're leaving for Con Nooga late next Thursday. And more other-things after that, which I'll undoubtedly bring up as they get closer.

For now it's a matter of keeping my sanity until there is green and sun and sweat again. I wonder if this room just needs a plant.

Breaking my head through the surface of the snow and checking in
hungry gus
Somehow, this $12.99 snow shovel is holding up. That's three times now on the driveway, plus helping Bill & Mandy to shovel out their respective cars that are parked on the street. Then we lost power for a good few hours, perfect excuse to take a nap that was pleasantly interrupted when everything kicked back on.

Assuming everything clears enough tomorrow for me to be mobile in time for work, I'd say this will prove to have been an enjoyable enough snow-in. I've worked on some music that I hadn't even expected to happen in the first place. I've watched Peter Pan (2003), Big Fan, Mean Girls (again), and the original The Magnificent Seven. Bothered some people on Facebook chat that I hadn't spoken to in a while, and was bothered in return. And of course I've eaten my share of junk food, but burned it all off through brute manual labor, an entertaining novelty in and of itself.

None of this means I'm not sick and fuck-all tired of winter, mind you.

Hoping all of you are doing just as well if not better. If we're lucky, we've seen the last and the worst of it. If we're not so lucky, well, I'm sure Kroger will be happy to sell me more beer.

mur. mur.

So I got sent for an echo cardiogram late last week, after visiting my doctor to suss out my ideal happypills dosage and her picking up some kind of pipe gurgle when listening to my heart. Turns out I have a mitral valve prolapse, which I highly doubt will ever become more than this thing that's cool to know about my heart. Also: heh heh, prolapse.

Anyway, I was given a month's prescription at 25mg, which I've now been on for well over a week and I think this is the sweet spot. Where up to 20mg was hardly noticeable, and 30mg had me consistently aware of the sensation that I was "on something," 25 seems to be my magical niche. At least for now, until my chemical dependency starts spiraling out of control and eventually I'm choking the stuff down by the handful just to have a few hours when I can pass for a stable human being. Or not.

No work tomorrow for me or anyone else employed by the U. since torrents of flaky white doom are being prophesied. Stood in line for almost an hour at Martin Hardware yesterday for a plastic snow shovel, which I fully expect to disintegrate after 20 minutes of use. But I'm stocked with comfort food and Big Fan is in from Netflix. Things will be good.

For now, I'm stretched out in bed with Beeeatrice (now upgraded to the newest Ubuntu build; so far so good) killing time until my body can no longer sustain my mind's complete disinterest in rest. Might have been asleep a while ago, but finally getting around to listening to Ben Folds's most recent Way to Normal earlier this evening prompted me to turn 90° to the left and start noodling around on the Kurzweil, in a major key for a change. A hooky little riff thing turned into a simple progression, which drew out some stream of consciousness lyrics, which led to a line: "And everyone knows that... nights like this weren't meant to spend alone." I stopped, laughed hysterically at what had just come out of my mouth, and knew I had no choice but to see where this went.

So I now have the beginnings of an experiment in the most saccharine soft-pop I can muster, and a project to keep me sane while homebound by snow. Don't worry: the results will most definitely be exhibited for public ridicule.

What lies in the shadow of the statue?
Well, I did it. Three weeks, five seasons. And while I could be going to sleep now, instead I'm digging through all the really awesome shit on the internet which I've been frantically avoiding since the day I started.

Not sure why this gets its own post, as if it were some kind of actual accomplishment. Maybe I'm just happy to be done with the whole ordeal in time for tomorrow's (scratch that, "today's") premiere. Maybe I'm just really, really tired.

Far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a debaser.
Four full seasons of LOST behind me in a very short period of time, and I'm starting to seriously question the stability of my surroundings. So I sat down with Goodfellas as a bit of a reprieve while doing laundry, pounding down an entire large Papa John's in the process. Recorded some guitar, tweaked some settings on my bass rig, worked on a tshirt design for the little sister's band, eventually went grocery shopping around 11:30 or so.

It's been a weird weekend, or at least a weird-feeling one. And now I'm in bed with the first issue of Gotham Central (thanks again, Mike) and some intense weather on the other side of the wall, not quite ready to go to sleep but rather tired all the same.

Went to 30mg of Adderall today, after a week at 20mg, after that first week at 10. And this seems to be the day I've finally "felt it", whatever that means (should also be noted that I may have neglected to take it on Saturday). If I were asked for any immediate observations, I'd say this is the end of my legendary and storied gluttony: I knew my appetite was being affected already, but that much pizza and that much psychostimulant really don't seem to be getting along. Also not sure how much coffee I'll be drinking on this dosage. We'll see how well it goes on a work day, and I'll be reporting to the doctor Monday afternoon with my findings.

One more quarter's worth of second-year course packs to go, and it's smooth sailing into the summer. Lot to think about in the months ahead, a lot more interesting goings-on to go on. For now: sleep. Just thought I'd check in first.

The Great 2010 Brain-Meat Experiment

Today, I take my first Adderall.

I met with my primary care physician on Wednesday just to talk things over, after a convergence of influences finally conspired to push me over to making this happen. The New Year. The examples of a few people I respect greatly. This thread here.

And of course the big deciding factor: me. Some of you reading this have known me for decades, some of you have known me for weeks. Regardless, I doubt many of you are surprised by this. I have... character traits. Quirks, tics, things that amuse you, annoy the piss out of you. It's nothing new.

So why now, then? If pressed, I'd have to say it's on account of being in a position for the first time in my life where both my day job and my personal endeavors are primarily driven by my own dedication and productivity. And it hasn't been going so well. No, I'm in no danger of being fired (right, Kristie? Right?!), but countless are the times I've sat at my desk with a pile of shit to do, or sat in front of the damn TV with unfinished songs upstairs, and thought: "I could really be doing this a lot better."

So. The conventional introductory dosage is 20mg; I'm doing 10 on account of how crazy apprehensive I still am. Reaching an acceptance of the need to do something about it doesn't erase this many years of resistance. Hell, I still can't be expected to know what's going to happen. Of course I know what's supposed to happen, or at least have that vague idea every ADD schmuck has about how normal brain-meat is supposed to function. Whether or not the idea becomes the reality, well, we'll find out in an hour or so.

Hey, I did say I needed a shakeup.

Some Are Born To Sweet Delight
I'll lay out my Sunday for you: awake at 1:45pm or so after not getting in from post-show IHOP until after 3am, eventually begin building an IKEA dresser purchased before said show, take a break to go watch David Tennant's final 2-part Doctor Who with Arcadia and Rena, back home to finish the dresser, watch Election with my dinner, move all my clothes over, and basically toss about in bed until 6 or so when it finally became evident I wasn't getting to sleep before it was time to get to work.

Past midnight I'm eating tomato soup with Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, having passed the hell out for six hours after getting home from work. Hell of a fitting way to start the year's drudgery. Considering it's Wednesday and there's still no sleep cycle to speak of.

There was, as is so often the case, a pretty substantial post working itself out in my head there for a while: thoughts regarding Christmas and my unapologetic love therefor. Even had pull-quotes from an interview with Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein, in which he delivered a brilliant defense of a secular Christmas. On the other end of the spectrum there's this gem from A Colbert Christmas, one of those rare glimpses at The Real Stephen Colbert. I mean, maybe it's my own exceedingly fortunate circumstances of good health, decent means, and a loving family, but the whole gift-giving chestnut-roasting enterprise becomes more and more my favorite holiday with each passing year, and I don't care who knows it.

So how is everyone? I've been comparatively quiet since tour, I know. A lot is going on in/about my head, and I'm approaching 2010 (Space Age!) with some considerable changes in the works. Three-plus years without a real shakeup is starting to get to me. It's time to get un-comfortable again.

Fridays at a desk
I seriously, honestly challenge this day to get any more boring.

Here we are in the limbo between semesters, with all my materials (save two courses whose professors have yet to supply me with anything) prepped and delivered where they need to be. Just yesterday I discovered I cache of 24 hours of paid time off that I'll lose if not used within the next month, so I left early yesterday, but for reasons of needed warm bodies I'll be here today until 5. And our Internet is just slow enough today to keep video from streaming well. Pfeh.

Went straight to Target yesterday after work and actually came away with some worthwhile presents. Still have a few more folks to shop for, which will probably be done at one or two of the boutique shops in Barracks Road Shopping Center like a good white person. Quick and easy, but I'm feeling like I've been especially lazy in handling Christmas this year. But needs must. Between work madness earlier this month and pseudo-housesitting this week and these jerkoffs, it's been busy. And I like Christmas.

Hell, I haven't even made birthday plans. But since when is twenty-seven some kind of big deal?

But observations will still happen: Tuesday I head straight from work to Chesapeake, where I'll be until, oh, let's say Saturday. Probably going to The Wave Tuesday night for the first time since this time last year. Fully expecting it to be exactly the same, and I'm okay with that. Sarah's unemployed ass is already back home from VCU, but poor Alicia is getting worked about as much as one might expect from retail this time of year and will be home for less than 48 hours.

Plenty having transpired between the last LJ entry and this, I accept my lack of motivation regarding its documenting, and resign myself to watching the window for the first snowflakes.