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.
  • Current Music
    Conan interviewing Simon Pegg

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.
  • Current Music
    Yelle - Comme Un Enfant

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.
  • Current Music
    Neutral Milk Hotel - The Communist's Daughter
deep thoughts

In which I outline the circumstances behind and the dramatic significance of my return to school.

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:

Collapse )
  • Current Music
    Kitty Well - Heartbreak, USA

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.
  • Current Music
    Muse - Muscle Museum (Soulwax remix)

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.
  • Current Music
    Tavis Smiley on WHRO
strong sad

(day job not included)

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?
  • Current Music
    Wilco cribbing from "In Between Days" by The Cure

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.
  • Current Music
    The XX