May 26th, 2003


Slow Sunday...

I slept in late and only got up when I did because Ra was being rather chatty in his demands to be cuddled, fed and let out to roam the apartment. I got myself a quick breakfast (if you guessed an Atkins breakfast bar, you guessed correctly) and sort of poked around the apartment. I wasn't really sure what to make of my morning yet, since things from last night were still weighing on me.

Eventually I climbed online and hung about. Yes, it's a rut and I'm predictable, but there is no small amount of comfort in routine -- especially when it feels like things around you have gone a bit insane. The upshot of my little routine is that it does help keep me sane, especially when I'm at work and surrounded by people who think that walking fast and talking as loud as they can without actually shouting is a sign of *cough* productivity. Today's indulgence in routine had a definate bonus: I got to talk with somebody special again, for something like three hours. That's always time well spent, and I can count on getting a big dopey smile on my face during times like that because it goes such a long way towards brightening my day. The topic of conversation varied a great deal today and finally settled into nothing but general light chatter and a lot of snuggles, which was good because I wasn't feeling especially "deep" today. A cuddle, even one in VR, can sometimes say a great deal more than sixteen paragraphs of text.

After Liin slipped offline to tend to houseguests I joined Roho and Kestral for a jaunt over to Sam's Club. I was hoping to pick up some movies that I'd seen there last week but couldn't buy at the time because I'd stupidly forgotten my wallet. This proved to be a bad choice on my part because when we arrived today the movies I'd wanted were completely, utterly gone. All was not lost, however, because I did pick up "Misery," "Adaptation" and a special edition of a film I haven't seen in ages, "Dances With Wolves." I'm really looking forward to seeing that one again, although I've heard a lot of good things about Adaptation as well. Once I'd settled on those choices for the DVDs we made quick work of locating our other grocery needs (peppers, lots of diet soda and some more of the super-tasty beef sticks that go along so well with the diet) and then checked out. I'm beginning to agree with The Gord, I do not like being treated like a criminal when I walk out the door.

We returned home and I sprawled out on the couch, doing a bit of reading (I'm still working through Tom Clancy's "Rainbow Six" if you're curious to know) before I put the book down, rolled onto my side and took a nap. I woke up a few times, tossed and turned and went back to sleep again. I think Kestral stopped by at one point to ask if there was anything she could do, commenting that I looked pathetic curled up on the futon. I got something of a rueful chuckle out of that as I recall, although I was not awake by any means so could just be having a mistaken memory.

Roho was invited by an old school chum of his to go to a party/dinner/reunion in the area, and said invitation was passed on to Kestral and myself. I declined, prefering to stay home since I didn't know most of the people involved and was not feeling overly social. I'm bad around strangers to begin with, and with the past week's events I really wasn't in the mood. Around 7:00 PM Roho and Kes slipped out to meet up with the crew at -- interestingly enough -- BDs. This was another reason for me to not go... since we had BDs for dinner on Saturday night, and I'd had leftovers for lunch today and the plan is to have dinner there tomorrow (Sara requested we come keep her entertained, since she magines she's going to be a very bored waitress on Memorial Day) I didn't think having dinner there tonight would be advisable. I love the restaurant, I could eat their food almost all week, but I did want to vary my diet a little.

While my roommates were gone I walked over to CVS and picked up a few necessary items that I was lacking such as air freshener, 800 speed film, deoderant and the like. It was good to get out and stretch my legs, and CVS is so close I really don't feel the need to drive as long as the weather is nice. I retured to the apartment and spent some more time puttering around online. At 2230 I went idle and plugged in the guitar to do a little more practice. Tonight I moved beyond the arpeggios and the scales, and actually played a bassline that might qualify as rock-and-roll. It was nice to see some actual forward progress, and to see the money I spent on the book wasn't a complete waste.

Hallelujah, I can be taught!

I did realize that I need further work on stretching my fingers on my left hand, and I definately need to devise some exercises to build up the muscles in my fingers since I'm still not able to press down on the frets quite as hard as I need to. I have also decided I really need to look at the community colleges and see if I can get into a music theory class -- it's one thing to read bass tabs, and I might even be able to read the notes off the sheet music in another week or to and know what notes they correspond to on my guitar. That's not helping me, though, understand what the notes actually mean, and I'm having a hell of a time understanding the pacing of certain pieces of music. If there's one failing the book has it's not explaining enough, instead it defers to the bass tabs since that's supposedly all the player needs to know how to read. While I suppose this is technically true you still can't get a feel for the composition as a whole if you can't determine something as simple as tempo from the music.

Other than that, the day was quiet, and I'm thankful for that at least. Before I got to work on this entry I chatted some with hightensile and then took a shower, as has become my evening ritual. Tomorrow I will clean Ra's litter box and comtemplate the situation with my pickup's exhaust system. I will also try to call my parents to see if I can get some more news on Priscilla's situation, and to wish my grandfather a happy birthday. I'd like to do laundry, but Kestral informs me that the washing machine is still broken so I guess that will have to wait a while longer. I'm not in dire need of clean laundry quite yet, but the closet is getting a little low on supplies.

Rock me Amadeus
  • Current Music
    Crystal Method - Magic Carpet Ride (Techno Remix)

Monday Monday.

Today was another quiet day, thankfully. For the most part it's a blur, even though it wasn't all that remarkable. I got up around 9:30 in the morning, since Ra was demanding to have his pill and food. I made breakfast for myself (3/4 cup of cereal and 1/4 salted almonds for a grand total of 3g of carbohydrates) not long after, then just sort of vegged out for a while.

Sometime around noon I made lunch for myself (a couple slices of cheddar cheese, and a number of the tasty beef sticks we've found at Sam's Club) and puttered about on the computer for a while longer. Once I was fed I went outside and examined my pickup. My suspicions were confirmed, the pickup's exhaust had indeed separated.

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With my duct-tape experiment a failure I returned to the apartment, only to discover that I'd gotten grease, oil and dirt smeared all over my nice Western Digital shirt, my hands and my arms. I'd also gotten a great deal of rust and flaked paint in my beard, hair and all over my face so I decided a shower would be in order. I basked under the hot water for a good fifteen minutes and scrubbed myself thoroughly with soap and washcloth in an attempt to banish the grease to the drain. I seemed to succeed for the most part, got out of the shower and settled in to watch a movie. This afternoon's choice of cinema was a straight-to-video number called "Retroactive," starring James Belushi. To call this movie "bad" isn't entirely fair, but it's no spring rose either. I mostly watched it because the premise was interesting and some of the effects were decent, even if most of the acting was bad and the jokes worse. I'd seen this once before on some cable station or another and was sufficiently amused when I saw it in the grab-bin at Wal-Mart that I picked it up. Hey, for $6 I don't lose any real money even if I only watch it once, because I can at least recycle the DVD as a coaster and the jewel case as a home for some more noble and deserving movie if the need should arise.

Once the movie was over I slipped into my bedroom and took out my guitar. I practiced for about half an hour, plugging through the bass lines that I'd tackled last night. I thought I did okay, but I still need to work on making sure that my fret fingers get more exercise and stretching. Now that I've completed this book I find myself wondering where I should go next. aureth has suggested private bass lessons, although that's not something I'm sure I want to pursue right now. urocyon has suggested listening to some songs and adjusting my equalizer to help pick out the bass lines, and see if I can learn anything from it. Not sure what I'll do yet... I still need to perfect the basics that are in this book, and then I guess I'll worry about what step to take next. I hope that Roho didn't mind listening to me plunk away for 30 minutes.... I know Ra gave me a few angry glances when I hit a sour note or didn't press down firmly enough on a string and got a buzz.

After I put the bass away I read for a while, spent a bit more time idling online and then took a nap. When the nap was over I got on the phone and spoke with my dad about the pickup (he laughed at my attempt to fix things with duct-tape, since he knew right away it would melt), about Priscilla's condition (that's an entry in and of itself) and the plans my family had for the holiday with my grandfather.

Once 7:15 PM rolled around Roho and I got in the car and drove over to Kestral's office to pick her up. We rode up to BD's and were pleasantly surprised to see that the restaurant was pretty quiet at 7:45 when we got there. Sara was glad to see us, and she seated us up near the bar, away from the "restaurant in general." We spent some time talking, were introduced to the new manager who is taking the old manager's place (Andre is apparently being transferred to the Naperville store) and had some tasty food. I had my usual bowl of burning (sirloin with lots of cayenne and crushed red pepper, some Franks Hot Sauce and some sweet-and-source sauce) and a bowl of Bebbe's Creole Shrimp. I had three beers (Miller Lite... not my MGD, but I guess I won't be drinking those anymore if I want to keep to the diet on the long-term) while I ate to help keep the burn under control and to help lighten my mood. I figured that I deserved the drinks given the way the last 7 days have gone, and I was well within my carbohydrate limit for the day even with the stir-fry. It was nice to talk with Sara, who seemed very concerned about my mood. Matt S. also stopped by to shoot the breeze with us, Howard introduced us to Chris, the new manager... and all told it was a pretty nice night. I bought a fishing hat with the BD's logo embroidered on it since Sara said they had a few in the back, and I thought it looked sharp on her. When I tried it on Roho said the look worked for me... but only so long as I had on this particular black shirt and the panther charm I wear on my necklace is hanging out. I'll see if I can't grab a snapshot or two tomorrow to put up, and y'all can tell me what you think.

Oh, remember how I mentioned I'd gotten dirty and greasy under the truck, and I took a shower to get clean again? Despite my best efforts I apparently still had a rather significant stripe of grime on my right elbow, something Kestral pointed out to me with great amusement while we were getting ready to leave. I can't believe it... soap, a washcloth, scalding hot water and still the filth won't surrender! What does a guy have to do, drop a nuclear warhead on it?!?

Once we finished up dinner we sat for a few more minutes, then bid everyone a good evening since it was time for the store to close. I couldn't resist writing "The Trio wuvs you, Sara!" on the check before we left, and Kestral drew a small cheetah head on there to help personalize it a little more. It's fun when you're practically family at a place like this, and there have been several times in the last few weeks that I've thought about applying for a job as a waiter or a griller there, just for the grins of it. I'm afraid that I have to side with Roho, though... it would add a different dynamic to my relationship with the people who work there as well as the people who manage the store, something I'm not sure I want to happen. Ah well, it's a nice thought. Maybe I can find a second job somewhere just as nice so I can make a few extra dollars....

We drove back to Kestral's workplace so she could collect her pickup, then made our way back to the apartment. I've spent the last hour or so skimming LiveJournal entries that were made during the day and composing this entry. Since I've had a number of beers, and since work starts tomorrow I figure I better head to bed early tonight. I've got to get to work on time so I can try to get out on time, and see if I can't stop by AutoZone for some suggestions on a cheap way to patch my exhaust together. I just need it to last for another four to six weeks, because with luck I'll be able leave my old pickup with my parents to do with as they will, and pick up the Expedition to take its place. We'll see what happens, I guess!

You're always strong when I'm tired and weak
  • Current Music
    Madonna - I'll Remember