Working out the bugs for my employer.
1. Why does it have to be warm enough for me to get the scooter out one day, and a few days later it’s snowing again?
2. Most people don’t like the metric system. They like the English system since it’s “familiar.” Yet most people don’t even know one tablespoon is equal to three teaspoons; most people think it’s four.
3. My favorite breakfast includes pot roast hash, eggs over medium, toast, and enough coffee to float a skiff.
4. “The Making of the Empire Strikes Back” was the last book I read before falling asleep the other night. (I usually read my Bible before going to sleep, but I did something different the night before last. I didn’t read anything last night; I was too tired and went right to sleep.)
5. I am SO glad I took a couple hours off from the office this AM.
6. A hot shower would make me feel better right now.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to playing “Hello Dolly” in the pit of a high school musical, tomorrow my plans include going to a pastor/deacon conference (I will represent the latter; I’m not called to be a pastor!) and Sunday, I want to have lunch with my Mom!
I was coming home from a wake last night. I was on this stretch of road in Warren, and the almost full moon was shining over a field. I know moon poems are cliche, but this one sorta just came to me. I tried to get it into a proper haiku form, but I couldn’t say what I wanted to within the form. Finally I just figured “Look, it hasn’t got the right amount of syllables. The feel, though, is decent. So keep what you got.” Here it is.
The moon hangs luminous
in the mid-winter blue black sky
A Victorian milk-glass door knob.
1. It’s 2011; I haven’t got many gigs booked yet.
2. I saw this show the other day that’s got me hankerin’ for some spicy hot pickles.
3. Thankfully I have my light saber nearby, so I shan’t have to worry about any marauding wampa.
4. My wife’s roasted broccoli is one of the best things in life.
5. I am so ready to go to bed.
6. Sometimes, when I need a quick low calorie lunch, I’ll have a bowl low fat, home-style, canned chicken noodle soup.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing house cleaning, tomorrow my plans include having a giant family get-together at my house and Sunday, I want to help a friend get her computer running nice and smooth!
For this your mother sweated in the cold,
For this you bled upon the bitter tree:
A yard of tinsel ribbon bought and sold;
A paper wreath; a day at home for me.
The merry bells ring out, the people kneel;
Up goes the man of God before the crowd;
With voice of honey and with eyes of steel
He drones your humble gospel to the proud.
Nobody listens. Less than the wind that blows
Are all your words to us you died to save.
O Prince of Peace! O Sharon’s dewy Rose!
How mute you lie within your vaulted grave.
The stone the angel rolled away with tears
Is back upon your mouth these thousand years.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
1. Sometimes, I have one of those days at work where everything clicks, I get a lot done, and feel like I did a great job for the company. Yesterday was one of those days.
2. Last night I had this gianormous meatloaf sandwich for supper and I ate just about the whole thing.
3. Small minded are those supposedly “broad minded” people who call “foul” when an election doesn’t go their way.
4. When making biscuits, you should put a little Bakewell Cream in your dough; it helps the dough rise and is very enlightening.
5. I keep meaning to recover that Pearl tom-tom in pink sparkle to match the rest of my drums but…
6. (cont. from #5) I just haven’t gotten around to it …yet.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to being at home and playing with the boys while Susan and Julia are out decorating the church, tomorrow my plans include working in the AM then playing a gig in Brewer in the evening, and Sunday, I want to have some cool lesson ready for Sunday School!
Last night, I played a fundraiser at Cellar Door Winery. This isn’t the first time we’ve played for them. These were the same folks who asked us to play on TV for the July 4th weekend. These folks are really nice, and they treat us very well. This weekend was no exception.
Originally we were planning on this being a regular type gig. We’d bring our own instruments and PA system. That’s the norm, right? Well on Wednesday, we got word that they had hired a soundman, and we wouldn’t need to bring our PA. Just our instruments and microphones. Nice. So we showed up at the gig. It was a HUGE tent system–not just one tent, but a series of interconnecting tents–in a wine field. I walk in, and there is a huge stage, complete with everything. A house drum kit. A bass amp and cabinet. A guitar amp, all mic’d up. A monitor for each person. (For those who don’t know, a monitor is a speaker on a stage that points back towards the musicians. When the sax player is at the other end of the stage–as he was last night–I can’t hear him. He’s too far away, and the drums are too loud. So they pipe some of his sax sound through the mixing board and back to me. Last night, everyone had their own monitor mix, and could have whatever instrument or vocal set to whatever their preference was.) A keyboard stand and amp, just waiting for a keyboard player to set their rig on. All I had to do was bring a pair of sticks, and hit this drum set.
And what a drum set it was! It was a Drum Workshop kit in purple onyx. (The link is blue onyx, but you get the idea.) DW really is the “Cadillac” of drums. They’re a high end American based drum maker. They’re not a boutique builder, and they’re not the most expensive drums ever made, but they ARE expensive, nicely made, and somewhat exclusive. Each tom and the snare had brand new Remo heads on it. In addition to the fantastic drum set, they had a case full of Ziljdjian and Sabian cymbals. Not cheap ones, but nice ones. My butt was cushioned in a Rock-N-Sock throne–probably one of the most expensive thrones available.
I played like crap.
See, here’s the thing. Unlike most instruments, the drum kit is built around the drummer. Each individual instrument needs to be in just the right spot. I had five drums and four cymbals last night. Each one has to be positioned in just the spot in relation to my body. And last night, I just couldn’t get them where they needed to be.
There were two other bands slated to play after us. In an effort to keep things flowing, and to prevent lots of noise from the stage, the sound crew asked that we use as much of the house system as possible. I agreed, and said something to the effect of “I’ll just go grab my cymbals.” The soundman said “Look, we have all these cymbals available for you. Can’t you just use some of them?” He was saying, though not in these words, ‘you can use your own stuff, but we’d really prefer you not. We’d even prefer you not use something as easy to change out as your own cymbals.’
So, I stuck with the house kit. The toms were too high. The throne was too high. The cymbals were thicker than what I usually use, and not really my sound. The snare was really not my sound, and I couldn’t even tune it to get my sound. Everything was just not exactly right. And for a drummer, it really needs to be. Drumming is much more physical that playing any other instrument, I would guess. I’m swinging my arms in a lot of space, hitting an instrument I’m not holding next to my body; an instrument out there in space. Even the best instrument can’t sound great if it can’t be played great. And if I can’t reach it, I can’t play it. And I don’t think other musicians relate to their instrument in quite the same way.
Five years. And not a week goes by that I don’t think “Man, I really wish I could talk to Dad. I could really use his insight, knowledge, and wisdom.” Ironically, today is one of those days. But as much as I need you here, apparently God needed you more there.
got enough clothes
to do a load
I wish you’d come home.