Sunday, September 28, 2008

Early Season Hunting

Went down to the Lake area last weekend and spent some time at the McNally Farm- beautiful. Killed some time and beer- no deer. Although, on Sunday morning, I walked out to my vehicle and 50 yards away a big doe stood looking at me from the yard. I didn't even have a shirt on at this point- so no shots fired. Early bow season is for the birds. But here's a nice picture from the farm.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

music therapy

When I was really little- like 4, my dad bought a guitar. It was a Yamaha acoustic electric. My dad is not a musical person. He loves music (as long as it's "uplifting"), but he's not a musical artist by any stretch of the imagination. In fact he's a real bad singer. I can't count how many hymns I suffered though as a teenager at church listening to him sing off key- and then off key in another key. I'm still embarrassed. But that's not the point. The point is he had this guitar and started taking lessons. He never got good and quit taking lessons. I used to mess with that guitar and I thought it was pretty cool I guess.

Years passed, now I'm like 9 or 10- you know, like first grade age when you're home schooled. And I going to this elementary school in Miami, where we lived and the music teacher thinks I'm real good. So I take these tests to go to this special school for the performing arts- and I get accepted. Pretty cool, I could grow up to be a rock star. BUT... it's in kind of a bad neighborhood- so my parents decide not to send me there. I was bummed, but I didn't protest. Besides, you don't have a lot of pull when you're 9 or 10.

More years pass, I'm in high school (before I dropped out), and I'm taking this guitar class. It's a total blow off class, but it's cool and I learned some cool things, met some cool people, and had my first chew of tobacco. I met this guy Bill Kays and he could already play any song by AC/DC. I took my dad's guitar down to the sort of local music store and traded it for a piece of crap electric guitar and a tiny little amp. We lived in Osage Beach, which is part of Lake of the Ozarks, also known as the White Trash Riviera, and there wasn't much to do there through the school year. So I played guitar a lot and stared figuring some things out.

1993- I start college in a wanna be branch dividian cult school also known as "AU". And that "U" should really be in quotes all by itself since that place was anything but a university. I have a dorm make named Scott. Never before and never since have I played guitar with someone more talented. I never learned more either. We would play for hours on the weekends and more than once Scott fell asleep while playing late into the night. We played a talent show once. It was a instrumental I wrote.

The next year Scott moved back home and I got in this little group and we played at a coffee house in Longview, TX, a couple of times. It was fun. KAL remembers I'm sure since he was there with a HUGE mixing board and pro level speakers. We called ourselves "Little Brother". It was fun, but never as good as in practice since we were always nervous.

1995- I move back to Missouri and now I live in Columbia, since my parents moved there. I'm going to Columbia College and I don't know anyone in town. So I start spending a lot of time playing guitar. I'm playing 3 or 4 hours a day and I start getting really good. I'm not trying to brag, but I knew I was making some crazy music. Sometimes I would quit playing because I would get scared from how good the music was. It was coming through me. I would occasionally play with other people when I'd get invited to play in party/jam session situations, but everyone would always start asking, "What's that chord?" or "How are you doing that?" but I didn't know since I was just going by sound instead of knowing names for it. I wasn't having to think to do it. I was just feeling it, and it was happening. I could never record what I was playing because when I would try, I would think about it being recorded and it never turned out as good.

Over time, as I got busier and eventually got a job, I started playing less and less and the guitar I've had since 1993 isn't sounding very good to me. For the past few years I've hardly played. I've had moments of inspiration, but they went out fast. I kind of felt like that time was over.

But remembering back to that music teacher who thought I had some talent, and banging out tunes with Bill and Scott, and playing in my parents basement (my bedroom) for hours at a time, and remembering that feeling that I got when I knew I was really making music, and feeling like I need a creative outlet, I decided to get back into it. I never quit loving music, I just quit cutting out my own little spot of it. I heard this interview with jazz guitarist, Stanley Jordan, and his musical philosophy was so inspiring I almost went out and bought his newest album. As it turns out, I'm not that big of a fan of his music- but I really, really like what he had to say. So I got a new guitar. We'll see what happens. It's really just about how it makes you feel. Express and release.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Why did you turn off the jazz music?

John Coltrane. He got in my head and I didn't need to blog for about three months. Then I went back to work and I need a ventilator. Now I think Butthead is in my head and I have lots of hate. More angry teaching. "No damn it! I said do the exponents before the multiplication!"

It was a good summer. I started riding bikes again. I even raced three times so far this year. I'm racing Gary Boring this weekend in Jeff City. I'm going to whip his old ass! Then I'm going to sell my bike and quit again. I built a wood shed with the dude. Then he drank my beer and left. I have no wood. Weeds grew in our flower beds as I worked for the one they call Barry. Things got built, weeds got big. Less free time = more weeds.

I don't work in ISS anymore, so no more funny stories from there. Fine with me. Nothing worse than being stuck in a room with pissed off middle scholars who didn't do it. I don't have much free time these days. Let me rephrase that. I don't have much time these days that I fill with doing what I choose. Even my dog is laughing at me...