Posts Tagged ‘Guitar’

I absolutely love the New Year; always have, always will.  If this didn’t happen, we’d be stuck in the same… (what?), forever.  Wouldn’t be a year, but the psychological ramifications of NOT measuring time on a cyclical basis would be uber-depressing.  Hey friends, happy new… nothing?  Day?  OK – I’ll take whatever I can get.  Happy Same Year, Happy Old Year, Happy Furthering of the Dredge and the Drudgery, with no good drunken blowouts to shake off the cobwebs and kick the minor negatives permanently into the past.  This is a powerful thing man, for me it is at least!

I always make resolutions, albeit lightheartedly.  I know this is not dead serious, and I enjoy thinking about a brand new slate.  But thankfully, we have no shortage of the cranky and cynical to keep us in line and remind us that “It’s just another day, sheeple – no different than yesterday or tomorrow”.  THANK YOU – because here was I, watching for unicorns and expecting the Rapture.  Sir Dickimus of Headicus, maybe you should go tell your 3-year-old now that Santa is bullshit and Grandma is “actually” decomposing in the mud!  Go have a beer and get o’er yersel, fer the sake of Auld Lang Syne.

2013 was momentous in many ways, and 2014 will be epic.  A Few Notables:

Both my beautiful and amazing kid sisters had babies.  The youngest sis has very severe diabetes, and was told by medics her whole life that this could never happen, her body couldn’t support a pregnancy.  Fuck you, doc – both are alive and well and as radiant as ever, and our clan is 2-stronger because of it.  Go Defiance!

554043_586423754736893_1503031208_n  Dylan Tigger

My Sis-in-Law DIDN’T get blown up in the Boston Marathon.  Then after she didn’t get blown up, she got married to a wonderful man and they built a gorgeous new house to start their life together.

My Uncle-in-Law (who ALSO didn’t get blown up) turned 70, and we partied like Hobbitses into the small hours of the summer.

We met a few new friends, musicians  & art afficionados, and bade adieu to a few more moving on to new adventures and pastures.  Those friends that moved on, we sent them off like Vikings, and feasted like Klingons in their honor.  Very memorable days.

I began working on the writing for a SICK jazz album, and have never been happier with the sounds coming out of my guitar. On top of my game indeed, and loving it up Big Willy Style.

Apologies to the notables I have missed – this bears no reflection on your noteworthiness.  Oh, and I didn’t die.

And for 2014?

Planning a trip to England to see the fam, and meet the clan members born since my departure.

I have 2 big anniversaries late in 2014:  10 years living in the USA, and 10 years married to the most amazing woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing.  AJ, I love you soooooooo much, you make me want to retire early, so I can just hang out with you all day every day.  Screw you, proponents of marital combat – try wedding your best friend in the world, and then you’ll see that men and women aren’t enemies.

Happy New Year!!!

Dylan and Dad

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So the study and training of memory is called Mnemonics, which stems from the Greek Mnemosyne, who was the goddess of memory, and incidentally, mother of the nine Muses.  The muses were nine sister goddesses born of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and they were responsible for creating the arts, sciences and knowledge in general, right?

So to muse is to become absorbed in thought, to meditatively turn something over in the mind, or to wonder / marvel or speak reflectively.  Muse is also the root of way more words and notions relating to inspiration – including “Music”, which was created by the muses.  The first muse is called Clio, and she was credited for discovering the guitar.  Erato is the muse responsible for love, love poetry and weddings; Erato was also friends with Eros, (aka Cupid), and would make the arrows which Eros would shoot into our loins, making us feel Erotic (and sometimes erratic).  At least, this friendship was suggested by Apollonius of Rhodes in his book Argonautica, during an invocation to Erato.  And Apollonius was a poet who named himself after the god Apollo, who was the adoptive father of the nine muses when Zeus and Mnemosyne palmed them off.  Safe to say, this dude knew his shit.  So Mnemosyne was the root of all memory, and to this day Mnemonics is the study of memory, and musing essentially means to hang out with the muses and think about stuff, and music is born from musing, and if you muse over things this way and that, they become very, very amusing.  How can you NOT love this?

In case you care, the whole nine muses are:

  • Clio – discovered history and the guitar.
  • Euterpe – the flute, several other musical instruments and dialect.
  • Thalia – the protector of comedy, and discoverer of geometry, architectural science and agriculture.
  • Melpomene – invented tragedy, rhetoric speech and melos (the succession of musical tones constituting a melody.  Maybe even a mellow or melancholic melody.)
  • Terpsichore – invented the harp, dance and education.
  • Erato – the hottest one.  (Love, love poetry and weddings)
  • Polymnia – divine hymns, mimic art, grammar, and geometry along with her sister Thalia.
  • Ourania – celestial objects and stars; invented astronomy.  (Her name sounds eerily like “Uranus”, dunnit?)
  • Calliope – the superior muse, imposer of serenity and justice, and protector of heroic poems and rhetoric art.

 the-9-muses-of-greek-mythology_full_size_landscape1

And don’t get me started on epistemology.

Good things are happening this week!  I decided to start diversifying my activities, and rekindle a few old creative flames, to offset my day-job blah.  As a result:

I have been invited to play at a jazz recital in June, and soon afterwards, to start teaching guitar at Zabinski music studio, in Pawtucket’s Hope Artiste Village.  Very excited!  So I will get to test my new crazy solo jazz-classical style on a real live audience.  Fingers crossed they don’t pelt me with rotten tomatoes.  I also want to start a mosh pit of really small children, and make this venture mutually entertaining. It has been approximately 12 years since I last played live, so my heart is thanking me profusely for getting off my arse again.

I also just did an interview with Motif magazine, a local arts / entertainment paper, for a feature they’re writing on me in their next issue, focusing on the publication and sale of “Vegetables” in Machine of Death, and my current mission to film-script the story and try to sell that on the back of some media-whoring I’m planning.

This weekend is also Gaspee Days festival in Warwick’s Pawtuxet Village, so if you’re heading down there, look out for my friend Kari, and her incredible macramé jewelry designs at the Fnurra Smycken tent!  If you buy lots of her stuff this weekend as a result of my pitch, I reckon she might buy me a beer next time we’re out.  But I haven’t proposed this to her yet, and I still owe her a shot of Jameson’s.  Seriously though, her work is truly awesome.

 

Have a great long weekend folks!  I’m not getting out of bed on Monday, for any reason.  By Tuesday, my reason will be to shower and change the sheets.

In one form or another I’ve had that “Ninja Pencil” blog theme kicking around in various guises, initially as the term used to relate to artwork I was trying to promote.  But now I’m not there any more, I’m here, a few years later, and so I’m bidding the ninjas farewell and going to train under the warrior monk Lu-Tze, from Terry Pratchett’s Thief of Time.  I obviously can’t stop thinking about time-travel.   Pratchett and Star Trek are equally responsible.  And maybe Galactica, with their jump drives and FTL technology.  I think if I need to get serious about my writing, I need to start channeling JJ Abrams or Gene Rodenberry in my pre-scriptionic meditation rituals.  And if I can channel the Great Bird of the Universe, then I’m gonna start channeling Robert Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and Cliff Burton when I play guitar, and Jerry Goldsmith when I write music.

I joined the local YMCA a few days ago, and the place is great, not to mention yuge!  They’ve got a big indoor rock-wall which I’m dying to try out, and they have induction sessions which I plan on attending pretty soon.  So yesterday I swam for the first time in forever, getting to about 750 or 800 meters before they closed at 2.  I wanted to keep going, so instead I sulked in the steam-room for about forty five minutes.  It was most traumatic.  And then, for consolation, I met a friend for beers at Dave’s on Post Road in Warwick.  Yesterday was fun.  This weekend, I am doing as little as possible.

CC

Today is gorgeous, and I need to shave my stubbly mush and get out there pronto, before the sun goes away. But that’s OK – plans are in place, razor is available and I just need to convince my lazy posterior to get off the chair and spring into action. I had a dream last night in which my fingers were bananas, and have been trying unsuccessfully to figure out what this means. You could call it ‘Fruit Claws Analysis’.

I drafted a new story for Machine of Death 2 this last couple of weeks, but it’s all over the place and requires effort I can’t be bothered to expend. The deadline I think is July 15th, so if I can get my act together by then I will send it in, but if not then I won’t lose any sleep either.

Trying to get re-enrolled for Fall classes, but I took too much time out this year so I had to re-admit into school; last class I took was Operating Systems in Fall 2010. It was all good though; during my break I learned php, MySQL, html, CSS, a little Javascript, and I started playing guitar again, after about 7 years off. I just got back in touch with some old friends from England, which was nice, and I have been writing some recreational funny non-fic, which I will post on the Understatement in a couple of weeks when things settle down.

This afternoon we’re going to a cookout at Ed and Noelle’s house, so get to play with them and their cool dog Joey and their cool baby Declan. I’m looking forward to it; I’ve missed those guys and need some easy, undemanding fun downtime. My other friend Andres just had a baby yesterday, my brother Nick is having a baby in about ten weeks, our friends Sean and Amy had a baby last month, who I got to meet recently, and so in the good news, procreation is still occurring, and life is like a Nora Ephron movie. This definitely beats the Tarantino movie life of last month, and will suffice through the summer, after which it’ll be more like Tron or Lawnmower Man, when I hibernate inside the grid ready for Winter.

And if you need some amazing music, here are 5 stations you MUST create on Pandora radio:

Beats Antique, Massive Attack, Hank Jones, Medeski Martin & Wood, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Right now, on Beats Antique, a dub-electronica-symphonic groove-string remix of Led Zep’s Kashmir is playing, by Bond, and it is blowing my mind.

I liked this last few weeks, even though parts of it made me a bit blue; in the not-so-goods was: 4 of my favorite colleagues had their last days at work, one retiring and three moving onto new opportunities. That involved far more beer than I had intended, but they’re all worth it.

In the good stuff, I made some fine headway with the new web app, building significant templates for several of the key pages, and even coding in some Javascript that makes popups of varying sizes without navigation / URL / Menu or scroll bars cluttering up the place. I even coded in some buttons and form elements which don’t do much yet, but are now ready and waiting for that fateful day when they have a SQL table ready to catch whatever dear information they may hold, and deliver it safely into the guts of the Internet. Now I’m thinking about Drupal, and wondering if that would either help or hinder my learning experience.

I also had a birthday this weekend, which typically makes me feel strange and start contemplating mortality, and other happy morbid existential pensive ruminations, and I spent a whole lot of time revisiting my relationship with ye olde guitar, which is coming on stronger and faster than I had anticipated. (And maybe for the first time in my life, I’m loving it. I used to like it, but have never loved it.) Thinking about subscribing to Acoustic Guitar mag, and whereas I spent my life using electrics, I’m now suddenly engrossed in blues and jazz and crazy chords, and wayyyyyyyyyyyy focusing on developing a lightning fast and accurate fingerstylin’ right hand. Does this mean I’m getting old, just because I wanna be Robert Johnson combined with Bela Fleck and John Williams?

But I’ve already been far more productive than I intended, so for the rest of the day we’re continuing our mega sci-fi marathon, with Children of Dune. Desert Power, and Muad Fn’ Dib baby!

Here are some pictures of my new lurve; I have yet to think of a name…

This week is / was a doooooooozy, aka a coincidental cluster of circumstances which require me (and my workmates) to run round like blue-arsed flies balancing it. We have a Nadcap audit in progress, someone in my department just left and so I partially (temporarily) inherited Rolls Royce, and my regular backup is out for some different training, so I’m juggling and cartwheeling all the way to the asylum. But I’m determined to take this Saturday off, because Sunday morning I’m flying out to CA for a week, for training of my own. But… we had some great news this week, and one of my first programs I built in VBA has been put to amazing use by my colleagues, and yielded some pretty cool results which pleased one of our customers (and management) greatly.

And… I finally bought a pretty, solid-top classical guitar on Saturday, which having not played in several years feels good yet extremely clunky and awkward. And on Sunday, my nephew and I went to Dave & Busters Arcade and shot the hell out of zombies, terrorists and Terminators. The new T4 Salvation game is awesome, and the guns are badass, but the only downside is that you can’t bring yourself to stop playing until your wrists are screaming in agony.

So in the list of stuff I haven’t achieved:

* Didn’t work on the new web application

* Haven’t slept enough

* Haven’t shaved my head since last week, so it may require the electric shears prior to the manual razor

* I didn’t learn banjo, (although I never wanted or intended to); but I did listen to Bela Fleck a bit over the weekend

Tonight we’re just kicking back and watching a couple of Stargate Universe episodes on Hulu, and tomorrow the audit will be done, so things will start to settle down.