Archive for October, 2010

Post #118: What’s Interesting?

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Seek simplicity, and distrust it. - Alfred North Whitehead (1861 - 1947)
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time. - E. B. White (1899 - 1985), New Yorker, July 3, 1944

Dear Alice,

I was going to write about my musical purchases in the last week of my unemployment - e.g. my new guitar, new microphone, new “splitter” - but that’s not interesting.

I spent this weekend and last weekend, as well as last Thursday, up until 3 am, either chatting, or playing NHL2010 with my closest friends. Part of me feels like we’re being so wasteful with our time, but I love these guys, and twenty years into the future, that game is going to be nostalgic to us.

Today, I looked at the mayoral candidates for Toronto, and I’m not happy at all. Two hours of reading platforms and listening to debates didn’t convince me that Smitherman is the right guy for the job, so I’m reluctant to give him my vote. It’s annoying to be swayed by the early polls, which basically encourage you to be sheep instead of seek out information on your own. Ugh. The system is broken, I tells ya.

Back to real life. Frisbee is over this Thursday. I’m going to try out some Martial Arts, starting Tuesday. For some reason, I can sense my song-writing just hibernating until spring time.

David =B~)

Post #117: Driving Lessons

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers. ~Dave Barry, “Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn”

Dear Alice,

Driving lessons are sweet, when you don’t have a car of your own. Some people drive everyday to get places. I just drive for the experience.

You might wonder, “What’s got David on the road”, and then come up with thoughts like touring, or road trips. The truth is that I have a reoccurring dream which involves me driving. I’m on the highway, and then I get pulled over by the police because I don’t have a licence. It’s a very annoying dream sequence.

In short, my dreams require real life interventions.
*guitar shredding!*

David =B~)

Post #116: On Cue, Take Two

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive… then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. - Howard Thurman

Dear Alice,

This Sunday appearance was nice enough. I brought new tunes to the set, and while I choked on a number of them, nobody complained.

I brought my own gear, as I wanted to do more intricate guitar work. I brought my own mic, and hooked it up to my amplifier through a small TASCAM bus. The new puzzle is how to set up a “monitor”, so I can hear what’s going through my speaker. We had to position the speaker away from the mic to avoid feedback, and so I spent the full two hours just hoping that my voice wasn’t too loud and my guitar wasn’t too soft.

Luckily, I had one fellow at the bar who became my live audience. I’d finish a song, and he’d tell me a story, while I riffed on the guitar for a bit. It was nice. We stayed back after my set and we and another guy closed the bar together. He’s quite the engaging conversationalist! The only problem is that he goes off on tangents permanently, and without warning. I loved the chatting, until I realized that I had developed a small headache. :) I still have one, actually.

David =B~)

Post #115: Listening Quotes

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Dear Alice,

There were way too many good quotes on listening for me to sit back and not post them.

A good listener is not someone with nothing to say. A good listener is a good talker with a sore throat. - Katharine Whitehorn

A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with. - Kenneth A. Wells

Probably the biggest advantage of success resides in the fact that you don’t have to listen to good advice any more - (not listed)

Last, but not least,

Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals. - J. Isham

I’m in love with this one. It’s the difference between a heart turned on and a heart turned off.

David =B~)

Post #114: First Paying Gig

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Listening is the only way to entertain some folks - Kim Hubbard
Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter because nobody listens. - Nick Diamos

Dear Alice,

Playing for patrons is much nicer. Sure, you’ve got to play for two hours, but really, you’re just a buzz in the background. You can play whatever you want, and as long as you don’t eff things up too badly, no one’s going to complain.

I got to On Cue Billiards (Jane and Annette St) and we started setting up the stage for the pool hall. He rolled the big 50″ TV out of the corner of the room, turned on the spotlight, and said, “It’s all yours.” No microphone, no amplifier, nothing. Now, I’m looking at three or four tables in front of me, and then down a long hall of pool tables - seven, a side - across which my tunes are supposed to be heard.

But hey, it went well enough. I’ve got a powerful voice. It was just like busking - less finger picking, more open chords. They clapped at my Moondance and Hallelujah, and the bartender asked me to play Weird Al’s “One More Minute” twice. He invited me back for the following Sunday.

I felt great on the way back home. I was filled with ideas for new tunes to play for next time - CCR, baby! - and wrote them all down before I could wake up the next morning and return to the usual state of unemployed lethargy. I just got my old, portable, guitar amplifier back, and I spent an hour today, figuring out how I could plug a microphone into it. Hopefully, we’ll work around the feedback issue when I bring the gear in on Sunday.

Aighty. Party tomorrow!

David =B~)