Archive for the 'music' Category

who plays?


I own two guitars. One acoustic, one electric. I own an amp and speaker. I own a tuner. I own picks. I display my acoustic guitar on our living room wall. So when someone sees it and asks, “who plays?”, the answer is a bit embarrassing. Because the answer is… well… no one.

I had great aspirations of learning to play about ten years ago. My parents and brother went in together on an acoustic guitar as a Christmas present for me back then. They also got me a few “self teach” books, which I poured over with great interest. One of the books was a “tabs” approach, where you just learned the placement of your fingers to play certain songs, not really learning the larger lessons about music, but at the end of the day, you were producing a sound recognizable as a song.

I continued to tinker around with my guitar, not really progressing much, but having fun with it. I practiced a few songs, mostly Beatles. They were simple to learn and I loved them, so it motivated me to play. By the end of the year, I had memorized a few songs and could proudly state that, yes, I played the guitar.

I had a hard time pushing the strings down with enough pressure to always get the sound I was going for. I lacked the finger strength and wasn’t playing enough to gain it any time soon. I mentioned it to my brother at some point during the year. He thought I might have an easier time with an electric guitar, as the strings are closer to the body and neck, and let me try his guitar. He was right, the electric was easier to play, and it was fun! Hooking up an amp and speaker made playing undoubtedly more fun. So the following Christmas, my parents and brother got me an electric guitar, amp and speaker. I played quite a bit when I initially got it, but after a few years, the newness wore off, life became busier, and eventually the guitar sat unused.

Fast forward to today. Those songs I once knew have faded from memory. I’m not sure what notes the strings are called anymore. I don’t remember any chords. Every so often, I pull the guitar off the wall and strum it a bit. C loves to play it, so we’ve pulled it down more since she’s shown interest. We don’t produce any noises that might be mistaken as “music”, but we have fun with it.

I envision sitting and playing guitar with C one day. I’d love for her to have a solid foundation with musical instruments, right along with one uncle, who plays guitar and bass, and the other, who plays the drums. It seems like a fundamental skill for a kid, ya know? I would love to take our acoustic guitar camping with us and sit around the camp fire, playing simple melodies to paint the night with music. There’s something romantic about the simplicity of it all. No synthesizers, no machines, no autotune, just good ‘ole fashion music.

My new years resolution this year? Learn to play that darn thing. Again. The real way this time.


Music Time

We went to the Arcade Fire concert in Berkeley last night. They put on a good show – sounding much like their album and putting a good stage presence out there.

I visited Berkeley a bit when my brother went to school there, and then again later when I lived in the bay area, so I have a few local places that I know and love… one of which is Zachary’s Chicago Pizza. We attempted to go to Zachary’s last night, but due to the size of our group (there were 10 of us) and the timeline for being at the concert, it didn’t work out like I’d hoped.

We opted to park the van at the concert and venture out into the city on foot instead. I had a few other places marked out on a map, and a pretty good idea of how to get there, but when I asked directions from a local Berkelian, they looked at me like I was on dope for wanting to walk that far. Few options remaining, we headed down the hill to see what we could find along the way.

Luck was with us, as we came upon a pretty tasty pizza by the slice place, and sat down to devour our dinner and enjoy some beer.

The show ended late, and we finally made our way home around 2am – it was a long night, but it was worth it – a great show, some tasty eats and a good group of people.

The February & March Update

My January update was suppose to be the start of a trend – monthly updates recapping on the prior month’s events. Alas, my blogging dedication is not what it used to be, and updates are less and less frequent. So here’s the latest…

February was a strange month. I found a new job, went through a strained last two weeks at my old job, and ended off the month in a fantastically exciting new company. I won’t go through the details of the last few weeks at the old job – let’s just say that the last few weeks there were like no other. The new job is an incredible opportunity for me to expand my technical accounting knowledge (research and whatnot) and learn an incredible amount about the real estate development industry. I’m a part of a team of 8 people at the new job – more specifically, 1 of 2 total accounting personnel. The office is very high energy, a fun environment, and offers a great work life balance (this is the first time in my career that I’ve left at 5pm every night!). The position deals with partnership and public accounting, and offers a nice balance of the two.

It was Tina’s birthday in February – so to celebrate, she planned a weekend in Reno. I met her and Edna at Circus Circus for the weekend. We went to a comedy show where the opener was much funnier than the headliner, at at a buffet, gambled a bit, slept a bit, gambled some more, got some breakfast, then headed home.

For Valentine’s day, Ben & I celebrated a bit late, and went to our favorite restaurant, The Slocum House, on Saturday night. Their filet mignon is the BEST.

The month finished off with our friend, Sharaun, going into labor; me starting my new job; Keaton being born; and finally, Ben & I went to visit Keaton!

March brought even more excitement – There seems to be an insanely disproportionate number of birthdays in March. I think I know 5 or 6 people who have birthdays in March. This month has gotta be the topper for my single degree of separation. Putting this to the test further, I’m guessing that my March birthday theory extends out, and that August is a popular month for conception (which happens to also be my birth month… weird!). Anyway, one special person in particular was born in March – Ben! I thanked him for being born in his card. Not really much under his control, but given the number of births that have been happening lately (3 that I know of so far from Feb 27 – end of March), I felt it was an appropriate comment.

Ben & I went to the Franz Ferdinand & Death Cab For Cutie concert at Memorial Auditorium towards the end of March. Please, do me a favor – the next time I say that I’m going to a show at Memorial, please remind me of how much that venue SUCKS! The acoustics are HORRIBLE, and made the show unbearable when Franz took the stage. The redeeming part of the night – Death Cab was AWESOME. I love them. Their stage presense isn’t much, and the whole “interacting with the audience” thing doesn’t happen, but I still love them. Just seeing them on stage, 50 feet in front of me, awes me a bit. They’re akwardly cute – like you know that they are actually shy guys in real life, and don’t really enjoy the glam and glory of being a performer, but they do it for their fans anyway.

More wedding stuff – Ben & I got our guest list together, and have tried to include everyone that space and money will allow. It’s tough to pare down a list of friends and family. Anyone who’s married knows what I’m talking about, though.

We also finished our Save The Date cards, ordered part 1 of 2 of our favors, and I found my dress! I feel like everything is coming together so nicely – we’re right where I’d hoped. This gives plenty of time to tie up loose ends and finalize things before October!

Ben & I went to stockton and helped my brother install pergo-esque flooring in his kitchen. We gave them the demo, helped with the 40 square foot area (took us about 4 or 5 hours), and set them loose! We left Ben’s new table saw at Chris’ house… we’re hoping no limbs are lost during the unsupervised install :)

That’s it for the February & March update – hope you enjoyed it. Not promising anything as grand for April – I’m actually hoping this will be a somewhat unexciting and relaxing month.

On another note – it appears that my Firefox is broken, AGAIN. This time, the tabbing thing doesn’t work (tabs open in the browser window, but trying to click on them is pointless), and the addresses typed into the address bar disappear. Ie, it’s blank right now as I type, indicating that I’ve moved to the end of the internet and am now somehow in the abyss that lies beyond. Seriously, though, I think I just need a solid reinstall to fix it. But, ugh… pain in my butt. Made it near impossible to link in this entry.

My day consisted of a trip to the dump…

I woke up this morning with a blinding migraine. Possibly attributed to the dramatic change in weather; and possibly an after effect of the concert we went to on Thursday night. Three hours of sleep, two tylenol & a dose of caffeine later, I was in full recovery.

I’d planned on attending a BeautiControl meeting with my friend, Laila, and learning more about the product and sales techniques. She just become a consultant, and really believes in the product – which made me interested in becoming a consultant, too! Laila is going to come up to Sacramento for a BeautiControl party (which I will host!) later on in the month, so I guess I’ll have to make up for it then!

Later in the day, Ben & I took a trip to the dump. Nothing exciting, but the left over carpet (from the pergo install) and dead christmas tree mandated it. Ben headed out to the dump for the first load with the Christmas Tree (a free drop off) and checked out the prices for carpet dumping while there. Turns out one load was $15 – so when returning for the carpet, the idea was to fit 500 square feet of carpet and padding into the bed of Ben’s Ford Ranger and drop it off in one trip. I dunno how we did it (I should have taken a picture), but we did (well, more accurately, Ben did it). Carpet & padding piled to the top of the cab, padding in the cab, and rope holding it all in, we took the 15 mile journey out to the dump.

It was actually quite a sad experience. We backed into our designated “dumping space” and proceeded with our unload. While Ben was untying the rope, I took the opportunity to check out the items that were dropped off by the visitors just prior to us. Wicker basket, dvd player, cd walkman, soccer ball, coffee table, entertainment center… the list goes on and on. A small step down from thrift store selection; these were perfectly good items that could have benefited others, if only they’d been donated or left on the street with a “free” sign affixed. As we left, the plow came by and balled up all of the fore mentioned items. Crushing and collecting all of the abandoned items, rendering them completely useless and placing them in the true “trash” category.

It took about 15 minutes to clear our nostrils of the dump scent, but after the stench was gone, Ben & I realized we were actually hungry. Making good use of our new Entertainment Book (thanks mom & dad!) we stopped at Jack In the Box for and used our 2-for-1 coupon to purchase 2 salads and a diet coke (the soda wasn’t a part of the deal – that was a splurge).

Since the past few months have been rather “family oriented” and we haven’t seen much of our friends, Ben & I decided to see if Anthony & Melissa were available for dinner & a movie. We called in our pizza to Papa Murphy’s, once again using an Entertainment Book coupon (50% off – woohoo!), then stopped by Blockbuster to find a movie for our viewing pleasure. We’d hoped to pick up Wedding Crashers, but, alas, it was all rented out. So we grabbed The Skeleton Key as an alternate. Although Rotten Tomatoes trashed it (only 39% fresh), I enjoyed it. It had a great twist at the end that I was not expecting. I’m a bit biased in general, though, I love Kate Hudson. Ever since Almost Famous, she’s been in my top actress list.

Our evening ended around 9:30pm tonight. It seems like the nights get earlier and earlier as we get older and older. It’s 11pm now, and time for me to call it a night. It’s official – I’m finally an adult.

Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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