Wednesday, November 17, 2010
On the Move
I know that in my last entry I promised you a scorcher, but I just don't have the heart for it. It was bad. For now, though, let's just leave it at that. I'll write about it when I'm ready.
At present, I will content myself to discuss the more relevant (and decidedly more pleasant) subject of the packed schedule I have for the following week.
Living at home, particularly while being off from school, is an odd thing in many ways. I have no classes but have not graduated; I work two jobs, but together they add to only a few days a week; I have limitless time, but few social engagements.
The slow pace of things, and the knowledge that nothing in particular is expected or really needed of me, creates a set of circumstances wherein it would be easy to sink into sloth and boredom. To be honest, that can be rather dispiriting, so I've taken to creating my own tasks and deadlines.
The hardest thing for me has been the lack of social interaction.
At school I became accustomed to going out every weekend, meeting up with friends for casual dinners during the week, attending endless bashes across campus, and enjoying the serendipitous encoutners that are a constant occurrence on any university campus.
To be sure, there are many positive things about being in Mountain Town: there's no homework, and while everyone else is stressing over exams I'm reading five books at a time and enjoying spinach-and-bean soup.
Still, though, it can be tough. I'm a person who needs other people as an outlet for my own good cheer, and being in a small town where I have few friends has been lonely.
For that reason, my plans for the next week or so are rather exciting.
Tonight, I will send out e-mails to get information for a News Website story I'm writing. Tomorrow I'll work from eleven to four before heading out for a musical meetup at five, and then on Friday the real fun begins.
After working a full shift at Mountain Town Book Shop, I will leave around five o'clock for what promises to be a debauched weekend at Major University. Red-Haired Friend is turning twenty-two, and we're using the occasion as an opportunity for a reunion.
I made a similar trip last month and had great fun, and my visit this weekend promises to be even better.
Rather than bunking with Red-Haired Friend I'll be staying in Laquesha's dorm. For those of you who don't know, Laquesha is one of my closest friends, a fact that has come as something of a surprise to both of us given that we barely knew each other until last spring.
We met through Red-Haired friend and our initial interactions were actually a bit awkward. After a few immodest party incidents, though, and enough conversations to determine a shared penchant for ribaldry and weirdness, we started to get along rather well.
What up until then had been an unusually friendly casual acquaintance really blossomed this summer when Laquesha, a biology major, was assigned to a facility in a rural part of this state only about twenty minutes from my house.
Isolated from our peers at Major University and with all the issues common of young people trying to forge their place in the world, we provided each other with constant company and by the end of the holiday had grown very close.
"What the hell are they laughing at?" asked an attendee at Red-Haired Friend's October party.
Laquesha and I had been playing a crass and lowbrow game of my own invention, one that involves inferring sexual innuendo from unsuspecting bystanders' casual conversations.
"I have no idea," Red-Haired Friend said, casting a glance our way as our ill-concealed laughter grew more raucous. "But apparently they have their own language now. I'm not used to them being best buddies."
To lighten the hospitality load on Red-Haired Friend, who would have more difficulty accommodating me as all of her roommates are in town this weekend, I'll be staying on an air mattress at Laquesha's place.
This should work out well on several levels.
To begin with, Laquesha and I share a similarly demented sense of humor.
Using a display on her door, Laquesha divines the innermost thoughts of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Furthermore, Laquesha's building is nearly in the middle of campus while Red-Haired Friend's is more removed, which will make accessing the dining hall far easier.
On Friday night Red-Haired Friend, Laquesha, Asian Boy (Laquesha's new boyfriend), and I will go out to see Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream; while on Saturday we will direct ourselves to far less admirable amusements, throwing a raucous and drunken celebration for Red-Haired Friend's twenty-second birthday.
On Sunday it's back to Mountain Town, but only for one night.
I leave Monday morning for Native State, where I'll spend five nights with Grand Ma Normal Family. My grandmother had been wanting to hold a large Thanksgiving dinner, but Aunt Crazy expressed a desire to host this year so we'll be congregating there along with almost twenty other relatives for the holiday feast.
I'm greatly looking forward to a week of great friends, great family, and awesome food.
Even here, though, I've been keeping relatively busy.
I'm still working at Mountain Town Book Shop and have now added a second job writing news articles for News Website, which operates out of the Goldlands. Beyond those two occupations, I've devoted far more time to creative pursuits than I would ordinarily be able to.
Many of you will remember that after my unsatisfactory meeting with some high-profile record executives in September I resolved to come home and record my demo. Thus far, efforts in that direction have progressed more quickly than I would have imagined.
I contacted a local recording studio and found them willing to provide me with two hours of time plus mixing and mastering for only $200.00, whereupon I sought out qualified musicians to help me.
The man who responded to my online advertisement was, unexpectedly a drummer in an already-signed band.
When I asked as politely as possible why he was so interested in helping me, he replied that he was "looking for a fun side project."
Evidently my original song sounded quite fun indeed, as before long his band's guitarist had signed on to the effort as well. After a meeting at Starbucks during which both parties determined that neither was secretly hoping to kill and dismember the other, we reassembled at the drummer's house and got to work coming up with instrumental parts to go along with my lyrics.
Unfortunately for my readers (and really for me as well, as I find sharing such things endlessly gratifying) I will not be posting any audio of these numbers or even disclosing the tracks' names.
I've been fairly open about my music before, but it's recently dawned on me that on the off chance I actually succeed I should probably take greater pains to conceal my identity.
This wasn't something I'd really taken into account up until now, but following my audience with senior personalities in the recording industry I realized that I'd come within striking distance of actual fame. Had the record men decided they liked me I might be in a very different position right now, and my faith in my abilities is such that I'm not willing to dismiss outright the possibility that I could encounter a similar opportunity in the future.
The last thing I need is an errant reader to be driving down the road one day, hear a song they recognize as mine, and then exclaim, "My God, it's BB!" before crashing head-on into a tree.
The process behind the music, however, is still open to total disclosure, and I am very happy to report the results in that area.
My first jam session with the guitarist and drummer yielded a huge amount accomplished in only three hours.
The fundamentals of Cathartic Breakup Song are finished and all that's left to finalize are specific riffs.
Meanwhile, enough was written for Wounded Anger Song that the drummer suggested recording it as well.
"We can definitely knock out the first song in an hour," he said. "And if you're paying for two hours anyway, you might as well get your money's worth."
The refreshing modesty and enormous talent of the two musicians helped matters along very nicely; the guitarist picked up on my embryonic chord ideas by ear and within minutes had expanded them into expressive and catchy melodies.
Their enthusiasm for the project took me a little offguard.
"You're a really good vocalist," the guitarist said. "It's enjoyable."
So enjoyable, in fact, that the two musicians would like to write music for my entire catalogue. When I inquired why they would wish to do such a thing, given the brevity of our association, they said they were hoping I'd play out with them.
"You're way too mainstream for our label," one of them confided in me honestly. "They would never sign you. But the music is fun to play."
I've been giving time to another endeavor as well: my query letter for Captain Vanilla and the Great Adventure has now been submitted to three different literary agents.
That update should keep you and me sated for a while. I'll be sure to post more from Native State or soon after I return.