Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Navins at Tim's Tavern, 5/23/15

It's the Navins!

First time for me and us playing Tim's Tavern, all the way up just west of the Northgate Mall. I got there for load in and it was a tiny little place. Felt like playing in a friend's basement. Sort of weird location, too; it was just on the outside of a residential neighborhood. In fact, just over the wall to the "beer garden" (enclosed patio space) was a home of some sort.

In the bar, I was cozied up to by some large, hairy man. He kept bumping me and apologizing. Eventually he forced himself onto me, introducing himself as Sam. It was pretty clear that Sam had already been drinking for some time and was quite drunk by the late hour of 8:15pm.

He asked me about my musical influences and told me repeatedly that I was going to be "amazing" tonight. It was sort of annoying and awkward until I went to the bathroom and excused myself from his presence.

The show was supposed to start at 9 and I don't think the first band went on until 9:30. I wish they never started at all as they were pretty lousy. I'll keep them anonymous, but they were rough. A quartet, featuring a drummer, guitarist, 6-string bassist, and a female singer. At first I thought the singer was a barfly, but then she got in front of the band and proceeded singing.

Her voice was Geddy Lee/Fly By Night era shrill. It was up there and it was an assault on our ears. Me and my mates headed for the beer garden, where it was still pretty loud, but at least it was muffled.

Eventually, they finished their 12 song set (mercifully shortened to 10 songs), and we took the stage.

The first song, Never Wanted Nothing, went over pretty well. I felt like it was a good opener and we played it well. However, we started the second song, Take It Away, one that I sing, and it was off to the races.

That seemed to be the theme for the night: all our songs seemed to be played at Mach 1. Normally I try to really pull the tempo back but instead, I just rode it out. There were not a lot of people there and it was like a glorified rehearsal, so we just played the songs fast.

I felt pretty comfortable singing, too. I did screw up some lyrics on What You Do, which I seem to always screw up. I'm trying to throw in some "yeahs" and grunts/punctuations during the songs, too. Some inflections to make it more interesting. Still a work in progress but having fun learning each time.

Overall, despite the speediness of the tunes, I think we played better than we did at the Mix. And people said they could hear everything, too. The Mix had problems with the, er, mix that first show.

Anyway, back to it on Thursday and our next show is in June at the Victory Lounge.

Such a slacker

Been a few weeks.

Haley had a concussion the past week. Apparently she bumped/got tackled/tripped during P.E. and fell down, basically whipping her head and neck. Her head didn't hit the ground, but her brain bounced in her skull.

We had her take it easy the past week or so, but according to one pediatrician, we should not have had her go to school as she was having some headaches. Luckily it's a long weekend right now and she's sort of hanging loose and getting better.

***

I met with a former co-worker recently for a coffee and a potential business opportunity. Nothing worth reporting yet, but it was cool to get back in touch.

***

OH! On Mother's Day the family and I went to our favorite place, Old Navy. In their "impulse buy" section, I spotted a box with a watch and 3 NATO straps for $5.97. There were two types of watches, black and white, and depending on which watch pack you got, you got the straps for that pack. For that price, though? I grabbed both a black and white watch. They are super cheap, but they look great and are of the pilot variety. And the straps fit two of my other watches, so for about $13.00 out the door, I really juiced up my little collection.

***

My hair is long enough to wear in a ponytail or a bun all day if I want. I pretty much do it at home or on weekends, but not super comfortable at work doing it yet. Mainly cause I don't want Ed to bust my balls, but whatever. I did the other day and it was fine.

***

Great update, huh?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Navins at the Mix, 4/25/15

Show one is under our belts.

Headed out last night, got flipped off by some chick in a minivan just for passing her on the way. Got to the club and had to circle around as the road directly in front of the Mix is under construction and all blocked off.

Loaded in and set up and realized that for the last 5 months at rehearsals, we practice in a circle, facing each other. This was the first time setting up on a stage. But after a moment of confusion, I figured it out. Years of experience, and all. Also, Corey told me where I should be.

We thought we would have a 9pm start time, but it got pushed to 9:30, which was just fine with me. It was our first show and, believe it or not, I actually had some friends come out. I was stoked! David and Gregg from the Scheme were there, as were a bunch of friends who I worked with at a Very Large Software Company.

I was able to catch up with my friends and have a great time before we jumped on stage. We didn't get a sound check, but the sound guy did tell us that his PA wasn't the best and we would have to modulate the vocals by turning down our guitars and playing quieter. So, we had to worry about that. I was also concerned with the inevitable tempo increase. It seems like at every first show, though you're not nervous, you end up playing differently anyway. Other than that, it was pretty much business as usual.

We started the set with "Judy," a song inspired by a horror movie. Or something. All these songs were written before I joined. I know the words and the music and that's about it. I felt pretty good about the tempo. I always seem to mix up notes on this song, though, and through the first verse, it was fine. But at the intro leading to the second verse, yup, there was the screw-up. I hit a D instead of an A. I noticed, but hopefully it wasn't too bad.

And, as we sang the song, it was pretty clear the vocals were quiet. They were barely audible through the monitors on stage; I was told later the FOH vocals were quiet and needed to be increased. When we brought it to the sound man's attention, he scolded us and told us to sing louder or turn down.

So we played on.

The next song was "Take It Away," which marked my debut at singing lead. We started the song, tempo felt good, got to where I sing and I was able to pull it off. I felt pretty comfortable doing it and noticed a few things:
  1. Singing background vocals, I never had to be anchored to the mic. I'd sing my bit, then back off the mic. Singing lead, I have to remember to stay by the mic between lines.
  2. By being anchored to the mic, I can move around less. However, I always try to be energetic when playing and need to remember to be visually interesting. I found myself forgetting to do so and don't ever want to be static up there.
  3. I didn't realize this until the end of the night, but I have to trust the sound guy. I have to sing and not worry about backing off the mic, things like that. The worst thing is to finish the set and have someone say that they couldn't hear you sing/play/etc. The sound guy is paid to make us sound good. I just have to sing.
Through the first two songs, there were a couple mix ups. After the show, Corey mentioned he couldn't hear anything. I didn't notice if he had a monitor or not, but I did notice he wasn't singing some of the parts he normally sings. Or maybe I just didn't hear him.

Overall, it was a nice first show. We all had flubs and screw-ups, but nothing that derailed the show. I felt like I sang pretty well, but I'm gonna pick David's brain to see what he thought. I've given him some feedback about his shows, so I'm curious about what he thought about ours.

We did have some tempo issues. I'm not sure how to address them. I've mentioned it a bunch of times in practice, and even before a few songs last night. But we still sped them up, despite me trying to lay way back to pull back the tempo. I guess there was a guy shooting video so we'll see what that shows, but we always record practice and we always speed up. So it's nothing new. But we're not fixing it, and that's driving me crazy. The guys have told me before, "It's just rock and roll." Which is true, but that doesn't give us an excuse to not be the best band we can be.

After the show, I got to hang with my pals and had such a great time talking to them. These guys are all 10-15 years younger than me, but for whatever reason, I relate to them really well. Maybe it was the battles we went through in our jobs together. But I think it's just that they're all really great people.

A few news bombs were dropped last night, but I won't go into detail here. I doubt anyone is reading, but some things just don't need to be blogged. Nevertheless, the news was all good and inspiring and full of the feelings.

Oh yeah, my friend Alexis took a sweet picture. Check it out.


My other pal, Kyle, took a bunch of pictures too. I can't wait to see them. Next show, May 23rd at Tim's Tavern somewhere up north.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Birthday, Haley!

Apparently tomorrow is Haley's birthday. She is getting quite the haul, it seems. Take a look.


Not bad, if you ask me.

A few weeks ago she had a bit of a fit. We were asking her what she wanted to do for her birthday and she didn't know. She does know that money is always tight and she was being considerate of that, but, in her own sullen way, she said, "we don't have to do anything, it's not that big a deal." Which, when a tween says that, it really means, "WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING, BUT I'LL NEVER LET YOU KNOW THAT I WANT TO DO SOMETHING."

I know. I was the same way.

Anyhow, we told her if she really didn't want to do anything, she didn't have to. We want her to be able to make her decisions. Then she said she wanted to do something, but didn't know what. We went back and forth and she lost her marbles. Which led to her screaming that she wanted to turn 11, not 13.

Ah.

Though we cannot stop the hands of time, Haley would love to do that. She's been doing stuff in school to put the idea of college in her mind. She took sex ed last year. Her friends are all maturing and it's just a weird place for her. She's still a skinny mini and is not ready to grow up yet. So, that's why I think she freaked out.

But since then, I think she's embraced the idea of being 13. Or, at least turning 13.

She mentioned her girlfriends have been talking about decorating her locker. And I think she's gonna have a great time at school. We have all the gifts for her tomorrow morning. And this weekend, she has something like 10 friends coming to the house for a party.

She's gotten really good at managing her time. Her classes give her a ton of homework and there's nights she's up to past 10pm finishing up. It used to be that she had to be in bed by 9 or she had a horrible time functioning. Heck, I still like her to be in bed by then, but that simply doesn't happen anymore.

Most nights, she's in bed by 10, but the cool thing is, she's starting to know what that feels like and she knows what to expect. Instead of fighting being tired, she acknowledges it and deals with it.

I guess you could say she is maturing. She still gets mad if I ask her about boys. Like really mad. Sometimes she gets mad if I make a comment about her clothes. And not mean comments, nothing like that. But she is just an awesome girl and I'm super proud of the person she is.

Haley is funny, sweet, caring, thoughtful, nice, silly, compassionate, fun, and so much more. She is so much her mother's daughter at times, it's not even funny. Almost always, that's a good thing. Every once in a while (decision making, anyone?), it can be trying.

I guess this is just a rambling post about my daughter. I am so in love with her, it's silly. She really is the best. See the video a few posts down and you'll get it. In the meantime, enjoy some pictures.









Friday, April 10, 2015

Singing and playing, playing and singing

This little band I've been playing in lately is having me sing about 4 or 5 songs. Me! I've been singing backups for years and this is the first time I've been singing lead.

We're about 5 months in now (wow! 5 months already?) and it's coming along nicely. At first I wasn't so sure. Luckily, one of my bandmates records all the rehearsals and, believe it or not, it hasn't been all bad. I thought I would hate the sound of my own voice; it's not too bad. I just have to listen as if it's not my own voice.

The trouble is, all four of us sing and I'm not sure if we can all hear each other.

There are times when it doesn't sound too bad. Then there are times when it sounds quite rough. Some are nearly in tune, some aren't. It's never perfect, but it's also a lot worse than it should be.

I saw my ex-mates' band, The Pop Cycle, a few weeks ago. It was David's first show with Brett and his mates and it went pretty well. What I really noticed, though, was how much better their vocals sounded than my band's vocals. With this new inspiration, I brought it to my bandmates' attention.

At first, the guys seemed to play it off, like, "hell, man, it's rock and roll, what do you expect?" I told them we should be better, that I didn't want to go out there and sound like crap. I didn't want people to say, "well, the band sounds pretty good, but man, they suck at singing!" I want it all to be good.

So we started practicing a little more on the vocals. It has gotten a bit better. But it's still rough. I think the guys are used to just playing and not worrying too much about vox, as they've been a "garage" band, and all.

Well, I was spoiled by the singing in the bands I've been in in the past and I'm trying to bring these guys up. They can all sing and so can I. We just need to all get on the same page.

Right now, I'm listening to the recording we did at last night's rehearsal. It's, meh, OK, etc. Like Simon Cowell says, "If I'm being honest," well, it's pretty bad. Especially the vocals. Add to the fact that me and Corey are off to the races on nearly every song and, well, you have a pretty rough rehearsal.

But the thing is, it wasn't that bad. Musically, it's pretty solid. But we definitely need to work on:
  • Vocals (lead and harmonies)
  • Tempos (too much pushing the beat)
I'm guilty of all the stuff I've mentioned, but I think some tough love may be necessary in order for those things I mentioned to improve.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Walking Dead

I'm a late-comer to The Walking Dead, not having watched it until the past year.

Well, that's not entirely true. I did watch the very first episode maybe before that. I remember seeing Rick Grimes get trapped in that tank, being mysteriously talked to by a wise-cracking voice on the walkie talkie.

It annoyed me then, that wise-cracking voice. You are surrounded by zombies, you are stuck in a tank, and your only chance at salvation is a guy who is cracking wise to you.

It annoyed me so much, I didn't watch any more episodes.

Then some time passed and I decided to give it another shot. Fast forward to now and, yes, I am caught up.

There have been some good moments on the show. I have enjoyed a good chunk of the show. But I can't shake some of the choices they make.

I keep thinking of LOST. Like how much I enjoyed LOST when it first started out. I had all these questions! Why did Oceanic 817 crash? Why is there a hatch on the island? What is the deal with the smoke monster? And so on, and so on. I've forgotten over the years.

But what I remember is, after a few seasons of LOST, I simply gave up on it. I got tired of the way the characters would talk to each other. Not like people surviving on a deserted island with smoke monsters, polar bears, weird stuff, but more like people seeing each other at the mall, or out on a bike ride.

I hated that.

The Walking Dead reminds me so much of LOST. You have Rick's crew, which is Jack Sheppard's crew. You have the zombies, which are like the Others. But where LOST seemed to (at first) have a path they were going down, TWD is simply this:
  • encounter zombies
  • kill zombies
  • experience loss/injury of group member
  • encounter new group. Are they friend or foe?
  • encounter zombies
  • etc, etc.
What's driving me nuts about TWD is it seems like they are introducing characters simply for the sake of introducing characters. Since Michonne showed up, what other character has brought anything to the table? Father Gabriel? Abraham? Eugene? The Latina? Tara? Bob? Sasha? Noah?

It seems like every time someone worthless dies on this show, they're replaced with someone equally worthless. I'm not caring for any of the newer characters; if they're not part of the original crew (Rick, Daryl, Carol, Carl, Michonne, Glen, Maggie), I don't care.

Plus, when does the show progress? Remember the questions from LOST? Here's the question I want to see raised on TWD:

What caused the zombie outbreak?

They acted like they were going to touch upon it at the end of S1, but once the CDC blew up, well, I guess that was that.

There's too much of the finding of new groups (Herschel's farm, the Governor's crew [and GOD did I hate that story arc; "the Governor?" Please, how lame of a name was that?], Terminus, Alexandria, and now the Wolves). Let me guess: once they get past the Wolves, there's gonna be a new, dangerous group that our heroes encounter.

So tired of this lazy story. Bring on Westeros.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Haley and me from 2006


You can't handle the cute. I can barely handle the cute.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Follies 1988

For whatever reason, I guess I'm on a nostalgia trip. It started a few days ago when Microsoft allowed OneDrive users to upload their own music to the cloud for streaming purposes. In other words, music you have that may be indie or DIY, not available to mainstream streaming, can be uploaded and shared to your devices.

Cool.

So I immediately uploaded a bunch of rehearsal tapes that I had from previous bands. Long story short, I was listening to an old band I was in, Starchief, and remembered how great the tunes both Johnny and Brett wrote were.

Fast forward to this weekend. I decided to look through all my old Video 8 tapes from the Sony camcorder days. When I was in bands starting in 2000 or so, I would record a lot of our shows in the clubs around town. The video resolution is uniformly terrible (no greater than 480, I think), but the audio isn't bad and the entire package is quite viewable.

I uploaded a few videos to YouTube in the past year as I had burned a bunch onto DVD a few years ago. Total irony: I took videos off tape to burn to DVD, only to rip off of DVD onto the computer to upload to YouTube. Pretty convoluted process.

Anyway, I got a wild hair to look for that camcorder and after a search, I found it. I've had the videos all along in a cabinet in the basement, so that wasn't a problem. Heck, I even labeled most of the tapes that I have.

I figured it was time to get these onto YouTube to "keep them safe," but in reality, "to get attention from strangers," when I post them onto all social media.

But having them in the cloud would make access much easier than popping in a tape and hitting FF or REW to find the spot you want. Who has time for that anymore??

I have one video uploading now, a show from 2004 with Starchief. I don't remember the venue, or the show, but it must have happened as I have video. And it sounds pretty good, too. So, in another 303 minutes (slow-ass CenturyLink), it'll be in YouTube's hands. Until then, I'm looking at other tapes.

Including a possible cringe-inducing one from 1988, when I was taking Mom and Dad's camcorder all over the place. This particular tape was shot likely in April or May of 1988, during my high school's annual talent show, The Follies.

I haven't watched this video and I don't know if I can stomach it now, almost 30 years later. The opening act was one of the school's Hot Girls, Michelle Mains, doing a dance BY HERSELF to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal."

And it was criminal.

Just watching the first minute or so, I'm thinking to myself, "Why would ANYONE dance by themselves in front of the whole school? WHAT POSSIBLE PURPOSE COULD IT SERVE?" But then again, she was the Hot Girl, and Quite Popular, so perhaps for her, it was NBD (no big deal).

Hit FF, see another popular senior, Steve Elder, playing "Candle in the Wind" in full Elton John regalia.

Hit FF, see Steve Thomas and Matt Arnold, both fellow band nerds, playing electronic drums and keyboards (respectively) to something so 80s, I could hardly stand it.

Hit FF, see three juniors under the name of DDT for Dave, Darin (I think) and Troy doing some terrible rap act. Oh my god, it is so terrible.

And so on.

Since I was playing bass back then, and no one else really did, I always had a gig come Follies time. This particular year, I was in several bands, IIRC. One of them was a group of senior guys doing "I'll Melt With You" by Modern English. I had my horrible little white Steinberger clone (Hohner, I think), and couldn't have been more out of place.

But when it happened, it was quite fun.

I don't remember specifically which year I did what, but I remember playing bass to
  • "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul
  • "Fight For Your Right to Party" by the Beastie Boys
  • some song by Jethro Tull
There may have been more, but my memory is fogged.

I may have to take a look. Or at least have the kids take a look.

Bands timeline

My bands over the years. All super famous and known around the world.



1995-1996 Grasshopper/Her Majesty's Secret Service










1998-2000 While Away

2001 Ethyl pre-Brett


2001-2003 Ethyl

















2003-2004 StarChief























2005-2013 Lund Bros.















2007-2013 The Scheme
















2013 Shake Some Action!





































2014- The Navins


The following bands I sat in on a few shows for here and there.


Static Radio
2011-2012 Yakup Trana




2012, 2014 Sightseer

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Quiet Wednesday afternoon musings

I'm planning on seeing a couple friends play in their new band tonight. I was hoping to get in on the guest list, but that's a no-go, so I figured, no big deal, pay the cover charge, enjoy the show.

As I'm not the home treasurer, I asked the home treasurer about getting $7 to go to the show. I was shut down. When I checked the bank, let's just say that even $7 was too much.

Both Marci and I got paid last Friday, and, being the middle of the month, the mortgage is due. After the mortgage and some groceries, well, we're tapped out. Usually our paydays don't fall on the same day, so this shouldn't happen too often, but, still, it sucks.

Then I hear that good friends of ours just made an offer on a house. A very expensive house. And large.

I'm super excited and happy for them, as they've worked hard and earned their success, but I'm also so envious.

It's not so much about the money. Sure, it'd be nice, solve some problems, alleviate some stress and frustrations. I think for me, it's more about just being able to exist comfortably and not have to wonder if it's OK to go to a $7 show.

It seems like I have lots of friends that are very successful. Lawyers, doctors, accountants, my own brothers, salespeople, you name it, they do it. And then there's me. Making an hourly wage that gets us by, but Marci really has to do some juggling. Not only that, she's working 30+ hours at her school and trying to get a home-based business started AND being a once-a-week nanny for some friends.

All this done by a woman who has MS and whose best way to treat MS is to take it easy.

Right.

I keep telling myself that we're lucky. And we are. Nice house, awesome family. Great neighborhood and neighbors. Full time employment with a company I love working for.

But I can't help but feel like a failure sometimes because one of my primary reasons for being (a provider) is not completely being fulfilled.

I'm not providing enough.

So, how do I provide more? I can't work more hours; they've put a big emphasis on watching our hours at work. I don't buy stuff. And before anyone hollers at me about the watches, I will say that those have come by way of selling other stuff or getting gift cards.

I have reached out to someone who I used to work for. I'm hoping that either she can mentor me or give me some tips and pointers on how to move up in the world. What I am doing currently is ok, but it is not going to get me anywhere, really. I need to go look for it and get it.

In the meantime, Haley let me borrow $7. She has already told me twice to not forget to pay her back.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

#welcometosouthcenter

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Seiko SNN079P2: It's a Watch!

 
My latest addition to the rotation. It's made by Seiko, it's quartz, it's not as big as I thought it would be, and it's my favorite watch.
 
I have another Seiko chronograph and since last summer, that was my favorite watch. Take a look:
 
 
I love this Seiko SDNA65 and it was my most worn watch over the past 6 months or so. I love the black PVD style, the orange second hand at 9 o'clock and the large chrono second hand. I love how when I reset the chrono, all the dials spin (especially the 1/20th second hand at 12 o'clock). It looks sweet on any of my NATO straps and the lume is outstanding.
 
Even so, I wore the watch once every few days, as I rotate my watches daily. I always got a kick out of being in a bright space our outdoors, then walking into a dark area and seeing that face just pop. Super cool.
 
After getting SDNA65, I got a few more watches and they all became part of the rotation. At Christmas, I got a digital watch that seemed to have a faulty countdown timer. I mean, if you're not going to beep as the time runs out, what's the point? Back to Amazon it went and the credit sat in my account.
 
I went on the hunt at Amazon with a criteria of a chronograph watch between $50 to $100. I wanted to pay as little out of pocket as possible. I ended up adding about 50 watches to a wish list, ranging from Casio to Timex to Android to Seiko and others.
 
I ended up seeing the SNN079P2 and it was at the top of my list for a bit, but just in case I saw something I liked even more, I kept on looking for a bit.
 
There were a few Seikos that eclipsed the $100 mark, but I decided that was more than I wanted to spend, especially when there was such a good looking watch below that. Plus, with some extra Chinese New Year cash, I was able to get the SNN079P2. I ended up paying only .12 cents out of pocket for this watch.



 
I ordered the watch on a Friday and I received it the following Tuesday. Out of the box it came and immediately I was struck by how not big it was. It wasn't necessarily small, but for whatever reason, the pictures at Amazon seem to make it look quite big. But that's OK. I'm not a big dude and I don't need a giant watch on my wrist.
 
It came on a plain two-piece black strap. Nothing to write home about, and it didn't float my boat. Lucky for me I still had a few dollars left and, since I work at a mall, I stopped by my local Fossil store and picked up a nice leather NATO strap. This watch is 20mm at the lugs; most of my NATOs are 22mm, so that's sort of a bummer, but on the flip side, new straps!
 
So this little watch has the beautiful orange hands, plus the word TACHYMETER in orange. It has that super cool date window at 9 o'clock, with 3 numbers visible. And it has a super unique coin bezel, which I wasn't too sure about at first, but now I really dig it. Pair it up with the gray/olive green NATO and it is a sharp looking unit.
 



Field trip

Last week I got to spend an entire day off as a chaperone on a field trip with Haley and her band/choir/orchestra mates. My group was with Hay and 7 of her female cohorts.

8 tweens.

Luckily, it wasn't as daunting as I thought.

We started the day at the school, where simply by default, I was going to be the cool dad. Even if I wasn't already cool, I still would've been the cool dad. My goodness, were some of the other parents super dorky.

Luckily, one of Haley's friend's mom was on the field trip too and, since we're already friendly, ended up chatting on the bus into Seattle.

Haley's group of girls was all good, too. Nice, listened, and generally had a good time. I just told them where to meet me and what I expected, and that I was going to be cool dad, and we were all good.

In Seattle, we stopped first at Benaroya Hall and saw a portion of the Seattle Symphony perform during their rehearsal. The conductor, who either had a Russian or French accent (I couldn't tell), was very interactive and took Q&A during the rehearsal. The kids were encouraged to use microphones to ask questions as well as volunteer to help conduct the orchestra.

 
The orchestra, as expected, sounded outstanding and for me, it was quite cool to hear these musicians at the top of their games. To have some of the technicalities and nuances of the music explained right after hearing it was pretty cool too.

From there, we walked a few blocks to Westlake, where we stood in line to jump on the monorail.

 
After the monorail, we ended up at the Seattle Center Center House, where we had lunch. I was approached by a long haired older Asian man and we had the following exchange:
 
Him: "Hey, man, you look coooool."
 
Me: "Right on. You look cool, too."
 
Him: "What's your name?"
 
Me: "Gwon. What's yours?"
 
Him: "John. This is for you."
 
He handed me a flower made from a leaf or something.
 
Me: "Nice, thanks."
 
And I thought that was that. Then he said, "Hey man, you have any change? I'm really hungry."
 
...
 
I gave him a few bucks and felt stupid for getting hustled. But he didn't look homeless!
 
Anyway, Hay, me and our friend Jennifer had lunch at a Mexican restaurant (not great) and then made our way to EMP.
 
 
 

EMP was cool. I had never been there and though it would have been cool to visit with my family, I have a feeling I'd be fighting the kids as they would have been quite bored. However, with Haley and her friends, they all just zoomed off, leaving me to the EMP by myself for a bit.

Which was sort of fun.

I got to see a bunch of Nirvana memorabilia, British Invasion stuff, Jimi Hendrix items. There was a horror exhibit, a fantasy exhibit, a Seahawks fan exhibit, and an area to play instruments upstairs, or at least attempt to play them. Only one bass exhibit though, I'm sad to report.

We got a nice, long time to hang out there, but even so, we ended up running out of things to see. I did get to hang out with Haley and her friend, Jilly, for a bit, though. That was fun. I had let the girls run around doing what they wanted, but Hay and Jilly got bored and tagged along with me for the rest of the time. That was fun to hang with them. They really get each other and it was a blast for me to just be with Haley.

At the end of it all, it was back on the buses to the Eastside. It was nice to get into Seattle and not have to pay for parking or have to rush around anywhere. It was sort of like being a tourist.

But the best part was just hanging out with Haley and having fun in our city.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

So many shows, so little time

What I'm watching now to fill my football void, in no particular order:
  • The Walking Dead
  • Better Call Saul
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Last Man on Earth
  • Top Gear UK
  • House of Cards
  • Parks and Recreation
With Game of Thrones and Mad Men on the horizon! And, time willing, I've been wanting to check out The Americans and Homeland too.

I really need to get a life.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Small world

I'm in another band now, called the Navins. No idea what it means but there you go. We meet once a week in West Seattle and have been practicing for about 3 months now. We have a show coming up on 4/4 at Slim's in Georgetown, so for the one of you reading this, come see us play.

I still don't know the guys all too well as we get together once a week for about 2 hours at a time, play some songs, work on some stuff, then go our separate ways. They still tell jokes about their old bassist and talk about stuff I have no clue about. But from friending up 2 of the other 3 guys on FB (one guy doesn't have an account, it appears), I'm learning a little about them.

Like the drummer, Corey, for instance. Today happens to be his birthday (thanks, Facebook). When I first met him, he was the contact for the band, he placed the ad on Craigslist. He worked for Microsoft at the time as someone in marketing, or something like that. But, I digress. He has a blog (seemingly dead for now) and he has taken lots of band pictures. In perusing the pictures, it appears he was at a show I played with the Lund Bros. way back in 2007. In fact, I swiped a poster and have it in my basement.

There were 5 bands on the bill. Lund Bros., The Beltholes, Glossary, Never (something), Never Still and Grand Champeen. Sadly, Corey only took pictures of the other 4 bands and none of Tacoma's Finest Power Pop Band.

I'll have to hit him up to see if he has any archival footage.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Latest obsessions

Like the title says, things I've obsessed about recently:
  • Watches. I got bit by the bug around my birthday last year and have amassed a collection of 11 affordable (sub-$100) watches. I wore my Omega Seamaster (received in 2000 as a wedding gift) for the previous 14 years.
  • Binge watching tv shows. Let's see, I've watched Game of Thrones, Louie, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Fall, Top Gear, Orphan Black, House of Cards, Hannibal, Bosch (just started), True Detective, among others.
  • Fieldgulls.com. This website offers awesome analysis of all things Seahawks. It's pretty in-depth, but makes for great Monday morning reading after games.
  • Mixcraft recording software. My new bandmates are all iPad guys and use Garage Band to record their ideas. Not only have I started to write some music, I needed to find a way to do it. Internet searching for a Garage Band equivalent for PC led me to Mixcraft. My 14 day trial is over, but it gave me a taste of what my PC, a USB Rock Band mic and some bad drum loops can do.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oh, hello.

I must really be bored. Dusting off the old BlogSpot website, looking at my hipster-foray into tumbler. But, while I wait for Riley's macaroni-and-cheese water to come to a boil, I figured I'd see what was up.

Looks like it has been nearly 3 years since I last posted here. Not sure why. I guess it's just not being motivated to, or laziness, or out of sight, out of mind, I suppose. Certainly there are things to write about, but for whatever reason, I just didn't.

Whatever.

I don't care/know if anyone else reads this or even cares, but I get a kick out of looking back every so often to see what was on my mind or what I was up to, etc., etc.

Currently, it is mid-winter break for the kids and Marci. I am on my first day off in 12 days. One of my co-workers is on vacation and was supposed to be back last night. However, due to Epic Mega Snow Storms in the East, she isn't and despite that, I'm still not working today. Go me!

Speaking of work, still working for Microsoft, however now I'm an assistant store manager in the lovely city of Tukwila, working at a Specialty Store in the Southcenter Mall. Kiosk life, there's nothing sweeter.

Marci is still teaching, but also getting off the ground with a home-based business for a company called Plexus. It's helped her health greatly and we hope it helps us with our finances as well. She's really busting her butt to make it work and it is slowly growing. Keep your fingers crossed!

Haley is in 7th grade and will be 13 in a few months.

13!

I can hardly believe it. She is so awesome 99% of the time. That 1% of the time she is just being a 'tween and I need to be better at recognizing that and walking away! She sure knows how to push my buttons, though.

She's doing a lot of running (who knew!) and plays bass clarinet just like I did way back when. She sounds pretty good and her teacher wants her to try out for all-city band next year.

Riley is now in 5th grade and he started playing trombone this year. It's pretty funny to hear him. The trombone is a fitting instrument for him. What's cool is hearing him progress. He definitely has improved since he first started and he is sounding pretty good. When he and Haley play together, it is a hoot. Marci and I have been trying to get them on video, but they freak out and stop whenever they see us filming.

So what else has changed since 2012? Well, as far as music goes, I haven't been playing with the Lund Bros. In fact, 2013 was the last time I played with them. We had a show at Slim's and since then, the only contact has a been via Facebook. It's too bad, really, as the guys are great and I love the music, but that commute to Tacoma is just too much.

After the Lunds, I filled in that summer (I think! I can't remember) with a band called Shake Some Action! (yes, with the exclamation mark). We played a few shows here and there, and then James, the singer/songwriter, put it on the back burner to focus on having a baby and writing music for licensing purposes.

I also ended up filling in with my old friend Jason's band, Sightseer. It was cool reconnecting with him; we had a bit of a rough go when he used to work for the family business, but it is all water under the bridge now. I played a handful of shows with them and it was fun, but it wasn't 100% my type of music, good as it was.

So the last time I played out was with Sightseer in 2013, the day of the Seahawks Super Bowl parade. We played at the Nectar in Fremont, which was sparsely attended, but fun. Since then, it's been tumbleweeds and crickets.

Late last summer I started looking on Craigslist and found an ad. I ended up meeting with these guys and after a few rehearsals, they offered me the gig. It took me a bit to succumb to the music though. It's pop, not as powerful as Lund Bros., or as melodic as the Scheme, and a bit more garage-y than I was used to, but it grew on me. Plus, to spice things up, they wanted me to sing on some songs and after stumbling through a few practices, things have gotten a lot better.

I've even taken to writing a few songs. It's been fun, dialing it up on my computer, using software and a Rock Band USB mic to record. We are working on a song I wrote but we are really still trying to piece it together. It's a basic song, but truth is, that's really all you need. I'm working out a muscle I've never used before and it's really cool. Some lyrics here and there, some chord progressions and poof, there's a song!

Hmm. I guess I could've split this post, but I just started typing. Let's see if I keep things up.