Monday, October 1, 2018

More of the Same

Okay, back on track! One month later...

The Shar band had a Mai Tai's gig slated towards the end of August that got canceled due to the looming hurricane lane.  Thankfully, it got rescheduled to September, so all our rehearsing wasn't for a waste.  It had been about two years since we last played at Mai Tai's, and we restructured our show to have a more organic flow.  The turn out was okay, I think many people were at the Shell for a real better show.  Regardless, after that night, I feel like I kind of actually miss playing there [at Mai Tai's].  There was a point where we were playing there way too much, and I was a little less than excited to be playing a grueling three out gig there.  Everything in moderation I suppose.

The band Breaking Anchors (the one I'm playing bass in) recorded a demo in mid September, it came out pretty well.  They asked me not to put it anywhere for free... so, here it is on a band camp (whatever that is).

We're looking at pounding out 4 more recordings at a near-future date.  The group also did two shows last month, and they went decently as well.  Eventually we'll have an edited video of our recording session, I finally scraped together enough pennies (literally, I went to coinstar in order to stay in the black this month) to buy a larger thumb drive; one large enough to handle big videos.  So, stay tuned for that.


Had a couple gigs with Da Swell, and will continue to have a couple more through October.  This group is looking to throw down $2,500 to record a 5 song demo/E.P. thing, in which we're relinquishing our pay to finance the recording.  I like these sorts of things, but, I also like money and I'm semi-broke, but, whatever, hopefully it's an investment.

Dermatology report is in, I am down to only one foot wart.  Yay.

I got invited back to do a recording session during this month of October with Hitbox Music Ensemble.  I suppose I can consider myself a permanent fixture, at least, whenever they need to call upon guitar.  Anyway, a recording is definitely what this group needs to take it to the next level, so I'm happy to help out.  I hope it fits into my schedule!

I got a lot done this month on account that one of my weekday morning 3 times a week students was out of town, and I figured I could work at the surf school, but apparently the surf school had been extremely slow.  I was scheduled to work for 7 days and I was called off for every single one of them.  As irony would have it though, I got called in on two days that I normally am unavailable (luckily I was avaiable) to work.  Thats how life goes.  Make the time, no one shows up.  Don't have the time, everyone shows up.  W.T.F.?

Mostly more charting, transcribing, practicing, keeping up on things, that's predominantly what September was.

I auditioned for a start-up Waikiki working country act, but, that... didn't really pan out.  I also held an audition with a band that I had been in communication with since March, only now were we able to put together a full line up and meet all as one for once.  Luckily I was still relatively available, and hopefully we'll be able to pin down that gig we were projected for in November.  This group (not the "Waikiki Working Country Act") is called Last Resort.

In October, Console has its first live show that's not an open mic (yipee!).  I don't necessarily mind open mics on paper, but I really dislike setting shit up to do 3 songs... I guess it'd be fine if I only had 3 songs, but getting a bunch of people together to do/present 3 songs is... lame in my opinion.  Anyway, we get to do a 1 hour segment on Thursday (a day of the week we are typically all available), so, this is really exciting.  We're also slated to record (again, hopefully it doesn't get canceled), towards the end of October, so I'm looking forward to that as well.  I feel as if Console is finally getting some traction.

Other than that, just more of the same, busy, but not busy.  Money, but no money.  Time, but no time.  bands, but no bands.  Rehearsals, but no rehearsals.  Just trying to find that balance of satisfaction and sense of purpose [musically].  I think that's all for now?

Monday, September 3, 2018

Post-Summer Post (Finally)

Oh man, 4 months later... yikes, I thought I was going to be better at this stuff? Honestly, I do have more pressing/novel things that I should/could be taking care of/doing right now -- and that's probably why I haven't updated in so long -- but, it's the principal! Well, at least in June [my next scheduled blog "deadline"] I kind of had an excuse; I went to Japan for two weeks, so the time leading up to and after was spent on that excursion. Japan was rad. I love that country and its people. I spent the first week with my lover, kind of being a tour guide to her, and then I spent the second week traveling alone in which I got to cover more ground and see more of my Japanese friends! Most importantly, traveling solo forced me more into immersion, which is half of the reason why I want to go to Japan to begin with. I came back feeling like my language skills had improved since I last visited Japan in 2012. Perhaps the college courses I had been taken since then had helped. I'm glad that it feels my work is paying off (don't know by how much though haha, but that's besides the point). I could write a whole bunch of stuff on Japan alone, but I am not a travel blogger, so... here are a bunch of pictures and things from that instead!

Other than that, what's happened since May?

Well, May went by pretty much business as usual. A few surf school shifts here and there, guitar lessons throughout most of the week, a rehearsal or two a week, and a pettily two gigs for the entire month. Just before I left for Japan, I auditioned for a "classic rock" group and got the gig. Still unsure where exactly that project is going, but... we'll see. Hopefully I'm not too patient with that. Also during this time, I called the D.L.N.R. quite regularly (some might call it badgering) to inquire about my "field test" results concerning the surf instruction certification, I eventually found out I passed. Yay! Now what? Apparently I needed a physical exam, more on that later...

Returning from Japan in mid June was a bit tough. I hit the ground running though, mainly because an unfortunate earthquake that hit the airport of which I was ticketed to return home from grounded me an extra day (and $$$), so many of my appointments got backed up / rescheduled to the remaining days of the week. The earthquake day itself was a fiasco in of itself, but in short, I got rerouted and stuck in a backwater town in the middle of nowhere for an entire day basically. Eventually the government came and rescued the stranded commuters by bus, and by then, I was too late for my flight. I stayed in an internet cafe overnight and bought a flight home the next day.

A couple days after returning for Japan, I had my medical examination appointment for the aforementioned surf certification. I got the desired results, and the required documentation, and left after paying a $12 co-pay. My experience there was mediocre already to begin with, and, upon taking my documents to the D.L.N.R., come to find out that the paperwork wasn't even dated correctly, so the administration there [at the D.L.N.R.] would not accept it. So I had this big back and forth with scanning and emailing and what not for about a month just to get another document stating the same shit with the correct dates, and getting that document to the D.L.N.R. A big waste of time... which, the older I get, the more psychotic I get about. More on this later...

I was also asked to rejoin I.C.C. [Intercultural Communications College] upon returning from Japan, and it just so happened that I was starting to free up a little bit so I happily agreed to rejoin for the second installment. I wasn't able to attend every class due to scheduling conflicts / priorities, but, nevertheless it was good to use the momentum that I had recently gained from being in Japan so recently.

And toward the end of July I auditioned as a bass player and got the gig for an original alternative band called Breaking Anchors. We have since had a few open mic performances and are slated to have a recording session next week.

By July, summer was in full swing. This was actually to be the first summer that I would not work "all-the-fucking-time" at the surf school. In response to the manic swings I dealt with last summer, I drew a figurative line in the sand and decided to no longer prioritize that place/company, especially if the owner would be on-sight. It actually worked out pretty well, although I did (& do) miss the paychecks. Floatilla [traditionally a booze party out in waters just off-shore of Waikiki on the Fourth of July] was.................................... lame, compared to years past. I guess in light of last years excessiveness (to say the least) the county decided to keep a tight seal on the potential debauchery. Such a shame, it was soooo much fun the few times that I had gone. I even had a stupid run in with a police officer for having an unopened beer in a plastic hand bag walking on the beach. Oh well, all things come to an end.

Also in July, it's the month Hawaii General Excises Taxes are due, so, I went ahead and paid those. Yay business owner achievements; paying taxes. #Adulting

During July I also auditioned for a reggae band called Da Swell, got the gig and started performing with them before the month was over. It's an 8 piece group so the pay is minuscule but it's gigging nonetheless.

There was some heavy shit that I went through that's too personal even for the blog, so this sentence is here for me whenever I read back on this entry for me to go "oh yeah...". It's here for you the reader because I was under a lot of stress during this month for various reasons, I felt like throwing a match on everything, and that put a lot of things in perspective again. Mainly on what to prioritize.

Sometimes being too patient is a bad thing, I sometimes have a tendency to hold out longer than other people on things that are seemingly fading into nothingness. I have repeatedly received praise for my patience, which I also think it's the hallmark trait of a skilled teacher, but, in some ways, I believe, it can be pretty bad in some scenarios. Anyway, in light of recent circumstance, I starting culling things that weren't getting anywhere in relation to how much time was being invested; basically things weren't adding up. Definition of insanity? I mentioned this earlier, but, hopefully many/any of the musical pursuits I'm actively investing time and energy, I hope I'm not just throwing away my time foolishly (because of the hyper-patience).

Anyway, Hitbox Music Ensemble invited me back for another performance, this time at the Comic Con in the beginning of August. I guess that means I didn't suck too bad at the last performance [Kawaii Kon]. This time, I had less time to prepare for this show though, but luckily I was getting better with the sheet music medium mainly because of the Aloha Karaoke Band. Being that it was comic convention, I dawned my Thor costume once again!

Unfortunately, by this time, the Aloha Karaoke Band lost it's drummer due to undisclosed reasons. It's the same old story just like all my other bands; back to the incomplete lineup stage. It's hard to survive set backs like that, but hopefully everyone is still on board. I know I am! It'll be a shame (but not a complete waste) with those dozens of songs I've digitally charted!

Other than that, August was cool. I really started implementing a "treat yourself" thing where I would be less stingy and actually buy myself something inexpensive and useful/needed for my day-to-day life. I've done it for July and August so far. I would of done it again for this month, but I am deep in the red... :'( I am very pleased with the previous months purchases, especially the long sleeve leggings and hoodie rearguards I'm using out on the water to protect me from the sun. I also have an emergency radio that I have been meaning to get since the missile scare!

Remember that DLNR surf instructor Blue Card I've been trying to get? Well, I finally physically got it in early August, yay!.............. But a short time after I also recieved a bill from the clinic where I had gotten my medical documentation from (yeah, the one that I had to go back-and-forth with because they got the dates messed up), and it was priced at.................................... $198 ($210 if you include the $12 "co-pay")! I thought I had insurance for this? I called and called, no one got back to me, so I finally went into the office and got patched through my insurance only to find out that a "pre-employment screening" doesn't get medical coverage. W.T.F.? Talk about price gouging. So... hours and hours later, and more than -$217, I am finally "legit" to do this job that I have been doing for over 5 years now. Sometimes, the government makes it hard to do the right thing.

My niece came and stayed with me for 4 nights, so that was a great experience, but expensive...

And then there was Hurricane Lane, what a scare! Google search that, but, by some miracle this category 5 hurricane just faded away by the time it neared Oahu. Phew. I was horrified with how little the people in my area did to prepare for 156+ mph winds. Projectiles people, projectiles! But, thankfully, we dodge the inevitable yet again. I was thinking the entire time, I really do not want to live through another Iniki. Was even like, if it turns to shit, how's Seattle looking? Haha.

Now back to 1st world problems where we're not dodging life-threatening hurricanes. I am now -$3000 in debt, the most in debt I have ever been in my entire life and it's killing me. How do people live with student loans? Holy cow. Anyway, I guess having $1000 teeth procedures every month and having to shell out $700 for a last minute ticket out of an earthquake ridden country might have been the cause but, still, it depresses me, and it goes against the very essence of the core of who I am. Lately, I've also been missing Leviathan, so, I'll be making moves towards resuscitating that. Well, that's it for now. I'll be wallowing in indebted despair until the next entry!

Oh, at some point during the last entry; I successfully got Console -- The VGM Band gigs at the nerd conventions for next year. Yay!