It has been quite some time since I've even acknowledge the existence of Live Journal, but I suppose today is as good a time as any to dust this off and write about my absence.
Well, although there has been at least some writing on paper, there really hasn't been much time for recording. Even so, I wouldn't even count the "writing" as writing. Considering most of it is just just random scrawling of tablature and lyrics, none of which actually are associative to each other.
But, the main reason everything has been at a standstill is due to the fact that I almost had a nervous breakdown a few months ago.
Over the course of 2008, I had a series of tragedies happen with no real time to handle them effectively. In February, my musical mentor passed away from MRSA. In addition to that, he was a friend's father, so I tried to help him whenever I could. Without him, I would not have realized my talents as well, nor would I have been able to get through the first steps of doing music. I owe a lot of him.
A few months later in July, a close confidant who I've known since high school, Tyler, took his life on my birthday. At the funeral a few days later, I was reunited with a lot of old friends from high school. On top of being strong for one of my female friends (one of his old ex's who he was still close to), I gathered all of my friends around and told them that this could have been prevented. I told them and made them all promise that we would never lose contact like we did. To this day, it angers and pains me to think that he saw me go through the same kind of disaster, yet didn't learn a lesson from my stupidity. Suicide is never the answer.
Then, a few weeks later, my brother's girlfriend died of an accidental Oxycontin overdose. Her and I became friends while they were dating. She even loaned me a lot of obscure art films, books and CD's. My brother was devastated, as was I. But, I had to shelve my grief so I could be there for him. He and I have become closer through this. Even though I am happy about us being closer, I wish it could have been under much better circumstances.
Through all of this, I mainly kept my focus on work and college. I never missed a day of work, and performed my heart out as if nothing had happened. Even on the day of Tyler's funeral, I drove immediately after the funerary reception to work, which was a 85 mile drive back into town. But working through all of this and not taking any time out for myself started to slowly wear on me.
Thankfully, from the aide of my family and a few friends, I was able to keep a handle on things and actually claw my way upward to some form of optimism without my hands necessarily turning into bloody stumps.
I have applied for the University of Oregon, and have gone through many of the necessary steps. You may ask yourself why I would choose to undertake another large task on top of the misery I've already been mired in... Call me crazy, I guess, but I came to an epiphany within all of this. I have to do everything while I'm still alive, and still young.
Well, all I do now is wait. Then before I depart, figure out some way to mend myself...
More to come.
As many of you know, Killing Joke is one of my personal favorite bands. They have always been alongside Christian Death in my "music to listen to repeatedly" section in my CD player and have influenced me musically. But I digress.
Some very disheartening and sad news was brought to my attention early this morning. The bassist of Killing Joke, Paul Raven, passed away at the young age of 46 of a heart attack. On top of being the bass player for Killing Joke, he also played bass for many other bands including Ministry, Zilch, Prong, and many other bands I like. His music has been a huge influence on many artists spanning many genres from goth, to punk, to industrial, to metal. His bass playing was fierce and passionate, and has influenced me as an artist. I can guarantee you that without his influence, my music would not be what it is. His passing is truly a loss in the music community. He will truly be missed. My heart and thoughts go out to his family, friends and band mates.
Thank you for all of the music! You will be truly missed.
R.I.P. Paul Raven
I'm aware that it has been several fortnights since I last posted, but all things considered, I have been quite busy since. With fall term upon us, my music writing and work taking up the majority of my time, it has been somewhat of a challenge to get to updating this from time to time. Since I have these moments free, I have decided to take this opportunity to update.
As I suspected, things never got better at my day job. The same nonsense seemed to perpetuate itself and show no sign of cessation. That is, unless I did something. One day after my last post, I quit my job and started the DJ'ing job exclusively. This decision proved to be fruitful. Especially since I make nearly three times as much now and have much less stress to deal with. Another change is that I don't have to be ashamed to say where I work now (note how I never named where I used to work). It's kind of nice to be able to afford things like gasoline and guitar strings. Another boon of this new station is being able to sleep
On top of that, I am finishing out my credits here before I transfer to a University upstate. And not a moment too soon, to be quite honest. This "school" has a quality of education that rates somewhere between septic and nonexistent, except for a few courses. The English Literature courses are spectacular, but everything else rates at a sub-par level. That is, unless you're training to be a CNA. But, aside from those, it is an institution that will place your dreams into a burlap bag with a few bricks, ties it up into a nice little package and heaves it off of a bridge into a freezing river. To top it off, as their quality plummets, their prices keep rising every other term. It makes me wonder what I am paying for... Yet, I've realized it doesn't matter all that much since I will be out of there in one more term.
With my stress level finally dropping, I've found myself writing more songs since I've more time to. But, these ones are only in the writing process. I like where these songs are going, so I will try to get them recorded as soon as possible. Also, I've been networking with some other groups as well, so hopefully I'll be able to get some performances booked outside of this area as well. I'm glad to see this much progress.
Although I have had this for several months, I have been somewhat at a loss as to what to start with. That is, until now thanks to the aide of my bouts with insomnia. With this skewed mentality as my crutch and crux respectively, I've been able to gather quite a bit into perspective.
Ever since I received the aide of my friend Bill, a computer programmer and technologist extraordinaire, the recording process has been proceeding in a much smoother fashion that it had ever been. I'll admit, I am still trying to divine my way through the new programs and hardware, but I have already determined that the process, in the broader scope, is going to be a much less frustrating ordeal than it would have been sans his assistance.
Yet, like in all things, time plays its role well within this web I've woven for myself. Even with all of the tools before me, I still need more time to use them. I've had quite a few things draining time away from my passion, such as work and classes resuming soon.
On the subject of work, it has taken a toll on my health due to some bad decision making and complacency on behalf of my superiors. For the last four months, I have been on the graveyard schedule (10:00 PM - 6:00 AM), and stayed on it during my days off so as to not become maladjusted since my schedule seemed to be as steady as a paroxysm. Well, last week I was told that I would no longer have to work that schedule anymore, so I adjusted my sleep schedule accordingly. My work schedule seemed to follow suit. Even though the alternation of hours that occurred while I worked both day and night made me violently ill on my days off, I bore the brunt of it since I would not have to again... Or so I thought.
Much to my chagrin, I was once again placed on that shift. I, of course, expressed my objection. Although I was absolutely livid, I was polite in how I put it, although my composure was an absolute lie. It was not simply due to the fact that they waited on calling the person they intended to train to take over graveyard and then finding out later that he found another job, it was due to the fact that I was hoping to get some respite away from straining my health anymore. Since classes will be starting again soon, I told them I could no longer work that shift at all. Between the day shift, my second job as a DJ, and school, when was I to find any moments to relax?
Also, there is the prospect of getting more days from my second job. If that scenario is at all possible, it would give me the liberty of quitting my day job and sticking primarily to that. I wouldn't mind it since it would be less intrusive upon my studies and life. In addition, the job is nowhere near as physically exhausting. Plus, the notion of having to warp my sleep schedule would be eliminated once and for all.
But, through all of this strife comes inspiration. As I mentioned earlier, none of this halts the writing process in any way. I would say that this is nothing more than encouragement. I could be cliché by mentioning how this fits in to Nietzsche like a missing puzzle piece, but I feel that hinting at the cliché is enough to say that I used it.
The creative gears still spin onward, regardless of adversity.