Jan. 28th, 2012

youngraven: (suffer)
So. Here's how it happened: I was in the middle of a gig when a circular patch in my drum's head went slack - never mind that the outer rim of the head surrounding that patch was alarmingly (as in 'take cover, she's going to blow') taut.

I did what any staid and stoic semi pro would do: I panicked. At the break, I raced behind the pub to phone Albert and gibber like a scared wee thing whose drum has just gone thmok when it should have gone something near to a G.

Silently, I did lament to myself how it seems I end up with a drum with a fouled head (although, in honesty Caitrín may have a fine head; I simply don't like the tone she produces). Got to be player error somehow. I'd got used to plastic drum heads that don't require the care and feeding of natural heads.

Since Albert's convinced it can't be a dodgy skin, there are two possibilities that come to my mind barring the skin being wonky:
  • I've been too hard on the head
  • It could be the weather
(I heart bullets, don't you?) 

If I've ballsed up the head. it's for lack of a crossbrace (this is my first ever drum without one, so I could have done). Over the years, I built my playing style round using that crossbrace for leverage. I'd use a crossbrace, 'cos till recently, most drums were too large for me to control without one - I've explained this many's the time before, so. Only I never felt myself pushing that hard, and Albert (who's seen me since then) has never said 'AAAAHWhatAreYouDoing1111!!11Eleven!!BBQ!11' And he would do. In fact, that would be a direct quote, barbecue and all. 

(Sings) Oh, god - could it be the weather? It could be, in fact, the weather. Albert's the first to say that his drums favour a certain level of humidity, and there's still rather a drought. A few times when I fetched her out, it required me using both hands to work the tuning keys. It startled me once; I feared the head would split, and so I began the practise of downtuning her after a night's play. Apparently, that's the very thing Albert had told me not to do for at least six months. I've no recollexion of this, but in my haste to get my hands on her, I could have spaced on that one. I do know, now, without a doubt that I'm bonding to this drum: I was reluctant to have her back to Albert for repair. I mean, I had to make myself hand over the drum, and then I felt weird watching him leave with her. 

I may well see him tonight - whether he's got Bríd all sorted out...I doubt it. I suppose I'll bring Caitrín to the 'work seisiún' and we'll see what I get out of her. Sigh. Or I could bring Grainne - never mind the plastic head and the fact that she doesn't much like me, she still sounds better than Caitrín. 

I'm exing digits. I want my Bríd back. 

Addendum: Albert's just after phoning, and I will have her back tonight. He's not thrilled with the sound she's giving, so it may well be that she goes back home with him tonight for a new head. I really want this drum to be The One, so I'm actually a bit tense about it.  
youngraven: Mo isteach (Orion Rising)
But for a few people (many of whom were told out of necessity - such as the ones at work), I said nothing about the passing of my cat. I prefer to do my mourning in the solace of my own house, and as much as I know people want to Be There, I usually need space and time before I can accept that care. Don't mistake me: this is never about whether I deserve it, or am grateful, or feel compelled to Look Strong. I'm an introvert; I'm hard-wired for solitude. When I'm injured in any way, I've got to have time alone (and by 'alone', I mean by myself or with Shaddow - nobody else) in order to sort myself out. Them's the breaks with me, like.

She went into hospital on the New Year's Eve, and she died a week later. We'd go to see her every night. Some nights, she'd seem to rally a bit, and we'd think we'd be able to bring her home and maintain her. Other nights...we felt otherwise. By that Thursday, we realised there was nothing to be done. She was never going to well enough for us to keep her comfortable in her decline, and that was that. 

It's been three weeks, but I'm still palpably aware that Orion Rising is missing some vital being. I wish I believed in ghosts, then I could trick myself into seeing her wee spirit rattling about. I do not, thus I cannot. I don't know whether, ultimately, this is bane or boon. She'd gone sixteen years of age. Per this site, she was 84. I don't know how much more I could or should have expected of her. I suppose within all of us is a five-year-old who refuses to take 'mortal' for an answer. I need to believe that we did everything we could do, but I'm not sure. 

On the last day of her life, she bit one of the vet's assistants. Ever my Irascible Beancat. 
youngraven: Ah, I've had better days, me. (Drownt rat)
It actually started in 2009. Since this one garage had done so very well in sorting out rather an irksome woe, I felt confident in trusting the people there with my car. 

Well. Fools bloody rush in, dunnit. 

The battery cable thingummy went well. The back brakes went well. But when my clutch wanted replacing? They bloody banjaxed it - and by that, I mean to the point that a piece of the linkage fell out and bounced away whilst I was driving down the 75 towards the city (there's a 75 in Atlanta as well). What followed was a great lot of hire cars and strife that culminated in an angry letter and the car being towed to the Sandy Springs Subaru. Oh, and this was in the midst of the Christmas as well. Bucking. Frilliant. 

Fast forwards one year's time. My car has been squeaking. It's actually been squeaking since Atlanta, but I'd convinced myself it was a belt wearing out, and had taken the decision to squeeze every last bit of life out of it. (I understand this isn't wise, so.)

Lately, a bit of undercarriage trim had rearranged itself such that it made a ghastly sound whenever I rounded a corner. Since my dad's no slouch when it comes to the finer workings of things with combustion engines, I asked him to lash up that trim to something. Since we'd already got the car up onto the ramps, he had a listen to it with a Car Stethoscope, and determined that the squeak originated in the clutch. Apparently, the throw out bearing is bodgered.

SO YAY, LIKE. Four times in the fucking garage, and the bleeding clutch is still effed up. I mean, the hell sez I - should I have resorted to voodoo? Would that have done the trick? Janey bloody mercy. 

As I mentioned, I've already done the bit with the Better Business Bureau, and they've made 'good' by me as best they'd do. Grr. So, we'll be making a hike up to a Subaru dealer in the back of beyond (alright, McKinney), 'cos that's where our local, trusted rep ended up.   


Aaaaand...that piece of trim? In his opinion, it looks as though somebody left a few pieces off when it was replaced after all of last year's work had been done. So hurrah fucking that. Poxy rat bastards. Never again in my life will I go to Pep Boys. /spits

I'm fairly decided that my next conveyance will be a donkey with a cart. 
youngraven: (Default)
My word (literally, as it worked out), was that a fucking gas. I don't think I've ever had as much fun in an office, for realz like. So. The project. The way that the hunter of heads presented it to me was 'they want you to bring something into compliance with company brand' - which I can do in my sleep providing you give me all the specifications, colour palette, fonts, &c. Only he didn't exactly understand the scope of the project, 'cos headhunters often approach job descriptions at very high levels. It's been more than once that I've gone into an interview to find out that the description and the reality are about eighty miles apart from each other. It can be awkward.

Here is what they actually wanted: somebody to read a book about leadership that their consultant had written, and then distil it down into a work book and other materials (little cards, to be precise) that complied with corporate brand. There was no extant workbook, thus it fell to me to do the writing of it. Hence my (correct) use of 'literally' in the first sentence.

It's the first time I've ever been paid to write in my life. It's daft, usually I feel I can hardly string two sentences together, and my grammar (it might be noted) is colourful. However, since it's for a training workbook, I can keep it fairly conversational, but having to strip my own voice out of it has meant for mental gymnastics. It's as though I'm thinking with another head. I'd write something, spin round in my chair a few times (thus invoking said other head), and then I'd think 'would this make sense to me if I were a corporate suit? If the answer was '...merrrgh?' then I'd know that clearly something wanted changing. 

And yet, I did it. I now can say I've been a professional writer. For fuck's sake, yeh? How the devil did this happen?

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