Sunday, February 10, 2013

Should I blame myself for my failed ambitions?

I've had a lot of different plans.  A lot have succeeded, but even more have failed.  It seems the most ambitious plans never really get far.

When I was still in high school I really wanted to work in music.  Most of all I wanted to be an engineer and work in recording studios.  I was laughed at by many people older than I, including people who were tasked at helping me find my career or a school.  I remember this particular time when our high school held a career day where we all signed up to get advice from people who've had jobs in the real world.  The goal was to get career advice and gain perspective.  I had very obviously signed up stating I wanted to be a studio engineer.  The two guys I was set to meet with were not even working in the industry, so why they even had me meet with them was always confusing to me.  We chat for a bit. They asked me what I wanted to do, how I wanted to get there, and how I could achieve this.  I did my best based on the knowledge I had being only 17 at the time.  I told them that I have been in recording studios before, that I was quite good at working with a mixing board, and that I felt I had a natural talent for making recordings sound good.  I wanted to go to a school where I could hohn my skills and work around the industry before opening a studio of my own.  They let me out of the room so they could have a brief discussion so they could have some advice ready for me when I returned.  The problem is that I could hear them beyond the door.  "This kid has no idea what he wants." "He'll probably end up in fast food."  I didn't even want to return at that point, but I did.  They gave me some bullshit about finding the right school and doing some more research about the field.  I left.

I never did end up working in a studio for a living.  I almost went to school for it.  In 2004 my Wife and I had packed everything up and were ready to make the drive to Florida, but went to Minneapolis instead.  A decision I haven't regretted.  It was around this time when many large and famous recording studios started closing.  It seems the advent of more powerful personal computers and home studio solutions like Pro Tools, Logic and Samplitude have eaten away at the market significantly.  It was now cheaper to build your own project studio than it was to pay for studio time, and the sound quality was not far off.  I do still to this day have a passion for recording and mixing.  I've recorded my projects as well as a few others and worked in some really great studios over the years, but I was always the one paying to do it.  I also never worked in fast food. *middle finger to those douche-bags*

After my passion for recording professionally subsided, I got the desire to work with my hands building drums and casing my own cymbals.  I only wanted to do this as a hobby, so I never really had much invested in it.  I had blogged about it before on my old websites and friends of mine actually ran with it and built their own drums.  I never got there.  It always seems that I never had the money to get started. Drum shells, hardware and other materials involved can run up to a thousand dollars or more not including tools.  I eventually switched to the idea of cymbal casting.  I did research on bronze composition, hammering and the annealing process.  I spent time getting information on forums from professional cymbal makers and learned how to build firing furnaces and sand casts for ingots.  I came close to starting this despite I didn't have the proper industrial space to do it.  I bough many materials including silica sands, cement mixes and a peen hammer.  I even had a pile of B20 bronze to get started with.  This was around the time right before my son was born, and when that happened my priorities shifted.  Money and time were no longer a luxury I could afford.  Since then, I've never considered getting started again.

Although time is a factor it always seems that money is the big deterrent.  It's why I've never went to a college for something I want to learn, It's why I've rebuild my Pentium 4 desktop countless times over the past ten years instead of buying a Mac, It's why I always say "I'll get to it later when I have the cash", but often never do.

As I get older I still have many passions, but the ambitious ones seem to become more unrealistic.  I still love making and recording music, when I have time.  I still find the construction of musical instruments very interesting, but I'm more likely to buy one than make it.  If I ever have the money.

Some passions have played out in my favor though.  I've always wanted to work in IT.  I currently work a Network Technician.  I want to go to school to be a network engineer and security specialist (ultimately an ethical hacker), but I am getting hit with opposition in the form of schedule conflicts, and daycare issues.  Will I ever realize that dream or will it be just another failed ambition to add to the list?
Although it is more realistic of a career goal, I'm not getting much support from loved ones or the college I want to attend.  I need to make time and money out of thin air apparently.  Easier said than done when you have a deficit each pay period and you have to split your 70hr work week with daddy duties.

I do have my family though.  That is a great win in my life.  I am fortunate to have my Wife and Son who are living proof that I can achieve tremendous goals.  Some people aren't that lucky and I understand that, so I m very thankful.

In the end it's not about what goals you can achieve or how far you make it, but how good a person you are.  That being said, I first and foremost want to be a good father and loving husband.  I also want to be more.  I'm a person who loves to work, and I work very hard when I'm given the opportunity.  I realize the only one to give me that opportunity is myself.  Am I being selfish to want to make time to pursue the things in life I want to achieve?

Friday, February 8, 2013

External Voyager

Wednesday night I said farewell to a project I had been involved with for the past 4 years.  Eternal Voyager was a band I had been playing drums for since about December of 2008.

Through my entire stay in the project, the band has been strained by my busy schedule as well as other hardships.  Now with my schedule becoming more hectic with the pursuit of higher education and involvement with other projects, I had to take a step back and take a serious look at where things were at.  I felt the band would be better off with someone who could devote more time and effort to the project.  I had just finished my drum tracks for EV's full length album the previous week and felt now was the best time to make my departure.

Brian has been at the helm of this band since 1998, and I know he's going to continue on.  It is, after all "Eternal Voyager".

I wish Brian, Brett and Co. all the best of luck with the future of the band and the search for a new drummer.  I can't wait to hear the finished record.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Am I getting more lame the older I get?

My initial thought:

When I was a teenager I felt like I was some kind of special shit.  I thought I was so cool and edgy and that would never change.  Fast forward to my thirties and now I'm as lame as anyone else's dad.  It just sort of happens.  You grow older and get stuck in your routines and responsibilities.  All of a sudden your that guy walking his wife's dumb-ass dog in the suburbs wearing khaki's and a polo shirt.  What the fuck ever happened?  I would have never been caught dead dressed like that, 10 years ago even.

After some reflection:

The thing is, I like reading books and taking naps.  I like drinking tea and watching a good movie rather than going to a club or bar.  Is that me being lame, or do I just know what I like?

The clothing I have an excuse for.  I have a job that provides income to fund my life.  I need to dress appropriate for that job or I might lose it and not get paid.  I have no excuse for the dog.  I hate him.

What about the rut I'm in?  Who ever said anything about a rut?  I like naps, books and tea.  I think you're crazy if you don't.  I don't like clubs.  I'm married.  What purpose do I have there if I'm not picking up chicks?  I certainly am not dancing to the shitty music they play there.  I'd rather kick back and listen to something worth while at home where I can enjoy it.

So am I really getting more lame, or am I just more in tune to what I like.  Is it simply that my priorities are straight?  Is it really a bad thing that I don't wear metal tees every day of the week anymore?  I still like metal tees, but I usually wear them while fixing the car or doing yard work.


I like my life for the most part.  If you think I'm lame, screw you.  I think you're a pretentious fuck.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New blog, first post.

So here I am creating a new blog.  I've done this before for random things and never really had much use for these.  This one I plan to be a little different.  The purpose for this blog is two things; 1. to write about what's on my mind, and 2. promote the various projects and crap that I do.

I find writing to be cathartic even if there is no audience.  If there is an audience then that's even better, although I'm not sure how much on here the average reader would find remotely interesting.

I'm 30 years old; married, father of 1 son, and 2 cats.  I work in the network I.T. field and have been an amateur musician since about the age of 13.

I have a deep appreciation for music and the arts and I am engaged in modern technology.  I often will write and talk about these subjects.  I dislike politics and big business so I will rarely write about that on here unless I am particularly invested in the matter.

I've always lived by the "live and let live" way of life and I won't spread much negativity if I can help it.  We only have a short time here and I want to fill it with things worth my while.

One last thing before I start; My family comes first.  I don't care about anything else.