Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Joining the band.

Last night I met up with the new guys to play bass. It goes without saying that I met up with the craigslist band in a public place a week earlier to make sure they were alright. And they were. Bunch of guys in their late 30's early 40's that have been playing together for a long time and seem to have a rotating string of bassists. Which is great for me, because their expectations are low.

For example, they were very happy that they could simply hear the bass. I guess the last guy played softer and softer as the amp was turned up. I don't know how this is possible though, once you turn up the amp to a reasonable sound, you get a full note just by tapping the string.

Which is beautiful. I had never heard my bass play with an amp that was made for it. Bass strings are very difficult to hear without an amp. Then if you strike them hard enough to hear without one, you're going to get a clacking noise as the string bangs against the fret board. Which is different than the buzzing you get for not holding the string down hard enough in the first place. Anyway, it sounds ugly.

The practice space is a storage shed unit with an electrical hook up. Apparently the guy who owns these storage units doesn't care who rents them, and no one else is around to complain about the noise, so it's turned into a little bazaar of garage bands. Driving down there for the first time, there were at least 2 other bands playing in our row. There's something cool about the glow coming from underneath the roll up metal doors.

I'll assume the unit was once a concrete block, but that's not the case anymore. The walls are covered in foam honey combing to block out the sound, there's peg boards for hanging cords, rugs on the ground, equipment and speakers stacked high, a couch in the corner, and even a recycling bin. Someone has put a lot of effort into making this their conclave escape from their children. It feels very much a home. It's exactly the kind of look you'd want to define a masculine, utilitarian space that doesn't try too hard. Which of course, was never the point and the very reason it works so well.

Musically, I do suck. Let's just put that out there. Even if the guy's standards are low, my self standards are not. I have a lot to practice on. 1st, I need to develop rhythm. A good bassist should be a human metronome. Luckily, there's plenty of websites out there with metronomes on them, and working on my consistency isn't going to cost me anything. 2nd, I need to work on holding my notes out as long as possible before going to the next note. I put a lot of gaps between my notes, and this is largely due to the fact my fingers have to work out stretching on the frets. So to get to the next note, my fingers will hop, the string is prematurely released, and the note is dropped. Which is fine if you want to play staccato notes, but only if you're into doing that intentionally. 3rd. Well, I need to work on my fret work, understanding where the notes are and eventually pulling in chords. 4th. You know, that's enough to work on. I'm a beginner. Everything else will come with time.

My index finger is a little numb right now. Kinda feels like a milder version of the bottoms of my feet the first few days of surgery rotation.

Tonight I need to get back to my lifts. Yesterday I had to put them off for a day due to time constraints. I got out of clinic around 6 and it was finally grocery buying time. And cooking. OH Yes, cooking. Heart stir fry with a ton of greens. It's been a rough couple of weeks with low funds. 3 lb weight loss kind of rough. So I needed to buy some beef, even if I can't really afford any other cuts.* Eating Iron again was good.


*I think I freaked out the hipster roomie a little with that heart. Bro roomie was down with it though. There's a fair amount of cleaning of chordae tendineae, pericardial fat pads (Which are hard as hell, who figured?), and sometimes a little valve work you have to do to get your meat. Still worth it. No bones = high yield.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Loans are in!


Because that means money in the bank. Loans, Baby. And not a moment too soon. If I was just a day earlier I would have avoided overdraft fees from the bills. Oh well. It's good to have the option to get food again.

Still feeling the hurt, the only thing that makes sense is to pay forward all the rent, and set aside any other major purchase. With the exception of my bridesmaid dress. They're now out of my size, and I went up. Good thing I got it tonight, it was the last 6. I'm going to have to get it altered. But that can wait. Wedding isn't until next summer. Everything is just getting done now because the bride is a wonderfully talented teacher who is going to be out of the country on a Fullbright Grant.

There's the dress. Of course that's an image URL so who knows how long it'll be before it shrivels up. It looked pretty on our size 2 and 16. I don't mind the money that I paid (and will further pay to get alterations). Especially when the other option was David's bridal and the strange nipple disasters. *shudder*.

Anyway, I've done enough buying things. After all my hemming and hawing, painting my room is decidedly less attractive. I think what I really need is big art that I can take with me. We're going to see what can be done this weekend to stretch some canvass.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


 Everybody seems to be a runner in medical school. In years 1 and 2 there was always a new charity 5k every other weekend. At least 2 times a month, often more. 

Every so once in a while, I give into the peer pressure and agree to run with someone. But what my brain fails to forget, is that no one offers to open up running as a social activity, unless...they're already good at running. This will look easy, but this will not be anything close to the concept of easy. 

Because in exactly three minutes, 
this is the conversation I'm going to be having with myself.

Of course my answer is pretty obvious.


"You should get that checked out."

Yep. I'm at it again.

On a barely related note, I have recently reconnected with an old friend, Law, a few nights ago because he's been passing through town as he has a family medical issue that is progressing towards hospice. But the wonderful thing about this friendship is that everything and anything can be put on the table for a conversation topic. He particularly loves listen to my antics regarding men, because it reminds him of a lamer version of sex and the city.

I told him about running with Gun again, and Law just started laughing his ass off. "Uh! Oh! You know what that means!"

"I've already been turned down once. I don't think it means anything." I'm very stuffy in my response.

"Haha, just kidding. Working out with someone doesn't lead to fucking." He pauses. "It's late night conversations that lead to fucking."

"Well then, I'm screwed."

And then Law is hooting and hollering, ribbing me for more information. He tends to think that he uses me for an emotional crutch because his mom has cancer and he's afraid to burden people with his problems. But the guy has no idea how much a dumb, natural conversation like that reorients me back to reality.

My reality being that for once, I want to be working on self improvement, for myself. And if I'm going to date, the choice has to be more obvious than a sledge hammer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

So instead of a boyfriend, I'm getting legs.

I disabled the okcupid. I think my little foray was enough. My classmate and I had a good laugh and it was noted that we should make time to hang out after he gets off his sub-I's and externships.

It's not going to happen. Med students are notorious flakes when it comes to social events. I speak for myself in that group too.

Besides, This is a wonderful reminder that I'm never single because I'm really bad at cooling it, and taking enough time to process what I actually want in life. Instead I just go with the flow, give any guy a shot that expresses interest, and then...stay committed to him for way past the expiration date of the relationship. 

And the wonderful thing about life, is that you only get to live it once. You get one track. Every choice is a 1000 active choices to not do everything else with that time. And I'm very aware that with every door I walk through, it will lock behind.

NO MORE MEN, LEA. Unless you're nuts.

Uh wellll, for at least a month. 

I'm really bad at this. Except I have a shadow of a plan!

I downloaded the stronglifts 5x5 ap and started lifting again. Gonna take progress pics. Probably going to keep them to myself unless I crop out everything but my butt*. Went running yesterday with Gun**, because the gym was closed between summer and fall classes. 

Plan two of distraction is that I'm going to finally learn how to play my bass. Yeah, that was a failed purchase during grad school. Covered in dust. 1st I tuned the guitar. Then I sent out an email to a craigslist ad to join the first band I saw with ridiculously low standards. No really, they just wanted someone willing to learn how to play bass. Preferably female so they can support the vocals. All the previous bassists were females who didn't know what they were doing to start. Actually, that sounds completely sketch when I write it out. I assure you these people sound normal on the phone and that I will meet them in a public place first. 

Now I've learned what "noise pop" is. Well, I can be your shitty bassist. I can play quarter notes all day long. But if you're looking for a breathy, soprano indie chick, you'll be in for the surprise of my brassy, alto voice. Is meeting up with a bunch of people a big jump when you don't know how to do a damn thing? Of course it is. Can't learn unless you stretch. 

And I can't actively distract myself from the relationship issue unless I have a new goal to replace it with. The working out replaces the relationship searching. Learning bass is just to get me away from "Frozen Free Fall" match 3 games. 

That's enough for now. I have more sketches to upload tomorrow. 'night. 


*That is where my vanity is stored. The butt.

**One day you (yes you, "Gun") are going to read this, and question "why did she name me Gun? I'm the least Gunnerish of them all!" While true that you don't have a cut-throat bone in your body, Dude, you paid it forward. It took me 2 years to get you outside of your study hole. Even when we went to the gym together, you would beeline for the bikes and listen to supplemental lectures. It is only recently that I have brought you over to the light side of the squat racks and conversation between sets. So DON'T EVEN. Besides, you know I adore you. Including your constricted emotional affect. Hey. Your psych resident said it first. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I just wanted to see, OK?

That moment when:

You find a classmate's okCupid profile.

Activate the creeper sheild, Baby. We're going in to some questions.

And you find out now the most unassuming member of the class.

is officially THE kinkiest person you've ever met,

"Wait...Did that fetish have anything to do with his specialty choice?"
while simultaneously being your highest match 
"Huh. 96."

Message Sent.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A New Use for the Useless Napkin Holder.

My new roommate approached me with a napkin holder. Someone had given it to her as a gift, but living in the era of paper towels, it had not found a use. "Do you think you can use it? If not, I'm throwing it out. 

"Err...Let me think." I turned it over in my hands, feeling the heft, contemplating all the table space this thing wasn't worth. Then it struck me. "WAIT".

Sponge pedestal of beauty. That is all.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Room Sketcher and layouts.

If you've ever wanted some help with laying out a room, don't have graph paper, and don't mind converting inches to metric, Room Sketcher is a great, free resource that doesn't require you to sign up.

Yeah, no emails required. Nice right? Here's the url:

It's not perfect (I have no idea what I did to make that wall red nor do I understand how to put in a closet), but it makes a good layout of the floor space. Figuring out where to put my furniture has been a bit of an awkward challenge for me.

The entrance to the room is from the left, and the door on the top is though a closet and then a bathroom. So because of that side entrance, it looks best if the bed is on the opposite wall. But due to some wooden beams on the walls, the bed can't fit a night stand next to it if I put it there. If I put the bed on the right side of the room where there are no beams, then I feel like I'm weaving around furniture.

As far as scrunching the bed up against the wall, I don't mind. Feng shui be damned, I'd like to promote my singleness right now in exchange for floor space. Seriously, you pull that bed from the far wall and anything behind it turns into no man's land. Yes, I know you could make some cozy little reading area there. But there's not enough furniture on hand to establish multiple functions in this room, nor do I have the money to buy it right now. I have 200 dollars in the bank, and I'm waiting for my loans to come in. And...student loans come on their own time.

The bonus of leaving the bed with only one access point, is that the floor space will come in handy. I have been known to lay down a tarp from time to time in order to make an absolute shit fest of painting. And I'm not kidding when I say I still fancy the idea of getting a pole someday.

Putting the bed under the window is a viable option to preserving floor too, but I think the window might be a little low for it. It could look very pretty with curtains framing the sides. much of a pain in the ass would it be to draw them closed? Since of course I'm obsessed with floor length curtains. 

I'll make some effort to decide by the end of tonight. The moral of the story is, just by writing this post, I've already gotten over the idea of the night stand. It's entire function can be replaced with a nice box to hold condoms. And really? I'd like to cool it on the relationships for a while.  

Ok. Enough talk. Let's get to dragging.